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With its newest acquisition, Shiseido hopes to capitalize on the rise of customization and personalization. | Image courtesy: MatchCo.

Shiseido acquires MatchCo and its shade matching service

Shiseido Americas Corporation has acquired U.S. beauty startup MatchCo, which has developed technology that helps beauty shoppers purchase the correct shade of foundation for their skin.

SAC CEO, Marc Rey, has declined to say how much the startup was purchased for or its current sales volume.

“MatchCo is a truly unique company with a transformational technology platform, go-to-market strategy and approach to engaging with consumers,” he said in a statement. “We are very excited to leverage their technology and tools across Shiseido’s brand portfolio and continue to build on their innovation.”

Dave Gross and Andy Howell founded MatchCo. in 2013 as an iPhone app that uses LED technology and an analytical algorithm to give shoppers individually customized foundation from their skin tone.  The app was launched in 2015 and works by scanning, analyzing and creating a custom blend of the correct foundation.

So how does MatchCo really help beauty shoppers find a close-to-perfect foundation match?

Customers first take five scans to analyze their specific skin tone — the inner and outer wrist, forehead and both cheeks. From there the technology matches a shade just for you and a bottle of foundation arrives within 24 to 48 hours. The exact color is stored on your mobile device, but the company also recommends scanning your skin at least two to four times a year “to capture the skin’s ever-changing tone from season to season.”

The product is an all-in-one hydrating foundation (color coverage + primer + moisturizer) that “nourishes your skin every day with naturally-derived ingredients,” MatchCo executives said. The foundation comes with the customer’s name and date it was made printed on the bottle. The ingredients and different ways to apply it can all be found on the MatchCo. website.

In a WWD report, Rey said MatchCo. will remain based in California, with its engineering team in Palo Alto and its marketing and operations team in Santa Monica. Additionally, Gross and Howell will stay with the new entity.

The growth of the new business will take place in an incubator set up in Shiseido’s Global Makeup Center of Excellence, based in New York and run by Jill Scalamandre.

“As part of the Center of Excellence, we look forward to collaborating with the brands in Shiseido’s global portfolio to usher in a new age of personalization” Howell said.

Shiseido plans to use the MatchCo. technology for many of its other makeup brand and skincare categories to become a leader in the growing trends of customization and personalization among beauty consumers.  The company also intends to improve  its direct-t0-consumer marketing through the insights and personal connection the application generates, WWD reports.

By Emily Miller 

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