This launch builds on L'Oréal's open innovation strategy that deeply connects the Group to a global ecosystem of agile, innovative startups and includes partnerships with Founders Factory, Partech International Ventures, Station F and Raise Ventures.
Jean-Paul Agon, chairman and chief executive officer of L'Oréal, said: "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. 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, president of BOLD Business Opportunities for L'Oréal Development, said: "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."
The fund will make its inaugural investment with the acquisition of a minority stake in Sillages Paris, a French startup offering an online service to create customized fragrances based on artificial intelligence and machine learning. L'Oréal will support Sillages Paris, under the direction of its founder Maxime Garcia-Janin, with its expertise in marketing, research, digital and retail. The start-up is part of L'Oréal's incubator at Station F, a global hub of tech start-ups, since June 2018.
Maxime Garcia-Janin, founder of Sillages Paris, said: "At Sillages Paris, our ambition is to leverage digital to make customized fragrances accessible to all. We are very proud of this partnership with L'Oréal which will allow us to accelerate towards our goal while retaining our independence."