French beauty giant L’Oreal, French business school HEC Paris and Meta have teamed up to launch a metaverse startup accelerator.
The 6-month program will support at least five startups specializing in the creation of products related to the metaverse, including 3D production, augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), mixed reality, avatar creation, user experience portability, token economy and other related topics.
According to Vogue Business, these startups need not necessarily belong to the beauty sector. The program will take place in Meta’s space at the startup campus, Station F, in Paris.
Once a train depot, Station F is now a business incubator located in the 13th arrondissement and is considered the largest startup campus in the world.
Applications for the accelerator program are open from now until November 20.
A jury composed of members of Meta, L’Oréal and HEC, as well as investors and entrepreneurs, will select the startups in December.
Participating startups will have access to mentors, investors and industry experts in the program that will run from January to June 2023.
“If you look at Web2, live streaming, image recognition, voice, cloud … that’s all very vibrant,” L’Oréal marketing and digital director Asmita Dubey told Vogue Business. “It’s a highly charged digital space. Social commerce is booming for us. There’s a strong foundation for Web2 deployment. And we’re very excited about Web3 and the metaverse. We’re moving from O+O (online + offline), to O+O+O (online + offline + on-chain).”
This isn’t the first time L’Oreal and Meta have worked together, as the two companies announced a platform integration last year that uses Modiface, an AR beauty company owned by L’Oreal, to power makeup tests on Instagram. “We are convinced that the acquisition of Modiface is a competitive advantage as we enter the Web3 and metaverse,” Kroely told Vogue Business.
L’Oreal recently appointed Camille Kroely as director of metaverse and Web3, a newly created position that aims to help L’Oreal enter this space responsibly.
Brands and Web3
Despite the overall market downturn, fashion, beauty and luxury brands continue to bet on Web3 with investments in startups, collaborations and new product launches in this space.
Today, luxury luggage brand Rimowa unveiled a collaboration with Nike-owned digital fashion studio RTFKT to launch NFTs on October 27 that can be used to redeem a physical suitcase during a forge event on December 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.
In February, L’Oreal filed brand applications with Web3 on behalf of 17 of its subsidiaries as it prepares to enter the metaverse.
Other brands that have launched Web3 projects include YSL Beauty, which launched a tokenized website in June, and NYX Professional Makeup, which partnered with People of Crypto Lab for an NFT avatar delivery.
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