L’Oreal, which makes Armani perfume and Biotherm cream, said on Tuesday that it was investing in an early stage fund managed by private equity firm Partech Ventures, making its second investment in digital and technology start-ups in less than a year. It is investing several million Euros in the fund, along with companies like Accenture, Nokia and the United States’ Cisco. It did not give a precise figure.
Partech Ventures, which is based in Paris and has offices in Berlin and San Francisco, previously invested in websites such as furniture retailer made.com and restaurant booking specialist lafourchette.com.
“These investments in new technology will … enrich our brands and their communication, as well as other aspects such as supply chain, research and innovation,” L’Oreal Chief Digital Officer Lubomira Rochet.
L’Oreal made more than 5 percent of its sales online in the year 2015. Its digital team, which counted some 150 people five years ago, now totals more than 1,000 people along with hundreds hired this year.
In 2015 L’Oreal spent approx 25.5 percent of its advertising budget on digital communications and it is expected to grow as more consumers, particularly in regions like Middle East, use the Internet for beauty tips and purchases. It is expected that digitization will be more beneficial for the France based firm.
“Digital has become the heart of the group’s marketing strategy,” said Rochet.
Leading markets for e-commerce were the United States, China, Germany and the United Kingdom while e-commerce sales are also rising fast in countries such as Russia and Indonesia, Rochet said.