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Published October 13, 2019
Published October 13, 2019
h heyerlein via Unsplash

L’Oréal announced a strategic investment in Cathay Innovation, a global venture capital fund founded to support entrepreneurs engaged in the sustainable transformation of the world through technology.

WHO: Launched by Cathay Capital, Cathay Innovation funds early-growth start-ups committed to the sustainable transformation of the world through innovation and technology in sectors ranging from e-commerce and consumer-centric digital platforms to fintech, health, new mobility, and all segments of the artificial intelligence space.

BOLD Business Opportunities for L’Oréal Development is 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.

WHY: With this transaction, L’Oréal strengthens its connection to the beauty tech start-up ecosystem, particularly in China, the group’s second-largest market and a pioneer in digital innovation. L’Oréal will gain access to innovative Chinese beauty tech start-ups during their growth phase, and entrepreneurs will benefit from L’Oréal’s brand portfolio and expertise to test their innovations and accelerate their development.

IN THEIR OWN WORDS: Fabrice Megarbane, President of L’Oréal China, said: “We are delighted to enter this strategic partnership with Cathay Innovation. It will enable us to connect to the dynamic ecosystem of disruptive beauty tech startups in China, a driving force in advanced technology and innovation. Our objective is to help young entrepreneurs by sharing L’Oréal’s expertise and experience in order to co-create the products and services of tomorrow.”

Mingpo Cai, Founder and President of Cathay Capital, said: “We are thrilled to welcome L’Oréal as an investor in our ecosystem and believe that we will develop together a partnership of exceptional quality. China is a breeding ground for innovation in the new uses of disruptive technology, and in particular in the world of beauty. We will work to identify new emerging trends and collaborate with the most promising startups. Together with L’Oréal teams and visionary Chinese entrepreneurs, we will develop new innovations for consumers in China and the world at large.”


  • L’Oréal made a strategic investment in Cathay Innovation. The amount of the investment was not disclosed.
  • The investment was made through the group’s venture capital fund BOLD Business Opportunities for L’Oréal Development, launched in December of 2018.
  • In September, L’Oréal invested through BOLD in Fireside Ventures, an early-stage investment fund focused on Indian consumer brands.
  • In June, L’Oréal 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.
  • 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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