Shiseido Americas acquires AI tech company Giaran

By Deanna Utroske contact

- Last updated on GMT

Shiseido Americas acquires AI tech company Giaran
The deal brings advanced artificial intelligence technologies to the beauty company. And Shiseido intends to take full advantage of the company’s tech tools and data capabilities.

Acquiring Giaran is right in line with the beauty maker’s current outlook. Speaking at a CEW conference last month in New York City, Marc Rey, president and CEO of Shiseido Americas, told attendees that “If I really want to create a competitive advantage, I need to look outside the beauty industry….We look at how to disrupt, why to disrupt, and how disrupters work,” ​as Cosmetics Design reported​. He went on to highlight the innovative business models of startups like Uber, Capsule, and programs around the country where doctors are using VR to reduce pain. ​

More digital beauty is on the way

Shiseido brand bareMinerals launched an app earlier this year​ on the MATCHCo platform. Commenting to the press about the new MADE-2-FIT app, ​Jill Scalamandre, president of the Global Shiseido Make-up Center of Excellence, pointed out that bareMinerals is “known for creating innovative formulas with pure, nourishing ingredients, the company has been connecting with its customers in meaningful, forward-thinking ways for over 40 years. For that reason,” ​​she believes, “bareMinerals is an ideal partner for MATCHCo: Together, they're looking to fundamentally change the way consumers shop and experience cosmetics.”​​

With Giaran on board there will be a lot more digital innovation coming from Shiseido brands in the months and years ahead. “Raymond and the Giaran team have created truly novel AI technologies for cosmetic applications, and we are thrilled to welcome them to the Shiseido family,”​ says Rey in a media release about the deal. 

“Building on our acquisition of MATCHCo earlier this year, Giaran will provide Shiseido with immediate expertise and advanced technologies to further expand our digital capabilities, while also allowing for greater consumer intimacy through personalized offerings and enhanced user experiences. We share Giaran’s philosophy that digital is a mindset rather than a tool, and we look forward to bringing more disruptive innovation to reinvent the beauty industry business model.”

Tech that’s ready made for cosmetics and personal care

Giaran already knows a lot about the world of digital beauty. The Boston, Massachusetts – based company uses its computer vision, big data, AR, deep learning, data mining, and predictive modeling capabilities to develop virtual makeover tools, color matching, skin tone detection, face tracking, and product recommendations.

The company got its start last year as a spinoff of Northeastern University’s Synergetic Media Learning Lab. Now, as part of Shiseido, Giaran will be part of the company’s Makeup Center of Excellence, working closely with Shiseido’s Global Digital Center of Excellence in New York as well as with the Shiseido global technology team in Tokyo, Japan. 

Raymond Fu, founder and president of Giaran calls the deal “an extremely exciting move for Giaran at a pivotal moment in beauty.”

His comments in the media release go on: “Shiseido shares our belief that in today’s fast-changing market, continuous evolution of product and consumer-centric innovation are key to deepening relationships with consumers and finding new fans....Giaran has great respect and admiration for Shiseido’s long-held commitment to science and innovation. We are very pleased to be joining such a passionate, talented and creative group of people to shape Shiseido's technological revolution and the future of beauty.”

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