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L'Oréal Invests in Japanese Personalized Beauty Start-Up

Published May 25, 2022
Published May 25, 2022

The venture capital fund Business Opportunities for L'Oréal Development makes its first Japanese investment in personalized beauty start-up Sparty Inc.

WHO: Tokyo-based Sparty has built a direct-to-consumer business model based on personalized beauty. Its brands include Medulla, a haircare brand launched in 2018 that provides personalized “prescriptions” to customers, and Hotaru Personalized, a skincare brand launched in 2020 that provides personalized skin diagnoses. Medulla and Hotaru user IDs are linked, enabling Sparty to collect data regarding the Hotaru diagnosis results and the consumer’s level of satisfaction about their Medulla prescription, enhancing the personalization.

Business Opportunities for L'Oréal Development (BOLD) was founded in December 2018 as a corporate venture capital fund aiming to take minority stakes in innovative companies and brands with high growth potential. 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, networking, and mentorship.

IN THEIR OWN WORDS: "Japan is one of the most sophisticated and influential beauty markets. In Japan, personalized consumer experience is highly valued, and we are seeing new trends and innovations when it comes to personalization, especially in beauty. We are thrilled to be partnering with Sparty, a pioneer in personalized beauty as well as a game changer within Japan's growing D2C market," said Jean-Pierre Charriton, Chief Executive Officer of L'Oréal Japan.

"With Sparty's proven track record in personalization and L'Oréal's leadership in the worldwide beauty market, we are confident that we will be able to embark on the next chapter of our growth journey and scale our business even further, both in Japan and overseas, to the fullest potential," said Yosuke Miyama, founder and CEO of Sparty Inc.


  • The minority investment in Sparty Inc. was made by L'Oréal's venture arm BOLD.
  • Last March, BOLD made a minority investment in Gjosa, a Swiss water-savings solutions maker that had been working with L'Oréal since 2015.
  • In 2019, L'Oréal invested through BOLD in Fireside Ventures, an early-stage investment fund focused on Indian consumer brands, took a minority stake in Carbios, a biotech company focused on new bio-industrial solutions for the lifecycle of plastic and textile polymers through BOLD, and invested in Functionalab Group, a developer and marketer of beauty brands, with a network of medical aesthetic clinics in Canada.
  • In December 2018, L'Oréal via BOLD took a minority stake in Sillages Paris, a French start-up offering an online service to create customized fragrances based on artificial intelligence and machine learning.

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