The Genesis and Vision Of Good Glamm Group
Priyanka Gill, co-founder, Good Glamm Group and founder and CEO, POPxo - Plixxo shares the idea behind taking the 'house of brands' route
"House of brands', a business model adapted by iconic brands such as Procter and Gamble or Hindustan Unilever, is now being considered a viable model by India's direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands as well. From the likes of Lenskart and Nykaa to Curefoods and Furlenco, India's online-first brands are now looking at "house of brands' as the next frontier to capture in order to increase brand reach and loyalty.
A key player in this race is the beauty and personal care brand MyGlamm's Good Glamm Group. From funding rounds to acquisitions and valuation, announcements from the group have been pouring in ever since MyGlamm acquired POPxo, a women-focused digital media and e-commerce platform, for an undisclosed amount in August 2020. There has been no looking back since then for the startup. Many more acquisitions later, in November 2021, Good Glamm Group, also became India's first beauty commerce startup to turn a Unicorn after raising $150 million in a Series D funding round led by Prosus Ventures (Naspers) and Warburg Pincus.
The cliche–an overnight success is a decade in the making–is a true story for us, says Priyanka Gill, co-founder, Good Glamm Group and founder and CEO, POPxo - Plixxo and throws more light on the group's journey so far.
When 3Cs Meet
When Gill started POPxo in 2013, the intention was to build a digital media platform for women, because it didn't exist. "We got very lucky because the timing was quite perfect. It was a time when Facebook was trying to become the world's newsfeed and we started creating a lot of great content and Facebook was really looking for people who could create great content at scale. And we were doing that. This kind of free exposure from Facebook really helped us grow," she said.
Then as the company started to grow, it started working with influencers when the demand for the same increased. This led to the genesis of Plixxo, an influencer management startup. Simultaneously, when they realized that monetization was hard for online media, POPxo ventured into e-commerce with its private label merchandise such as mugs, laptop bags, canvas pouches and tote bags, among others.
However, just when it started to resolve the monetization puzzle in online media, the pandemic happened and things went downhill. "I had to do this most painful town hall of my life. I had to put people on furlough. We needed to figure out how we could organize the finances of the company. Investors had to give us a loan and so on," she said.
That's when Gill got a call from Darpan Sanghvi, co-founder, MyGlamm and now the group founder and CEO of Good Glamm Group and he told her, "We've been looking at content to commerce from the lens of a commerce company and you are a content company doing the same thing. Let's do this together."
MyGlamm is a D2C beauty brand that was founded in 2017 and competes with the likes of SUGAR Cosmetics, Purplle, WoW Skin, Mamaearth, Nykaa, among others. It has more than 800 SKUs ranging from cosmetics, skin and personal care on its D2C website and over 30, 000 offline points of sales in over 70 cities.
With this acquisition, came the convergence of 3Cs, that is content, commerce and creators.
And, as expected by the founder, the Amazon-backed MyGlamm's acquisition of POPxo brought down the marketing costs and organically got more visibility to the brand, which then went on to raise Series C round at INR 530 crore, with investments from Accel and existing investors in July 2021.
This is when Gill and Darpan decided to look at other brands to further enhance reach, cut down CAC and build better engagement. In September, MyGlamm introduced the Good Glamm Group to consolidate its position as a "house of brands', with Sanghvi as the group founder and CEO, Gill and Naiyya Saggi as co-founders of the group. .
The Good Glamm Group today houses POPxo, Plixxo, ScoopWhoop, Baby Chakra, St. Botanica, Oriental Botanics business, Miss Malini Entertainment and has investments in feminine hygiene care brand Sirona and mother and babycare brand The Moms Co.
It also recently announced the stealth mode acquisitions of influencer marketing platform Winkl and video analytics startup Vidooly. Further, it has consolidated Plixxo, MissMalini, Winkl and Vidooly into a creator economy-focused brand — the Good Creator Co. The group has infused INR 200 crore in the new venture. "I think I would never have imagined reaching where we are today," says Gill proudly. Other than reducing the marketing costs, the collaboration of brands also helps all the brands in the group and the group as a whole to be omni-channel, thereby finding better reach and engagement.
Many Brands, One Vision
Gill shares with us that the formation of the group also made acquisitions easier and gave a visible structure to the outside world as to what they were building. Then they started seeing patterns in acquisitions, which is 3Cs and content and creator became enablers of commerce.
And, when asked how they ensure that the workflow is smooth and the vision is aligned between the brands and teams, she said, "Overall, Good Glamm group is an ecosystem where at the heart is a triangle of content, commerce and creator on its side. And there's an interchange between each node of the triangle where brands are acquired under beauty and personal care for men, women and children in India, they are scaled up and they grow with their own muscle and ethos they have."
While acquiring a brand, the founders are more clear about what they are than what they are not, from a brand perspective. "Beauty and personal care is what we care about the most right. So we don't want to say, get into fashion or go and start making cars. It's always going to be beauty and personal care. We look across the entire market within skincare and personal care and different types of categories within that," she said.
Secondly, they also look at the founding team and see if there is a culture match. "We look at the value add the group can bring to a particular brand. Basically, like they're really good at this and we're really good at this and if you are going to bring it together, immediately we can see the sales coming up and more in the next quarters. And then of course at the end, the brand has to be interested in the Good Glamm group and they should be excited about what we are doing as well. So it's kind of this kind of complex matchmaking process when both brands are passionate and they really believe in the vision of a beauty and personal conglomerate, " she said.