L’Oreal, Meta and HEC Paris Team Up to Launch Metaverse Startup Accelerator

The accelerator will support startups specialising in building products related to the metaverse.
Image source: L’Oreal

Quick take:

  • The accelerator program will support at least five startups specialising in 3D, AR, VR, avatar creation and more.
  • The program will be hosted at Meta’s space at the startup campus, Station F, in Paris.
  • It will run from January to June 2023.

French beauty giant L’Oreal, French business school HEC Paris, and Meta have teamed up to launch a metaverse startup accelerator, Vogue Business first reported.

The 6-month program will support at least five startups specialising in building products related to the metaverse, including 3D production, augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), mixed reality, avatar creation, portability in user experience, token economy and other related topics.

According to Vogue Business, these startups do not have to be in the beauty industry. The program will be hosted at Meta’s space at the startup campus, Station F, in Paris. Formerly a railway depot, Station F is now a business incubator located in the 13th arrondissement and is widely regarded as the world’s biggest startup campus.

Applications for the accelerator program are open from now until Nov 20. A jury made up of Meta, L’Oréal and HEC members as well as investors and entrepreneurs will select the startups in December. Participating startups will have access to mentorship, investors and industry experts in the program running from January to June 2023.

Despite the general market downturn, fashion, beauty and luxury brands are still diving into Web3 with investments in startups, collaborations, and new product launches in the space. 

Today, luxury luggage brand Rimowa unveiled a collaboration with Nike-owned digital fashion studio, RTFKT, to drop NFTs on Oct 27 that can be used to redeem a physical suitcase during a forging event on Dec 15.

Last week, luxury fashion e-commerce retailer Farfetch announced the first cohort of startups for its Dream Assembly Base Camp accelerator program as they work to shape the future of Web3 luxury commerce.

L’Oreal filed Web3 trademark applications on behalf of 17 of its subsidiaries in February as the company readies its move into the metaverse. Several brands under its umbrella have already launched Web3 projects. These include YSL Beauty which launched a token-gated webpage in June, and NYX Professional Makeup, which partnered with People of Crypto Lab for an avatar NFT drop. 

“If you look at Web2, live streaming, image recognition, voice, cloud — all of that is very vibrant,” L’Oréal chief digital and marketing officer Asmita Dubey told Vogue Business. “It’s a very charged digital space. Social commerce is booming for us. There is a strong base for Web2 deployment. And we are very excited about Web3 and the metaverse. We are moving from O+O (online + offline), to O+O+O (online + offline + on chain).”

Recently, L’Oreal appointed Camille Kroely as chief metaverse and Web3 officer, a newly created role that’s meant to help L’Oreal enter the space responsibly. 

This is not L’Oreal and Meta’s first time working together as both companies announced a platform integration last year that uses Modiface, a L’Oreal-owned AR beauty company, to power Instagram makeup try-ons. “We are convinced that the acquisition of Modiface is a competitive advantage when we enter Web3 and the metaverse,” said Kroely to Vogue Business.

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