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Paper Cosmetics Closes First Funding Round

L’Occitane Group’s VC fund and accelerator Obratori, and Philosophy founder Cristina Carlino, have taken a minority stake in the direct-to-consumer, sustainable deodorant brand with paper packaging.

PARIS — Paper Cosmetics, the direct-to-consumer, natural and sustainable deodorant brand with paper packaging, has closed its first round of funding.

L’Occitane Group’s venture capital fund and accelerator Obratori alongside the founder of Philosophy skin care, Cristina Carlino, have taken a minority stake in the Los Angeles-based company.

Financial terms were not disclosed, but the investment will help support Paper Cosmetics’ growth, pick up the pace of its marketing and widen the company’s reach.

Obratori will join Paper Cosmetics’ strategic development committee.

A host of multinational beauty-makers are launching and running VC funds and accelerators to get closer to and glean know-how from entrepreneurs, who have recently been upending traditional business models — particularly in hot segments such as natural, sustainable beauty and tech. Among those in Europe to have such start-up studios are L’Oréal, Sephora and Puig.

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Daniel Roescheisen and Kim Eberle launched Paper Cosmetics — billed to produce zero waste — in March with three deodorants, after about two years of product development.

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A fourth deodorant, Coastal Forests, was launched in November, and quickly became the brand’s bestseller.

Paper Cosmetics’ PAPR stick deodorants, which retail for $14 each and contain baking soda, are sold through the brand’s own site, papercosmetics.com, and Amazon.

“We wanted to have an investor on board right away when we launched, to help us with our growth,” Roescheisen said. “We’re really happy to have such a strong investment team backing us.”

Since some people have trouble tolerating baking soda in deodorants, Paper Cosmetics is developing a version without that ingredient or fragrance, which should be coming to market in two to three months.

“It’s going to be for ultra-sensitive people,” Roescheisen said.

The brand is also mulling other product categories to come out toward the end of this year or in 2022.

Paper Cosmetics marks Obratori’s first foreign start-up investment.

“We help young companies with proven effectiveness and viability for their solutions,” Ingo Dauer, co-managing director of Obratori, said in a statement. “Pushing for more sustainable consumption and ensuring products of quality are obvious to us. Paper Cosmetics is answering a clear customer demand.”

L’Occitane said in late September 2018 that it had opened the Obratori accelerator in Marseille, France, with a focus on cosmetics and wellbeing. It is located in the Cité de l’Innovation et des Savoirs Aix-Marseille, and can include 12 start-ups and hold up to 108 workstations.

In December 2019, Obratori took a minority stake in Le Rouge Français, an organic and vegan lipstick brand. In March 2019, the accelerator and Pharma & Beauty Group invested in the “healthy-aging” tech start-up Calysens, also Marseille-based.

L’Occitane International SA, a natural beauty-maker and seller that’s listed in Hong Kong, has brands including L’Occitane en Provence, Elemis, Melvita and Erborian. Its products are sold in more than 3,000 doors in 90 countries.

The group most recently reported net sales for the first half of the 2020-21 fiscal year, ended Sept. 30, were down 15.2 percent to 616.6 million euros.

For more, see:

L’Occitane Incubator Takes Minority Stake in Le Rouge Français

L’Occitane Opens Start-up Incubator

L’Oréal Launches Venture Capital Fund