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08/03/2022

Ulta Beauty launches venture fund

Marianne Wilson
Editor-in-Chief
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Ulta Beauty storefront
Ulta Beauty has launched a tech-focused venture fund.

Ulta Beauty has joined the VC world.

The beauty giant’s new Primsa Ventures digital innovation fund is set to invest $20 million in emerging technology startups in retail and beauty that seek to fuel greater discovery, personalization and convenience.

The fund partners with early-stage startups that are primarily Series Seed and Series A technology companies within the following areas: personalized and data-driven technologyAR, VR and the metaverse; technology-powered custom beauty products and in-store services; and social commerce.

“We believe this fund presents opportunities for creative disruptors to further propel the industry forward,” said Prama Bhatt, chief digital officer, Ulta Beauty. “We set out to build lasting relationships with startups, welcoming them into our ecosystem, co-creating and experimenting in ways that tap each other’s expertise and ultimately leverage our resources to imagine – and reimagine – what’s next for retail and beauty.” 

Since its announcement at Ulta Beauty’s 2021 investor day, Prisma Ventures has partnered with and invested in a variety of start-ups including Haut.ai, Adeptmind, Revea, LUUM, and ReStyle. To date, the investments have enabled greater personalization and diagnosis within Ulta Beauty’s digital skin and hair experiences.  The company noted it does not intend for all investments to directly impact its offerings but where synergies exist, the partners will co-create to bring innovation to the market. 

Ulta Beauty’s venture capital fund joins a growing number of VC funds created in the retail space.  n April, Amazon announced the launch of a $1 billion venture investment program for logistics and fulfillment technology. Also in April, Chipotle Mexican Grill launched Cultivate Next, a $50 million venture fund to foster innovation in restaurant operations. And In May, The Home Depot launched a $150 million venture capital fund.