L’Oréal doubles down on niche Chinese fragrance, making a minority investment in To Summer through Shanghai Meicifang Investment Co., a subsidiary of L'Oréal China, and supported by L'Oréal's venture arm BOLD. This transaction follows participation in Documents Series A round of funding in 2022.
WHO: Fragrance brand To Summer was founded in Beijing in 2018 by Shen Li, a former fashion editor, and Huipu Liu, a seasoned e-commerce professional, with inspiration drawn from Chinese Eastern aesthetics, art, and culture. The business produces candles, body lotion, and shampoo, perfume, and scented wax tablets. The brand has 11 stores in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Hangzhou, Nanjing, Chengdu and Wuxi.
Shanghai Meicifang Investment Co., Ltd (Meicifang) is L'Oréal’s first investment company in a single market founded apart from the headquarter region. The core of this corporate venture capital fund is to invest in the future of beauty and to cooperate with more Chinese partners and talents, with priorities being C-beauty brands, beauty tech, value chain/operation, future science, and sustainability.
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.
IN THEIR OWN WORDS: Fabrice Megarbane, Chief Global Growth Officer at L’Oréal, said, "Chinese consumers are almost the most demanding and sophisticated consumers in the world. When it comes to beauty, they desire a more personalized experience, thus driving the development of the perfume market. With vigorous development, perfume has now become one of the fastest growing categories. This investment in Guan Xia To Summer is one of the most important investments of L'Oréal Group in the North Asian market in 2023."
Li Shen, founder of To Summer, said: “We hope to collaborate with L’Oréal, with its century-long expertise in global beauty research and innovation, to jointly develop a roadmap for Eastern fragrances” and “bring more fragrances filled with imagination, along with the essence of Eastern elegance and grace, to the global market.”
2 Article(s) Remaining