Evonik Venture Capital regularly invests in beauty

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images \ (Foryou13)
© Getty Images \ (Foryou13)

Related tags Investment Specialty chemical company beauty tech materials

In 2012, the specialty chemical company established an in-house venture capital firm. Over the intervening years, the company has invested in nearly 20 businesses, many of which promise to influence the future of the cosmetics and personal care industry.

Modern day capitalism relies heavily on the investment economy. So it’s no surprise that businesses up and down the beauty supply chain are investing in related ventures to build wealth and stimulate growth.

In recent months, headlines here on CosmeticsDesign.com have included news of ingredient maker Lubrizol investing in indie beauty brands​, how the fragrance startup Phlur acquired Texas Beauty Labs and is itself receiving funding from Symrise​, and about Silas Capital’s multimillion dollar investment in the popular skin care brand Herbivore.

What is Evonik Venture Capital investing in?
Evonik isn’t investing in startup beauty brands or specialized manufacturing facilities. With €250 million under management, Evonik invests globally, almost always acquiring a minority stake, and in 4 areas: health and care, smart materials, animal nutrition, and specialty additives (according to the ‘investment focus’ page on Evonik.com).

In short, the company’s investment focus is to “invest in young companies with innovative technology and high growth potential in the field of specialty chemicals,”​ according to that same web page.

Which startups has the company invested in?
Of the 19 startups that Evonik Venture Capital has invested in over the past 7 years, 5 have clear implications for the beauty industry.

Biosynthetic Technologies, for instance, serves several industries including personal care with an ingredient called BT BioEstolide​ that is said to impart sensory benefits, oxidative and hydrolytic stability properties, as well as function as an emollient, thickening agent, solvent, or surfactant.

A company called Velox​ specializes in digital decoration technology that beauty packagers can use to make mass-produced packaging and filling systems more efficient.

NutraFerm produces antimicrobial and adhesive peptides.​ According to that company’s website, “Because of their antimicrobial effects AMPs play an important role in the development of new generation of antibiotics and pesticides, but also increasingly in the keeping of farm animals, aquaculture, production of modern cosmetics, preservatives for the food industry or technical substances such as coatings.”

Evonik has invested in beauty tech too. mySkin makes product recommendations based on data​ about people with similar skin. The algorithm finds each customer’s so-called skin twin: “We look at your product experiences and preferences, and those of people who are just like you, to identify those most effective. Our approach is based on the idea that, when someone is just like you, a product that works for her (or him) is very likely to work for you too,”​ explains the startup’s about page.  

JeNaCell makes nanocellulose​ for the cosmetics, dermatology, and medical industries. The material, which is used for sheet mask products of every shape, size, and variety has (according to the company product page) “very good skin compatibility,” ​is “soft,” “smooth,” ​and “breathable,” ​and has a “high storage capacity for cosmetic active ingredients.”

Evonik has also been putting money into 7 other funds (Digital+ Partners, Emerald Technology Ventures, GRS SinoGreen Fund, Gründerfonds Ruhr, High-Tech Gruenderfonds, Hosen Capital Fund, Pangaea Ventures Fund, and Tech Council Ventures II), which in turn are invested in any number of businesses pertinent to the beauty industry.



Deanna Utroske, CosmeticsDesign.com Editor, covers beauty business news in the Americas region and publishes the weekly Indie Beauty Profile column, showcasing the inspiring work of entrepreneurs and innovative brands.

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