L’Oréal’s corporate venture capital fund BOLD has made a minority investment in Digital Village, a metaverse-as-a-service platform and NFT marketplace.
The US-based company specialises in technologies that enable the creation and interaction of digital identities and assets in virtual worlds.
It was founded in 2021 by Evelyn Mora, a former digital and sustainability consultant and founder of the digital Helsinki Fashion Week.
The move marks the French beauty giant's first venture capital investment in the metaverse and web3 space.
It is also the first investment made by BOLD's (which stands for Business Opportunities for L’Oréal Development) Female Founders initiative, which was launched in 2022.
The Venture Reality Fund (VR Fund), a Silicon Valley-based tech VC firm, co-led the seed financing round in Digital Village alongside BOLD.
“As L’Oréal continues to explore and define what beauty means in web3, we seek to work with the most promising start-ups who adhere to the highest possible visual and technical standards,” said Camille Kroely, Chief Metaverse & Web3 Officer at L’Oréal.
“We are excited to be partnering with Digital Village, whose solutions will be powerful enablers for our brands and whose ideals of sustainability, accessibility and interoperability in the metaverse or web3 are ones we share.”
Mora added: “We are excited to be backed by BOLD and look forward to collaborating with L'Oréal to revolutionise the beauty industry through the creation of cutting-edge virtual experiences for L'Oréal's renowned brands.
“Together, we are setting the bar for beauty in the metaverse and web3, pushing the boundaries of what is possible and setting a new standard for the industry to follow.”
L’Oréal lays down digital intentions for 2023
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BOLD’s minority investment in Digital Village follows L'Oréal's investment earlier this month in Prinker, the Korean tech start-up with which it collaborated on its L’Oréal Brow Magic applicator, showcased at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES).
CES 2023 also saw L’Oréal launch its HAPTA device, a smart make-up applicator developed for users with limited hand and arm mobility.