French personal care company L’Oréal has inked a partnership with venture capital firm Cathay Innovation to aid Chinese beauty tech startups.
The partnership between L’Oréal’s corporate venture capital fund Business Opportunities for L’Oréal Development (BOLD) and Cathay Innovation will support beauty-tech entrepreneurs in testing their innovations and accelerating their developments.
“It will enable us to connect to the dynamic ecosystem of disruptive beauty-tech startups 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,” says L’Oréal China president Fabrice Megarbane.
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Launched by Cathay Capital, Cathay Innovation invests in startups that are committed to the sustainable transformation of the world through innovation and technology in sectors ranging from e-commerce and consumer-centric digital platforms to fintech, health, new mobility and all segments of the artificial intelligence space. Among them is a solution provider for online and offline retailers in China, Shopal, and machine-learning platform for medical research Owkin.
According to Cathay Capital founder and president Mingpo Cai, China is a breeding ground for innovation in the new uses of disruptive technology, and in particular in the world of beauty.
“We will work to identify new emerging trends and collaborate with the most promising startups. Together with L’Oréal teams and visionary Chinese entrepreneurs, we will develop new innovations for consumers in China and the world at large.”
With China as its second-largest market, L’Oréal reported 26.9 billion euros (US$29.8 billion) sales last year across its portfolio of 36 brands. The company launched the BOLD last year to take minority stakes in innovative companies and brands with high growth potential.