Ulta Beauty Launches Emerging Tech Fund to Boost in-Store and Online Innovation

Ulta Beauty

Cosmetics and skincare retailer Ulta Beauty is looking to improve its online and in-store experiences via the launch of a new $20 million innovation fund that will investment in emerging technology startups.

According to a Wednesday (Aug. 3) company press release, the new Prisma Ventures will invest in tech startups working to improve online and in-store experiences.

The announcement comes on the heels of some recent new and expanded partnerships for Ulta as it looks to expand its brand and customer reach.

“Launching Prisma Ventures is yet another way Ulta Beauty innovatively leads and delivers forward-thinking retail experiences,” Ulta Beauty Chief Digital Officer Prama Bhatt said in the press release. “We believe this fund presents opportunities for creative disruptors to further propel the industry forward.

“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,” she said.

Prisma Ventures brings Ulta’s size and scale together with the agility and singular focus on tech startups, adding new capital investments and expertise to the emerging company’s portfolios. Participants will have access to Ulta Beauty’s innovation team, consumer insights and in-market testing opportunities, the press release says.

Prisma Ventures has partnered with and invested in startups since first being announced last year, including Haut.ai, Adeptmind, Revea, LUUM and ReStyle, adding greater personalization and diagnosis within Ulta Beauty’s digital skin and hair experiences, according to the release.

Related: Honest Co, Ulta Expand Partnership

Earlier this week, Ulta expanded its partnership with Honest Beauty, the skincare and makeup brand founded by actress and businesswoman Jessica Alba, to include more than 635 stores. Honest Beauty has also teamed with Ulta for the launch of a new skincare line, the Honest Beauty Clearing Collection.

Also read: Ulta Beauty Boosts Customers Experiences, Shuffles Stores

In May, Ulta Beauty reported increases across the board in the first quarter of fiscal 2022, with net sales of $2.3 billion for the three months ending April 30, up 21% from the same time in 2021, while comparable sales increased 18% year over year.

 The company raised its outlook for fiscal 2022 after a strong first quarter. Buoyed by its first-quarter performance, Ulta boosted its outlook for fiscal 2022, including raising its net sales projection from $9.05 billion to $9.35 billion.

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