Shiseido acquires US customization player MatchCo

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Shiseido acquires US customization player MatchCo

Related tags Multinational corporation

Shiseido has continued to expand its international and US footprint with the acquisition of MatchCo, a California-based developer of customized digital tools used in personalization beauty regimes.

Shiseido USA Corporation snapped up the digital technology company in the belief that its capabilities will enhance the company’s continued and concerted effort in the development of customized cosmetics.

Indeed, Shiseido executives have pointed to the synergies between its own vast global research and development structure and the development of MatchCo’s unique digital tools as a way to enhance its own business model and consumer reach.

MatchCo to remain based in California

The deal will mean that MatchCo will remain based in California, with its development team in Palo Alto and its marketing operations in Santa Monica, while it will become a part of the New York City-based Shiseido Makeup Center of Excellence, which is headed by Jlll Salamandre.

Crucial to Shiseido’s aims is the fact that MatchCo’s digital tools react immediately to changing consumer patterns, a factor that has always been a major challenge to larger multinational companies in the fast-paced and fast-changing beauty industry.

“Creating innovations is an area of special strategic focus for Shiseido Group, and we look forward to offering more unique value to consumers around the world,”​ said Shiseido CEO Masahiko in a statement confirming the deal.

“This will now be made possible through accelerated innovation in rapidly evolving digital tools and customized products.”

Unique and personalized approach to skin care

MatchCo was founded in 2013 by tech experts Dave Gross and Andy Howell, who patented their technology that lets consumer scan their skin through its mobile phone, then creating a customized foundation that matches with their unique skin tone.

The app is currently downloadable from the Apple Store, and its success has been driven by strong consumer feedback, as well as media applause that has included best beauty breakthrough awards from Teen Vogue and Good Housekeeping.

The two companies say that, moving forward, they aim to combine efforts to gather consumer data with the aim of increasing Shiseido’s focus on customized cosmetics, while also expanding the technological capabilities of the MatchCo digital beauty tools.

Digital is shaping personalization

“As part of the Center of Excellence, we look forward to collaborating with the brands in Shiseido's global portfolio to usher in a new age of personalization, A.I. for Beauty," ​said Howell, who is also MatchCo’s chief strategist.

With this acquisition, Shiseido is making a play for the fast-growing app market – one that is already occupied by the big multinationals, where L’Oréal in particular has been a key player, particularly with it’s MakeUp Genius app.

L'Oreal's app has had phenomenal success worldwide, but particularly in Asia, and now the company is moving forwards with its digital dominance by making early and big roads into the growing market for Snapchat marketing. 

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