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Robin Driver
Oct 24, 2019
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L'Oréal invests in Chinese beauty tech with stake in Cathay Innovation

Translated by
Robin Driver
Oct 24, 2019

L'Oréal has announced that it has acquired a stake in venture capital fund Cathay Innovation, operated by Cathay Capital. Through this injection of funds, the French cosmetics giant hopes to invest in innovative Chinese start-ups working in the beauty industry. 

© L'Oréal

"Our aim is to help these young entrepreneurs by giving them the benefit of L'Oréal's expertise and experience, so that together we can create the products and services of tomorrow," explained Fabrice Megarbane, president of L'Oréal China. Although the group has not revealed how much it has invested in Cathay Innovation, the move should allow L'Oréal to reinforce its presence in the ecosystem of Chinese start-ups developing technological innovations in the cosmetics sector. 

Cathay Innovation was launched in 2015 by Cathay Capital, whose operations are focused on funding fast-growing start-ups working in e-commerce, fintech and health. "China is a hotbed for innovation in new uses of disruptive technologies, notably in the beauty sector," said Mingpo Cai, founder and president of Cathay Capital. "We will work to identify new emerging trends and collaborate with the most promising start-ups."

L'Oréal's investment was made through the Bold Business Opportunities for L'Oréal programme, a private equity fund established by the French company in December of last year. The initiative seeks to acquire minority stakes in start-ups with strong growth potential. 

With offices in Paris, San Francisco, Shanghai and Beijing, Cathay Innovation is the latest addition to the list of companies that have received investments from L'Oréal, which also includes Partech Africa, Founders Factory, Raise Ventures and Fireside Ventures

China is the L'Oréal group's second largest market, with Lancôme and L'Oréal Paris counting among the most popular brands in the country.

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