French cosmetics giant L’Oreal has invested an undisclosed amount in Fireside Fund II, an early-stage venture capital fund managed by Fireside Ventures.
L’Oreal says that the latest investment aims to support innovative Indian consumer brand startups that have emerged due to the company’s dynamic digital ecosystem and new consumer needs.
The investment was done through the cosmetic company’s corporate venture capital fund Business Opportunities for LOréal Development (BOLD), which was launched in 2018. The company has previously invested in Partech Africa, Founders Factory, Raise Ventures.
Amit Jain, Managing Director, L’Oréal India, said, “India is a strategically important market for L’Oréal and a great place for innovation. With this investment, L’Oréal will further connect to the dynamic ecosystem of Indian startups and work with them on emerging consumer needs to co-create tomorrow’s beauty trends.”
What is Fireside Ventures?
Fireside Ventures, launched in May 2017, focuses on consumer brands across sectors such as food and beverages, personal care, lifestyle and home products, etc. It invests in young startups and supports them by providing access to in-house resources along with a partner and advisor network.
The company invests around $1 Mn in its portfolio companies initially and then participates in the follow-on rounds. The company’s portfolio includes Bombay Shaving Co, Mosquito killer Bog Orchid, Sportswear Azani, skincare company MamaEarth and fashion jewellery brand Pipa Bella, among others. Fireside Ventures has 18 companies in its portfolio.
The company will be using the funds to “in building an ecosystem of deep domain specialist mentors and strategic partners that can help entrepreneurs to scale,” Kanwaljit Singh, managing partner at Fireside Ventures, said.
“Our partnership with BOLD is a testament of the growing trend in the consumer space in India,” he added.
DataLabs by Inc42 noted that in H1 2019, the consumer services market raised $633.5 Mn across 40 deals. From 551 in 2017, the number of seed-stage deals have come down to 331 in 2018, facing a 40% decline. On the other hand, the total amount invested in early-stage startups has gone up by 138%.
Fireside Ventures’ competitors include DSG Consumer Partners, Sixth Sense Ventures and Sauce.vc. Last month, DSG Consumer Partners had closed its third round of funding at $65 Mn, higher than the $50 Mn funding it had anticipated. This investment increased the company’s assets under management to $ 200 Mn.