ELSI Beauty welcomes seed capital and strategic counsel from Sekhmet Ventures

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

Sekhmet Ventures is  now funding microbiome friendly ELSI Beauty © Getty Images \ (metamorworks)
Sekhmet Ventures is now funding microbiome friendly ELSI Beauty © Getty Images \ (metamorworks)

Related tags Venture capital Sensitive skin beauty tech microbiome Startup company Investment

This week, the venture capital firm focused on science-based beauty and wellness businesses announced that it is funding and partnering with ELSI Beauty, a microbiome friendly, sensitive-skin care brand that’s making good use of tech and consumer data.

“In the back office, our main focus is on the microbiome and skin health,” ​Elsa Jungman, founder of ELSI Beauty tells Cosmetics Design.

“We now understand how key a diverse microbiome is in healthy skin,” ​she says. “It is another skin layer and biological parameter that is crucial to take into account for any [product] development and skincare routine.”

“First,” ​explains Jungman, “we want to understand the microbiome in sensitive skin to address it with the best solutions. In the meantime, we have removed all potential antibacterial, irritative ingredients from formulation to be as respectful as we can of our biology.”

Support and funding

“We are excited to announce our partnership with ELSI Beauty,” ​posted Sekhmet Ventures on LinkedIn yesterday.

And Jungman is equally excited. She tells Cosmetics Design, “we love Sekhmet Ventures as they bring the best of what we stand for: science and wellness. The fact that Barbara Paldus [​Founding Partner at Sekhmet Ventures] is a Ph.D., a serial entrepreneur, and passionate about the beauty space herself makes Sekhmet the ideal partner to develop our startup.”

“Sekhmet and other investors’ support is helping us today to: Build our in-house product development; Build international partnerships regarding skin microbiome and sensitive skin research; and Build a curated experience for the customer,” ​says Jungman.

For her part, Paldus explains that “ELSI Beauty understands that the future of skincare is grounded in robust science, and that large portions of the beauty market – in this instance, customers with sensitive skin – still harbor significant unmet needs.”

“We're excited,” ​she says in a media release about the deal, “to help ELSI Beauty build its flagship, personalized product platform and look forward to introducing customers to its superb product line.”

Beauty tech, sensitive skin, and microbiome

ELSI Beauty is a deceptively simple venture. Today, the brand makes one product, with only three ingredients: the Let’s Start Over super moisturizing serum​ is made with squalene, plukenetia volubilis seed oil, and tocopherol.

“At ELSI, we’re co-creating a future where optimal skin health is a reality for everyone,” ​explains Jungman. “Through our unique formulation system - we prioritize how our clean, soothing, and microbiome-kind ingredients interact with one another and with the skin as a whole system.”

Her brand is a mix of smartly formulated skin care and beauty tech. The tech side of the business lets the ELSI Beauty team “interact with our users, understand their insights and habits,” ​Jungman tells Cosmetics Design.

On the skin care – formulation side, she says, “We need to completely change the way we [as an industry] formulate to deliver optimal solutions. We have to account for every ingredient in a formulation, not just the ‘hero ingredient’ but all excipients. [At ELSI,] we want to make sure that our formulations are super gentle, microbiome kind, and made with 10 ingredients max.”

“As more than half of the US identify with sensitive skin, we have the potential to address a huge market,” ​Jungman tells Cosmetics Design.

Learn more about ELSI Beauty in Meet Elsa Jungman, the award-winning entrepreneur building the Stitch-Fix of beauty.



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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