L’Oréal sets sights on startups: new corporate venture capital fund

By Lucy Whitehouse contact

- Last updated on GMT

L’Oréal sets sights on startups: new corporate venture capital fund
We’ve picked out acquisitions and investment as a major trend for beauty in Europe for 2019: with its new fund, L’Oréal looks set to lead the charge in this area.

L’Oréal has announced the launch of BOLD Business Opportunities for L’Oréal Development, a corporate venture capital fund that will take minority stakes in innovative startups with high growth potential.

The global beauty giant seems keen to tap into the creativity and impact of independent beauty players, which are increasing their market share within beauty.

The fund will invest in new business models in marketing, R&I, digital, retail, communication, supply chain and packaging and support the startups with L’Oréal’s expertise, networking and mentorship, the beauty leader explains.

This launch builds on L’Oréal’s open innovation strategy that connects the Group to “a global ecosystem” of agile, innovative startups, according to the company.

This strategy already includes partnerships with Founders Factory​, Partech International Ventures​, Station F​ and Raise Ventures, and the new venture capital fund adds to this.

Empowering young entrepreneurs

Jean-Paul Agon, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of L’Oréal, said the fund will allow the major beauty company to support innovation from younger, smaller companies.

“As the beauty leader, it is our mission to empower young entrepreneurs in our industry by helping them to turn their vision into scalable businesses,” ​he confirmed.

“The creation of our own corporate venture fund is a logical step that completes our existing partnerships with funds and incubators and will allow L’Oréal to invest in promising beauty concepts at an early stage.”

Laurent Schmitt takes up the role of President of BOLD Business Opportunities for L’Oréal Development.

He said of the launch: “With the creation of our own corporate venture fund, we will share our expertise, networking and mentorship and provide financial support to promising startups, while preserving their autonomy.

“The fund strengthens our open innovation strategy of connecting L’Oréal’s expertise with an ecosystem of enthusiastic entrepreneurs in the beauty sector to address together new consumer needs and aspirations in our industry.”

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