L’Oréal invests in London-based incubator Founders Factory

Beauty company L’Oréal has announced a strategic investment in London-based accelerator and incubator Founders Factory to reach promising beauty tech startups around the world.

As part of the agreement, L’Oréal and Founders Factory will invest and scale five early stage startups and co-create two new companies from scratch every year. Participating startups will receive hands-on support from the in-house team of experts at Founders Factory and will work with L’Oréal to jointly build and launch new products and services.

“This strategic investment will give L’Oréal direct access to a powerful global ecosystem of exciting startups and innovative technologies at their earliest stage allowing us to invest in and nurture innovative business models based on digital platforms to better serve consumers’ aspirations,” said L’Oréal Chief Digital Officer, Lubomira Rochet, who will represent the company in the Founders Factory board of directors.

“Leveraging the Founders Factory’s ecosystem and experienced entrepreneurs in residence, L’Oréal will provide significant contribution to the development of incubated companies in the beauty sector by bringing our knowledge of the beauty industry, the beauty consumer and our marketing and innovation expertise in all beauty categories,” she added.

Founders Factory was founded by Brent Hoberman, Henry Lane Fox and Jim Meyerle, and aims to develop as many as 200 early stage technology companies over the next five years.

“At Founders Factory we provide ambitious forward-thinking blue-chip companies with a way to develop innovative technology startups away from their day-to-day business and connect them with elite entrepreneurial talent from across the globe,” said Brent Hoberman, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman, Founders Factory.

“Marrying our expertise in digital with L’Oréal’s brands, scientific research, and audience reach offers a compelling opportunity to build and scale the next generation of beauty startups.”

L’Oréal’s investment forms part of a broader digital innovation strategy, which has also seen a number of digital services being spearheaded by the company’s Technology Incubator in San Francisco. Among others, successful launches include Makeup Genius, the virtual make-up coach downloaded 20 million times across the world and My UV Patch, the first-ever stretchable skin sensor designed to monitor UV exposure.