Shiseido launches LIFT Venture Fund for ‘innovative early-stage company’ investments

By Cassandra Stern

- Last updated on GMT

“We have a unique view of where the broader personal beauty and wellness industry is going, and as part of our vision, we are committed to supporting, mentoring, and empowering like-minded entrepreneurs in the space,” said Carla Ruiz, EVP, Global M&A & Shiseido LIFT Ventures. © whyframestudio Getty Images
“We have a unique view of where the broader personal beauty and wellness industry is going, and as part of our vision, we are committed to supporting, mentoring, and empowering like-minded entrepreneurs in the space,” said Carla Ruiz, EVP, Global M&A & Shiseido LIFT Ventures. © whyframestudio Getty Images

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The newly founded limited liability company will focus on companies in the beauty wellness space focused on ‘novel technologies, innovative platforms, high-growth brands, and new business models.’

As part of its medium to long-term growth strategy “SHIFT 2025 AND BEYOND,” global cosmetics company Shiseido has launched venture fund Shiseido Long Term Investments for the Future (LIFT) Ventures to support its plan to become a personal beauty wellness business by 2023.

The newly founded limited liability company will “be a vehicle for investing in innovative early-stage companies within the beauty wellness space​,” and is “focused on investing behind novel technologies, innovative platforms, high-growth brands, and new business models, among others​,” shared the company’s press announcement.

To learn more about the venture fund launch, including the company’s inaugural investments and plans for further expansion and development in the personal care product space, CosmeticsDesign spoke with Carla Ruiz, EVP, Global M&A & Shiseido LIFT Ventures, for her insights.

LIFT Ventures background 

LIFT Ventures was created “to provide Shiseido another avenue to partner with exciting new beauty and wellness start-up companies​,” as “innovation is critical to the future of Shiseido and the beauty industry more broadly, and supporting, mentoring, and empowering new businesses is an important component of our future roadmap​,” Ruiz explained.

Further, she added, the venture fund is an essential tenet of Shiseido’s long-term growth strategy because “with a +150-year legacy and a diverse, global portfolio of exceptional brands, Shiseido has the experience and credibility to share our unique perspectives as we forge strategic partnerships to help like-minded entrepreneurs scale and achieve long-term growth​.”

She also said that LIFT Ventures will potentially solve some industry challenges and pain points. “Venture stage start-ups are pioneering some of the most cutting-edge technologies that have the power to transform the beauty and wellness space, bringing the highest-quality products to everyday routines​,” she said.

However, “the beauty industry is highly competitive and achieving sustainable growth is challenging​,” she continued. Therefore, according to Ruiz, “through LIFT, Shiseido can provide the platform and resources entrepreneurs and innovators need to support innovation and future growth in the industry​” and diversify its company portfolio in line with “SHIFT 2025 AND BEYOND.”

Inaugural investments

Shiseido’s LIFT Ventures plans to “focus on a wide spectrum of investment opportunities including high-growth brands in beauty wellness, investments in novel technologies, innovative platforms, and new business models, among others​,” Ruiz said.

Aligned with its vision to become a personal beauty wellness company by the beginning of the next decade, the limited liability company “accelerates Shiseido’s continued focus on innovation and represents a natural extension of our commitment to drive the future of beauty and wellness​,” she explained, adding that “we have a unique view of where the broader personal beauty and wellness industry is going, and as part of our vision, we are committed to supporting, mentoring, and empowering like-minded entrepreneurs in the space​.”

LIFT Ventures’ inaugural investments are focused on “Phi Therapeutics, Inc. (“Phyla”), a pioneer in bacteriophage technology and in Patrick Kidd Holdings Pty Ltd. (“Patricks”), a men’s grooming brand with an elevated lifestyle approach​,” the company’s press release stated. “Phyla is based in San Francisco, California and was founded by Yug Varma, PhD. Patricks is based in Sydney, Australia and was founded by Patrick and Aimee Kidd​,” added the release.

About the investments, Ruiz shared that “both Phyla and Patricks are impressive organizations focused on pioneering beauty wellness solutions​.” Phyla was selected because the company “aligns with our core value of creating innovative solutions to common beauty problems and is supported by groundbreaking innovation in acne with further potential across additional skin concerns​,” she explained. Patricks was chosen because the organization “represents an opportunity to support a creative lifestyle brand that is actively pushing the boundaries of the growing prestige men’s category​.”

Next steps for Shiseido

Moving forward, “in the near term, we are focused on our new partnerships with Phyla and Patricks, two incredible brands at the forefront of their respective categories​,” Ruiz stated, and “looking ahead​,” she continued, “we will continue to pursue new and unique partnerships​.”

With the creation of LIFT Ventures​,” Ruiz concluded, “Shiseido is committed to partnering with exciting new businesses to support innovation and future growth in our industry​.” She further emphasized that “innovation is critical to our future, and Shiseido remains dedicated to supporting, mentoring, and empowering like-minded entrepreneurs to make a positive impact in beauty and wellness​,” adding that the company will continue to make “our investment decisions on the uniqueness of the investments themselves​” moving forward.

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