PARIS – L’Oréal has agreed to take a minority stake in Shinehigh Innovation, a Chinese innovation-led biotech company specializing in supramolecular chemistry.
This marks the first open innovation investment the beauty giant has made through Shanghai Meicifang Investment Co. Ltd., L’Oréal China’s investment company, with support from Business Opportunities for L’Oréal Development, or BOLD, which is the group’s strategic innovation venture capital fund.
It is also the first investment from L’Oréal’s Big Bang Tech Innovation Challenge, which the company launched four years ago in China.
Scientist Jiaheng Zhang founded Shinehigh Innovation in China in 2017.
“Its breakthrough smart self-assembling technology allows previously impossible ingredient combinations, resulting in end-products with greater efficacy and sustainability,” L’Oréal said in a statement released Friday.
“The partnership will enable L’Oréal to unlock the full potential of raw material, overcoming known limitations, such as incompatability and delivery, to develop innovative skin, hair and scalp formulations with a wider range of benefits,” the company said.
“The paced and unique ecosystem of startups in China is an incredibly important enabler for our future strategy of innovation at L’Oréal,” said Barbara Lavernos, deputy chief executive officer of L’Oréal in charge of research, innovation and technology. “This partnership will enable us, thanks to their world-leading application of supramolecular technology in the beauty industry, to bring breakthrough new performances to the beauty market.”
L’Oréal and Shinehigh Innovation have jointly carried out research on the supramolecular development of multiple active raw materials in the fields of skin care, makeup, hair care and hair coloration.
“We have longterm confidence in the Chinese market. After 25 years’ development, China has become the group’s inspiration cradle of future innovation,” said Fabrice Megarbane, president of L’Oréal North Asia Zone and CEO of L’Oréal China.
“Under our firm belief in co-creation, we initiated Big Bang four years ago, and founded L’Oréal China’s investment company Meicifang last year,” he continued. “I am so thrilled to see all our efforts have harvested fruits today: investing in Shinehigh Innovation, our 2022 Big Bang winner. Now Big Bang has been extended to the North Asia Zone, and we expect to invent the future of beauty with more partners in North Asia and the global beauty market.”