L’Occitane Group is one of the world’s most well-known cosmetic brands. Beloved for its quality and commitment to products that are good for people and the planet, the firm also has a VC entity: Obratori. Let’s get to know more.
While Europe’s startup and innovation ecosystem continue to bring innovative ideas, solutions and products to the market, VC funds are helping to make it happen. Launched in 2019, Obratori is aiming to support more positivity in innovation, backing impact-led projects that are good for the planet and for people. Based in Marseille, it was launched by Reinold Geiger, the Chairman and CEO of L’Occitane Group.
A seasoned entrepreneur, Reinold has created several companies over the course of his celebrated career, but, he found there was something missing – something like Obratori.
Impactful and Positive
In line with the philosophy of L’Occitane Group, Obratori has a societal role to play and a clear mission: to support entrepreneurs to create, to launch, to take risks and to take the first decisive steps.
Obratori invests financial and human capital in innovative startups that share the belief in promoting good for mankind and for the planet. It encourages the emergence of new products and services that will reinvent our daily lives and change our way of living and consuming.
The investment thesis
- It can invest solo or co-invests
- Backs early-stage innovators
- Tickets range from €100k-€300k
- Takes a minority stake, between 5 and 20%
The fund also provides an eye-catching co-working space in the heart of the Euroméditerranée business district of Marseille. This space, dedicated to exchanges between entrepreneurs, has more than 100 workstations, private offices, meeting rooms and common areas. There is also a creative room, prototyping and cosmetics laboratories.
Beyond financing, the firm builds the framework of the startup and ensures its foundations – just like good skincare is the starting point of any beauty routine. It supports product market fit, business and corporate development, recruitment and retention of talents, and impact trajectory to guide, prepare and advise founders.
The aim is to help founders get through each stage of business development, helping them create value and join a collaborative ecosystem. The support is adapted a la carte – so everything is fully tailored and individualised. Just like your skincare should be.
Everything that is good for mankind and for the planet
Obratori backs startups related to the cosmetics and wellbeing industry – and this spans quite a few market areas. So far, the firm is backing 16 startups across different verticals, including:
Ma Formation Medicale: A search engine for continuing education for healthcare professionals. The company operates in a market estimated at €1.3 billion in France and €32 billion worldwide. With more than 100 client training organizations, the company’s ambition is to consolidate its position with independent professionals, to deploy its new offer to health establishments and to digitalize continuing education in the health sector in France.
Medene: An aromatherapy brand that makes everyone feel good, physically, mentally and emotionally. The 100% oil-based products (synergies of virgin and essential oils) offer the purest of nature. Natural, environmentally friendly and skin-friendly formulas – that allow you to reconnect with the best that nature has to offer in its most essential form. The brand now also proposes an online diagnostic to tailor personalized formulas.
Cosmetics and Beauty
Eclo: A 100% natural and regenerative makeup brand that boasts 0% plastic packaging. Eclo integrate regenerative ingredients for soils and oceans such as rye, hemp and seaweed. The raw materials are sourced and transformed locally, in Brittany, based on regenerative ingredients, with superior properties for both the skin and the planet. The aim is not only to develop innovative and sensory products that ensure a satisfying and high-end beauty routine, but also to not harm our natural ecosystem.
LOLO Paris: Given that 42% of women struggle to get the right lingerie size, Lolo has developed an algorithm that allows women to select the ideal size among 57 bra sizes and 10 panty sizes (from 34 to 52). The strength of the brand consists in offering women innovative underwear respectful of their body and the planet which adapts to their morphology and not the other way around.
Bocoloco: A startup which democratizes the deposit in supermarkets through offline-online technology facilitating the buyer and the distributor with a container traced throughout the chain.
Melifera: A premium organic gin with an original flavour that provides a unique and authentic tasting experience, with a subtle floral nose and sweet notes. The company takes its etymological origin from the black bee, Apis Mellifera Mellifera, and works to preserve it.
Cliking: A startup on a mission to help companies manage customer satisfaction through surveys conducted on a touch tablet or via a QR code. The solution provides several key customer satisfaction KPIs and enables teams to discover the level of quality of the customer experience by identifying the strong points and developing areas for improvement with greater visibility.
FunCell: A startup that is developing biobased additives to increase the mechanical performances of cellulose-based materials, including papers, cardboard, textile fibres etc, and to give them new properties. It’s a pioneering alternative to oil-based plastics and additives, saving raw materials and energy.