The venture will see Unilever become a shareholder which will accelerate the brand's growth internationally and benefit from new R&D prospects whilst also allowing the French brand to maintain complete autonomy regarding its business and development operations.
On the investment Dave Lewis, president of Unilever says; “In the fast growing premium skin care market, ioma is a unique and pioneering brand that is at the forefront of advanced technology and has revolutionised skin care as we know it.”
“Creating a range of bespoke products and regimes to successfully treat the needs of each individual woman, we think that ioma is the first and only skin care brand in the world able to prove the effectiveness of each of its products on each and every woman using them. And that’s an amazing breakthrough," he adds.
Founded in 2010 by Jean Michel Karam, the scientist at the origin of ioma is a specialist in micro-electromechanical systems which is used to measure skin hydration, water loss or damage due to UV. The brand is currently present in ten countries, including France, at Marionnaud outlets. Its' consumer worldwide sales are estimated at 20 million euros, and the goal is to reach more than 100 million within five years.
"Unilever will increase our financial capacity and enable us to access all the R & D group, opens the doors of its research centers, brings his knowledge of the customs and attitudes beauty in very different areas and that benefit from its focus on major markets for the future of the brand. C is an incredible opportunity," the founder reveals.
In the meantime; plans to launch ioma's products in Singapore will come into force later this month and Karem says there are five other stores to follow. From there the founder says the priority will then be on expanding into Jakarta, Mumbai, Thailand, Malaysia, Hong Kong, China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Japan and Korea.
Skin care devices proving beneficial to the industry
The market for skin care devices has become a great opportunity for growth for cosmetic brands of late. According to research firm Kline, double-digit growth in the market across the globe is only the beginning for a segment ready to take off.
"It's a large and growing phenomenon, with beauty devices offering multiple benefits a notable driving force,” analysts say.
In Europe, the market is being shaped by regional brands, such as the leader in permanent hair removal, Lumea, by the Dutch-based Phillips, and the anti-ageing device SQOOM by Germany's Schick Medical.