L’Oréal makes first major investment in Japan with Sparty

By Becky Bargh 24-May-2022

The Japanese beauty brand, which specialises in personalised beauty, is L’Oréal’s first capital investment in the country

L'Oréal's investment in Sparty is its first in Japan

L’Oréal, the world’s largest beauty company, has acquired a minority stake in Japanese start-up Sparty.

The specialists in personalised beauty are based in Tokyo, with brands including Medulla in hair care and skin care name Hotaru.

Sparty’s brands are DTC – an enticing business model for major beauty players.

The move also marks L’Oréal’s first-ever venture capital investment in the Japanese beauty market.

“Japan is one of the most sophisticated and influential beauty markets,” said Jean-Pierre Charriton, L’Oréal Japan’s Chief Executive.

“In Japan, personalised consumer experience is highly valued and we are seeing new trends and innovations when it comes to personalisation, especially in beauty.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Sparty, a pioneer in personalised beauty, as well as a game changer within Japan’s growing DTC market.”

L’Oréal’s venture capital fund Bold [Business Opportunities for L’Oréal Development] was responsible for the acquisition.

Full terms of the deal have not been made public.

Sparty’s founder and CEO, Yosule Miyama, added: “With Sparty’s proven track record in personalisation and L’Oréal’s leadership in the worldwide beauty market, we are confident that we will be able to embark on the next chapter of our growth journey and scale our business even further, both in Japan and overseas, to the fullest potential.”

The announcement comes days after L’Oréal was thought to be on the cusp of acquiring Ben Gorham’s Byredo.

The Swedish entrepreneur’s business is traditionally fragrance, however the brand launched a colour cosmetics line with MUA Isamaya Ffrench at the helm in 2020.

Ffrench made her exit this year to join Burberry’s Beauty team as Global Global Director.

She was replaced by Chanel MUA Lucia Pica.

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A takeover could see Byredo valued at €1bn.

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