L Catterton-backed Il Makiage acquired the Israeli artificial intelligence (AI) computational imaging start-up Voyage81 for $40 million.
WHO: Founded in 2019 by experts in Israeli intelligence units and computer vision doctorates, Voyage81 is a deep-tech AI-based computational imaging company. The business has developed a patented software that recovers over 30 channels of hyperspectral information from any simple smartphone camera with no additional hardware, charting a path to revolutionize the beauty and wellness industries.
Founded in 1972 by leading makeup artist Ilana Harkavi in New York. Il Makiage was relaunched in its digital-first incarnation in 2018 by brother-sister duo Oran Holtzman and Shiran Holtzman-Erel. The brand is defining and building the future of beauty by using proprietary technology to connect people with superior, painstakingly tested beauty products.
WHY: The implications of Voyage81's technology for the beauty and wellness industries are endless. Voyage81's software is capable of mapping and analyzing skin and hair features, detecting facial blood flows, and creating melanin and hemoglobin maps from a simple smartphone camera photo. The technology, combined with Il Makiage's current AI algorithms, will leverage users' personal smartphone cameras to provide unparalleled online matching capabilities to users of Il Makiage and its upcoming homegrown digital beauty and wellness brands.
Voyage81's patented technology will expand on Il Makiage's existing AI capabilities, with which it developed its own shade-matching algorithm, while saving on data acquisition costs,
The implications of Voyage81's technology for the beauty and wellness industries are endless. Voyage81's software is capable of mapping and analyzing skin and hair features, detecting facial blood flows, and creating melanin and hemoglobin maps from a simple smartphone camera photo. The technology, combined with Il Makiage's current AI algorithms, will enable leveraging users' personal smartphone cameras to provide unparalleled online matching capabilities to users of Il Makiage and its upcoming homegrown digital beauty and wellness brands.
IN THEIR OWN WORDS: Il Makiage CEO Oran Holtzman says, "For the past two years, we have been searching for computational imaging solutions that can work in beauty and wellness to further advance our existing AI capabilities. I have met dozens of computer vision startups but could not find a technology that can fit our industry and was strong enough to fulfill our goals. Bringing on Voyage81's patented technology and exceptional team to our tech and data science departments is a huge win for our company's future, our users, and the industry at-large."
“Our broader strategy was to launch a new stand-alone brand every 18 months to disrupt more offline-dominated categories using the same technology that we built for Il Makiage," Holtzman told WWD. "We are launching our second fully independent brand in a few months. We spent two years building that, and we are already building our third brand.”
“When we met Oran, we were focused on our own rapid growth trajectory with no plans at all to sell," Niv Price, Voyage81 co-founder and CEO, told The Jerusalem Post, "In fact, we just finished round A funding and were already working with the largest smartphone manufacturers in the world. But after meeting Oran and learning about the company's long-term vision, we realized that under the Il Makiage platform, Voyage81 technology will serve and benefit hundreds of millions of consumers, fulfilling our founding goal.”
Voyage81 co-founder and CTO Dr. Boaz Arad added, "Combining Voyage81's physics-based algorithms with Il Makiage's existing data science team and utilizing the company's one billion+ data points and unprecedented daily incoming data flow, will further boost our AI vision capabilities. Thus, I strongly believe that together we can conquer the next frontier in the beauty and wellness industries—creating a technological advantage that will be next to impossible to match."
- Il Makiage acquired Voyage81 for $40 million.
- Co-founders CEO Niv Prince, CTO Boaz Arad, Dr. Rafi Gidron, and Dr. Omer Shwartz will continue to lead Voyage81. Following the acquisition, Price will serve as CTO and Dr. Arad will serve as Chief Vision Officer, while Shwartz will serve as VP of Information Security at Il Makiage.
- Voyage81 was backed by True Ventures, Next Gear Ventures, Maniv Mobility, and iAngels.
- The business told WWD it projects its DTC sales to reach $250 million this year, with more than 25 million users and 5 million customers, and that it more than doubled its business each year since its 2018 launch.
- L Catterton made a $29 million growth capital investment in the company in June 2017.
- This deal is the business's second technology acquisition. Il Makiage acquired NeoWize in 2019.
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