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Shiseido's New Venture Fund Invests in Phyla

Published December 11, 2023
Published December 11, 2023

One of Shiseido's Long Term Investments for the Future (LIFT) Ventures' inaugural investments is in Phyla, which is pioneering alternative antibiotic therapies.

WHO: San Francisco-based Phi Therapeutics, Inc. (Phyla) was founded by microbiologist and synthetic biologist Yug Varma, PhD, in 2014.  The San Francisco-based biotech start-up is developing alternative antibiotic therapies replacing the acne-causing pathogen with a probiotic bacteria. Most microbiome efforts focus on discovering beneficial bacteria to add to the microbiome, cure disease, or maintain health. However, others lack a subtractive function that can remove harmful or disease-causing bacteria, allowing the microbiome to rebalance and achieve a stable, healthy state. Using bacteriophages as a foundation, Phyla is developing a powerful platform that will enable the selective "subtracting" of bad bacteria without harming the good strains present in the community.

Shiseido Long Term Investments for the Future (LIFT) Ventures is a newly formed vehicle for investing in innovative early-stage companies within the beauty wellness space. LIFT Ventures is focused on investing in novel technologies, innovative platforms, high-growth brands, and new business models, among others. The fund will primarily focus on compelling innovation in the Western Hemisphere, while maintaining a global lens.

IN THEIR OWN WORDS: Shiseido Americas’ President Ron Gee said the investment from LIFT Ventures would accelerate the company’s focus on innovation. “We are excited to share our unique perspective, exercise our extensive experience, forging strategic partnerships and helping like-minded entrepreneurs scale and achieve long-term growth. With this in mind, we are delighted to partner with Phyla and Patricks, two companies focused on driving innovation and disrupting their respective categories.”


  • Shiseido Long Term Investments for the Future (LIFT) Ventures has invested in Phyla.
  • In July 2022, Phyla raised $2,000,000 from Brandon Shainfeld and other investors. 
  • In May 2019, Phyla raised $575,000 in seed funding from Aimtop Ventures and an undisclosed amount from Social Starts.

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