Makeup set is seen in this arranged photograph. (Source: Official Facebook page of Ipsy)

TPG-Backed Makeup Startup Ipsy Is Considering a Sale or IPO

(Bloomberg) -- TPG-backed makeup-subscription service Ipsy is considering a sale or an initial public offering, according to people familiar with the matter.

Ipsy, as Personalized Beauty Discovery Inc. is known, may pursue an IPO if an attractive offer doesn’t materialize in a so-called dual-track process, in which a company pursues both options simultaneously before deciding how to proceed, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private. No decision has been made and Ipsy could remain a private, standalone company, they said.

The company could fetch about $2 billion in a sale, the people said. A sale or IPO could take place next year, one of the people said.

Ipsy was valued at more than $500 million in 2015 when private equity firm TPG and venture capital shop Sherpa Ventures led a $100 million funding round, a person familiar with the matter said at the time.

“We can’t comment on rumors or speculation,” Ipsy spokeswoman Laura Witherspoon said in an email. She said the company has expanded its services and has also hired Fernando Madeira, the former chief executive officer of Walmart.com, as president.

A TPG representative declined to comment

Ipsy sells a $10 monthly “glam bag” filled with five cult-favorite beauty products such as Benefit brand mascara or Smashbox makeup primer. 

The company, based in San Mateo, California, was founded by social-media celebrity Michelle Phan and CEO Marcelo Camberos, an early employee at the humor website Funny-or-Die.

The company leans on social media influencers, called the Ipsy community, to grow a following and at times plug their products. The most influential of those people, called official creators, have hundreds of thousands of social media followers. 

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.