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L’Oréal kicks off the year with further investment in startups

By Lucy Whitehouse + , 03-Jan-2017

L’Oréal kicks off the year with further investment in startups

L’Oréal, an industry leader when it comes to exploring the potential of digital for beauty, has announced it will be investing in an early stage fund managed by Partech Ventures, an international venture capitalist firm.

Partech Ventures is headquartered in Paris, with offices in San Francisco and Berlin. It specialises in tech and digital, according to L’Oréal, with the company picking out personalisation and AI as among the most promising areas for beauty.

With its focus on tech and digital champions, Partech Ventures will help L’Oréal tap into innovations and services that can transform people’s relationship to beauty through prediction and personalization tools, artificial intelligence, marketplaces and new services,” the company said in a statement announcing its strategic investment.

The move is a step further in the beauty giant’s strategy to develop its digital offering and expand the potential of beauty and tech, L’Oréal says, with the company looking to “connect to the world's hottest startup scenes”, and seeking “the opportunity to participate in the financing of promising early stage digital businesses.”

L’Oréal is investing in the firm’s Partech International Venture VII fund.

Opening up ‘unique access’

Lubomira Rochet, chief digital officer for L’Oréal, explains that the company sees this investment opportunity as way to gain access to top level startup talent and opportunities.

“Our unique relationship with Partech Ventures will give us access to a high quality and comprehensive sourcing of the best B2B and B2C digital players and contribute to the Group’s global strategy of Open Innovation,” she said.

“It will create value across the board for our brand and marketing teams and will connect us to new ideas and partners to better engage and serve our consumers.”

Speaking of the partnershup, one of Partech Ventures’ managing partners, Philippe Collombel, said: “L’Oréal has been amongst the first groups to understand the full potential of digital transformation, and to integrate new tech partners and tools within its offer and organization. This partnership embodies Partech Ventures’ international DNA and will enable win-win business opportunities for L'Oréal and our portfolio companies.”

L’Oréal’s investment in a Partech Ventures fund follows the Group’s investment in the Founders Factory, a digital accelerator and incubator, announced last May. The beauty giant notes that these partnerships are expected to “deepen and support L’Oréal’s broader digital innovation strategy”, which also includes L’Oréal’s Research and Innovation Technology Incubator located in San Francisco.

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