L’ORÉAL ACCELERATES IN GREEN SCIENCES WITH THE ACQUISITION OF A MINORITY STAKE
IN FRENCH BIOTECH, MICROPHYT
Clichy, 29 November 2022 – L’Oréal and the French biotech, Microphyt, announce a strategic partnership in which L’Oréal’s venture capital fund, BOLD (Business Opportunities for L’Oréal Development), acquires a minority stake in Microphyt.
This partnership is an additional proof point of L’Oréal’s Research and Innovation strategy towards Greens Science and its investment in innovative biotech start-ups in France, and across the world. This proactive strategy is at the heart of L’Oréal’s 2030 sustainable development program, including the objective that 95% of its ingredients will be bio-sourced, derived from abundant minerals or from circular processes.
Microphyt, founded in 2007 and based in the city Baillargues (in the Hérault region), has developed a revolutionary process with a low carbon impact to produce microalgae – microscopic plant organisms used in cosmetics, among other fields, for their active properties and functional qualities.
Thanks to this patented process and its control of natural stimuli (such as light, salt, nutrients, temperature variation, etc.) Microphyt is among the companies that produce, on a large scale and in a controlled manner, the widest varieties of microalgae in the world. Microphyt has an integrated platform that transforms the microalgae and thus develops natural and renewable ingredients that are perfectly aligned with L’Oréal’s sustainable ambitions.
L’Oréal and Microphyt will build a technological platform and will bring material and human resources together to create raw materials from microalgae biomass. The ambition of both companies is to establish a long-term partnership for the development of new cosmetic solutions.
This tie up comes after several strategic scientific partnerships recently forged by L’Oréal to strengthen its pioneering Green Sciences ecosystem of Beauty, including the precision-health heavyweight VERILY, the National Institute for Materials Sciences (NIMS) in Japan, the Singapore Centre for Environmental Life Sciences Engineering (SCELSE) or the Laboratoire de Chimie des Polymères Organiques (LCPO) in Bordeaux.
“Our ambition is to collaborate across the world with the most disruptive scientific entities in Green Sciences, in order to collectively develop responsible innovations on a large scale and make them available to as many people as possible”, explains Barbara Lavernos, Deputy CEO, in charge of Research, Innovation and Technology, L’Oréal Group. “We are very pleased to pursue this new partnership with Microphyt, which will enable us, thanks to its unique natural solutions derived from microalgae, to further accelerate our drive towards more sustainable beauty”.
For Microphyt, this partnership with L’Oréal reinforces its strategic roadmap. Since the accomplishment in 2019 of one of the largest fundraisings in its sector, with Bpifrance through its SPI fund and by Sofinnova Partners, Microphyt strongly accelerated the development and the marketing of natural ingredients drawn from microalgae for nutrition and cosmetics. In the last 18 months, Microphyt has launched 3 innovative active ingredients in cosmetics and has started the commercialization of its first two patented ingredients in nutrition on the American market of food supplements.
“We are delighted with this partnership with L’Oréal, which is fully in line with Microphyt’s ambition to give the largest number of people access to natural solutions drawn from microalgae,” says Vincent Usache, Managing Director of Microphyt. “The technological platform in an ‘extended lab’ mode is perfectly complementary to our own activities. With L’Oréal, this new technological platform will help us speed up the development of eco-designed ingredients, as well as facilitate the scale-up of our production”.