The investment was made through the group’s venture capital fund, BOLD Business Opportunities for L’Oréal Development, which was launched in December 2018.
The fund invests in new business models in marketing, R&I, digital, retail, communication, supply chain and packaging and provides start-ups with L'Oréal's expertise and networking. Through it, the firm has backed beauty start-ups such as Sampler, Tailify, Riviter and Alegra.
Cathay Innovation is a global venture capital partnership founded by Cathay Capital that invests in digital start-ups in North America, Europe and China.
Through the partnership with Cathay Innovation, L'Oréal hopes to support innovative Chinese beauty tech start-ups during their growth phase.
President of L'Oréal China, Fabrice Megarbane said: "We are delighted to enter this strategic partnership with Cathay Innovation. It 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.”
Founder and president of Cathay Capital, Mingpo Cai, believes China was a “breeding ground” for innovation and disruptive technology, especially in the beauty sector.
“We will work to identify new emerging trends and collaborate with the most promising start-ups. Together with L'Oréal teams and visionary Chinese entrepreneurs, we will develop new innovations for consumers in China and the world at large,” he said.
Interest in start-ups
The investment into Cathay Innovation follows L'Oréal’s investment into Fireside Ventures in September to support its ties to India’s start-up space.
With it, the company aimed to support Indian start-ups that were driven by India’s digital ecosystem and the needs of the local millennial demographic.
"India is a strategically important market for L'Oréal and a great place for innovation. With this investment, L'Oréal will further connect to the dynamic ecosystem of Indian start-ups and work with them on emerging consumer needs to co-create tomorrow's beauty trends," said Amit Jain, managing director of L'Oréal India.
The firm will collaborate with Fireside Ventures to scout for and co-create beauty products made in India for the world in short time frames, said Kanwaljit Singh, managing partner at Fireside Ventures.
“Our partnership with BOLD Business Opportunities for L'Oréal Development is a testament of the growing trend in the consumer space in India and our commitment to introduce, mentor and build INR100 crore ($14.1m) brands in the next few years,” said Singh.