L’Oréal invests in US biotech company Debut
Global beauty giant L’Oréal has bought a minority stake in US biotech company Debut, a specialist in synthetic biology. The value of this operation, which was carried out through the Bold (Business Opportunities for L’Oréal Development) venture capital fund, focused on acquiring minority stakes in innovative start-ups, has not been disclosed.
Debut is based in San Diego, California, and specialises in manufacturing innovative ingredients using a so-called cell-free approach. A method that reportedly makes it possible to generate complex natural ingredients which cannot be manufactured by fermentation alone, such as for example natural dyes known for their antioxidant, anti-ageing properties. This branch of synthetic biology, which reduces manufacturing complexity and increases product output volumes, makes it possible to develop new ingredients in six weeks.
“Debut addresses one of the beauty world’s fundamental challenges: driving innovation without the resource-intensity and environmental impact that comes with relying on traditional manufacturing alone. Cell-free biomanufacturing is not science fiction: it is here. We could not be more excited to be the first beauty company to invest in this technology with Debut,” said Barbara Lavernos, deputy CEO in charge of research, innovation and technology at L’Oréal.
In April, L’Oréal, again via Bold, invested in DSG Consumer Partners IV, a venture capital company that supports start-up development in South-East Asia and India.
In Q1, L’Oréal recorded a revenue of €10.38 billion, equivalent to a 14.6% rise over the same period a year earlier.
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