Making Science

Unilever targets start-ups and scale-ups with Positive Beauty Growth Platform launch

David Murphy

Unilever has launched the Positive Beauty Growth Platform, which will see the consumer good giant partner with scale-ups and start-ups to drive innovation and brand growth. 

The Positive Beauty Growth Platform is led by Unilever’s Beauty & Personal Care Division, home to global brands such as Dove, AXE and Love Beauty & Planet, and The Unilever Foundry, the company’s collaborative innovation network. The Foundry has piloted over 400 start-up projects to date, including collaborations with AI-powered skincare engine HelloAva, and cleaning services marketplace Helpling. 

Through a series of pitch competitions and entrepreneurial challenges, the Positive Beauty Growth Platform invites the very best scale-ups and start-ups from around the world to collaborate on projects at the forefront of innovation and technology in the beauty industry.  

The main focus of the initiative is social commerce, which Unilever defines as “the integration of social media and eCommerce, using social platforms to sell and promote products and services.

According to a 2021 study carried out by
Grand View Research, The global social commerce market is expected to reach nearly $3,369.8bn billion by 2028, with the beauty and personal care segment projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 28.4 per cent between 2021-2028.

To bring this growth opportunity to life, the Positive Beauty Growth Platform is especially interested in partnering with entrepreneurs, from seed start-ups to late-stage scale-ups, in the field of livestream commerce, shoppable media, group buying and gaming commerce. Successful teams will be given the opportunity to pilot their idea in collaboration with some of the world’s leading beauty brands.  

“Collaboration in the mega-trends of the future is a strategic imperative for Unilever”, said Sunny Jain, President Beauty & Personal Care at Unilever. “Building a thriving two-way relationship with the global start-up community helps power innovation and experimentation, deliver business solutions and fuel growth. The Positive Beauty Growth Platform has been designed to do just that. By harnessing start-ups’ disruptive approach, we will help future-proof our brands by pioneering into new spaces shaping the beauty industry.” 

Unilever said the new initiative reflects its Positive Beauty Vision for a new era of beauty which is equitable and inclusive, as well as sustainable for the planet.