PARIS — L’Oréal’s venture capital fund has taken a minority stake in Sparty Inc., a Japanese beauty start-up focused on personalized beauty.
It is the first time that the fund, called Business Opportunities for L’Oréal Development, or BOLD, has invested in a Japanese concern.
Personalization is one of the hottest trends today, as consumers seek to celebrate their individual beauty.
Tokyo-based Sparty has built a direct-to-consumer business model based on personalized beauty. Its brands include Medulla hair care and Hotaru skin care.
“This unique business model enables consumers in Japan to enjoy both a personalized product and a personalized consumer experience,” L’Oréal said in a statement.
“Japan is one of the most sophisticated and influential beauty markets. In Japan, personalized consumer experience is highly valued, and we are seeing new trends and innovations when it comes to personalization, especially in beauty,” said Jean-Pierre Charriton, chief executive officer of L’Oréal Japan.
He also noted the country’s burgeoning d-to-c market.
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Yosuke Miyama, Sparty CEO and founder, said he is looking forward to the next chapter of his company’s growth and to scaling the business further, both in Japan and abroad.
BOLD was launched in December 2018. Its investments are in what L’Oréal considers new and disruptive business models spanning marketing, digital, research and development, communication, supply chain and packaging. Its aim is to support startups within L’Oréal’s ecosystem worldwide.
Last March, BOLD made a minority investment in Gjosa, a Swiss water-savings solution-maker that had been working with L’Oréal since 2015.
Other BOLD investments have included taking a minority stake in Canadian company Functionalab Group, a developer and marketer of beauty brands, with a network of medical aesthetic clinics in Canada. BOLD also invested in venture capital fund Cathay Innovation, among other moves.
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