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L’Oréal Invests in VC Fund Cathay Innovation

The stake was taken to strengthen the French group’s ties with beauty tech start-ups, particularly in China.

PARIS — L’Oréal keeps strengthening its ties with beauty tech start-ups — especially in China — with an investment in global venture capital fund Cathay Innovation, it was revealed Wednesday.

The world’s largest beauty maker did not specify the level of its strategic investment in Cathay Innovation, which it described as having been founded by Cathay Capital “to support entrepreneurs engaged in the sustainable transformation of the world through technology.”

Sectors involved include e-commerce, consumer-centric digital platforms, fin-tech, health, artificial intelligence and new mobility.

China is L’Oréal’s second-largest market.

The beauty giant will work with Chinese beauty tech start-ups in their growth phase.

Fabrice Megarbane, president of L’Oréal China, said in a statement that the partnership with Cathy Innovation “will enable us to connect to the dynamic ecosystem of disruptive beauty tech start-ups in China, a driving force in advanced technology and innovation. Our objective is to help young entrepreneurs by sharing L’Oréal’s expertise and experience in order to co-create the products and services of tomorrow.”

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“We will work to identify new emerging trends and collaborate with the most promising start-ups,” said Ming-Po Cai, founder and president of Cathay Capital. “Together with L’Oréal teams and visionary Chinese entrepreneurs, we will develop new innovations for consumers in China and the world at large.”

The investment was made through the group’s venture capital fund BOLD Business Opportunities for L’Oréal Development, which was launched in December 2018.

In early September, L’Oréal announced it had invested through BOLD in Fireside Ventures, an early-stage investment fund focused on Indian consumer brands. In June, L’Oréal via BOLD took a minority stake in Carbios, a biotech company focused on new bio-industrial solutions for the lifecycle of plastic and textile polymers.