L’Oréal Launches VC Fund

WWD Digital Daily - - News - BY JEN­NIFER WEIL

PARIS — L’Oréal said Wed­nes­day it has launched a ven­ture cap­i­tal fund, called

BOLD, Busi­ness Op­por­tu­ni­ties for L’Oréal De­vel­op­ment, which will take mi­nor­ity stakes in start-ups with high growth po­ten­tial.

The fund is to in­vest in new busi­ness mod­els in mar­ket­ing, re­search and in­no­va­tion, dig­i­tal, re­tail, com­mu­ni­ca­tion, sup­ply chain and pack­ag­ing, and sup­port the start-ups with the group’s ex­per­tise, net­work­ing and men­tor­ship.

It’s part of L’Oréal’s open in­no­va­tion strat­egy, which in­cludes part­ner­ships with Founders Fac­tory, Partech In­ter­na­tional Ven­tures, Sta­tion F and Raise Ven­tures.

“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,” said Jean-Paul Agon, L’Oréal chair­man and chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer, in a state­ment. “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.”

“With the cre­ation of our own cor­po­rate fund, we will share our ex­per­tise, net­work­ing and men­tor­ship, and pro­vide fi­nan­cial sup­port to promis­ing start-ups while pre­serv­ing their au­ton­omy,” con­tin­ued Lau­rent Sch­mitt, pres­i­dent of BOLD. “The fund strength­ens our 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.”

BOLD’s first in­vest­ment is in Sil­lages Paris, a French start-up giv­ing an on­line ser­vice to cre­ate cus­tom­ized fra­grances based on ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence and ma­chine learn­ing. The com­pany founded by Maxime Gar­cia-Janin, which has since June been part of L’Oréal’s in­cu­ba­tor at Sta­tion F, the global start-up hub, will be sup­ported by L’Oréal’s knowhow in mar­ket­ing, re­search, dig­i­tal and re­tail.

BOLD, Busi­ness Op­por­tu­ni­ties for L’Oréal De­vel­op­ment, will take mi­nor­ity stakes in promis­ing start-ups.

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