L’Oréal announced in May a strategic investment in Founders Factory, a London-based leading global digital accelerator and incubator, co-founded by Brent Hoberman and Henry Lane Fox. As part of their partnership, L’Oréal and Founders Factory will each year support the growth of five high potential early stage startups and co-create two new businesses as part of a yearly incubator programme.
L’Oréal and Founders Factory received 180 applications from talented and motivated beauty entrepreneurs around the world (Germany, Lithuania, Slovenia, United Kingdom, United States, among others). After an exciting pitching session held at L’Oréal headquarters, 5 startups were selected for a six month accelerator programme:
• InsitU: Personalised, natural skincare available online, developed by scientific experts and available through an online store. Founded by Dr Maria Salichou, a scientist of Greek origin, who holds a nuclear medicine PhD from the University of Oxford and has over 10 years of scientific experience in BioTech and healthcare.
• Preemadonna: Created by Pree Walia from the United States, Preemadonna’s Nailbot device and app enable users to design and print art onto their nails, using their phone, in a matter of seconds. 30,000 people have already signed up to try the Nailbot.
• Tailify: London based Tailify founded by Fredrik Segerby from Sweden and Didrik Svendsen from Norway, connects big brands to social media influencers to create campaigns, whilst enabling those influencers to track, distribute and monetise their content.
• Veleza: Founded by Lithuanian entrepreneur Martynas Nikolajevas, Veleza is an app-based, supportive community of beauty lovers that helps users discover products that best match their needs providing inspiration, advice and product reviews in real time.
• Cosmose: Founded by Polish entrepreneur Miron Mironiuk, Cosmose uses sophisticated location technology that allows retailers to target offline customers via online channels. Already a success in Asia, Cosmose is based in Shanghai and Hong Kong.
As part of their partnership, L’Oréal and Founders Factory will each year support the growth of five high potential early stage startups and co-create two new businesses as part of a yearly incubator programme.
L’Oréal and Founders Factory will support the growth of these startups in many ways: the in-house team of 60 digital experts at Founders Factory, many of whom being successful entrepreneurs themselves, will provide hands-on and operational support and mentoring. L’Oréal will bring its century-old beauty passion and expertise, access to marketing teams, R&I and ecosystem.
Lubomira Rochet, Chief Digital Officer L’Oréal, said: “We believe that open innovation will be key to identify new disruptive ideas and co-develop new services to meet the aspirations of our consumers. We are excited to champion the next generation of beauty entrepreneurs through our partnership with Founders Factory and accelerate their development by bringing them our expertise of the beauty industry.”
Henry Lane Fox, Co-Founder and CEO, Founders Factory, said: “We are only accepting five startups to join our programme per year and so competition is fierce. We understand how incredibly hard it is to build a successful business and know that every founder feels the strain in terms of capital, time and resource. By coupling the expertise of our operating team with the knowledge and scale of L’Oréal, we provide an unrivalled platform for startups looking to make global impact.”