Pure Beauty

Il Makiage owner Oddity acquires biotech start-up Revela for $76 million

By Alessandro Carrara | Published: 27-Apr-2023

Oddity will also create Oddity Labs in Boston through an additional $25m investment, helping to create new innovations in the biotech space

Il Makiage owner Oddity has acquired biotechnology start-up brand Revela for US$76m.

Revela, founded in 2021, specialises in discovering new molecules for the beauty and wellness industries.

Oddity will also create a dedicated research facility in the form of Oddity Labs in Boston, US, through an additional $25m investment.

Through the acquisition and the new lab, the direct-to-consumer Revela aims to bring new drug discovery technology into the beauty and wellness industry

Oddity is best known for Il Makiage’s shade matching tool, which launched in the UK in 2020.

It then acquired Voyage81 in 2021, which brought its Hyperspectral Imaging Systems technology which allows a smartphone camera to see 31 wavelengths of light.

The company also hosts Kenzza shopping platform, along with Powermatch, an AI which uses algorithms to recommend products catered to specific consumer needs.

Investing into Revela was not a “risk”, said Lindsay Drucker Mann, Chief Financial Officer of Oddity to Cosmetics Business, as Oddity was confident in the benefits artificial Intelligence-based molecule research could bring to beauty.

Boston was also an “obvious” choice to establish Oddity Labs, continued Drucker Mann, as more than 15% of the global biotech sector is concentrated in that area.

“We know that this was a really strong way for us to deploy our capital,” added Drucker Mann. 

“We are very profitable, and for moments like this we can play offence and go after capabilities that really differentiate us versus a very crowded playing field.”

Oddity acquired Il Makiage in 2017

Oddity acquired Il Makiage in 2017

But the sale of Revela was something that its co-owner Evan Zhao had not anticipated in his overarching business plan.

“Three months ago, when I first started talking to Oran Holtzman [Oddity’s co-founder and CEO] we had no intention of selling the company,” said Zhao

“We were building a great company, we had a lot of great initial traction and importantly, I told the entire team multiple times there is no way we could sell to a beauty company.”

But Zhao was impressed with Holtzman’s knowledge on tech and desire to invest into new innovations.

“I did not feel like I was talking to a person in the beauty industry, I felt the same energy that I felt talking to my friends in tech.

“I saw that over and over again, in every single meeting, and I really felt that energy.”

The transaction is currently subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, but the deal is expected to close in the second quarter of 2023.

“With the acquisition of Revela, we are doubling down on innovation but this time around science-backed product development and bringing proven pharma-grade technology to beauty and wellness,” added Holtzman.

“Not just for one ingredient or to solve one pain point – but with a platform that spans categories, use cases and form factors.

“We believe the combination of Oddity’s dominant direct-to-consumer platform and scaling machine with Revela’s biotechnology will be a game changer for the industry.”

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