The crossroads of AI and beauty and the customization trend continue to reshape the consumer experience and drive brand activities. Shiseido Americas Corporation has acquired California tech startup MatchCo, which has created a mobile app that allows consumers to scan their skin tones in order to generate a custom foundation based directly on their individual data.
MatchCo will remain based in California, but will become part of Shiseido’s Global Makeup Center of Excellence in New York, which is led by Jill Scalamandre. Shiseido's purchase highlights the ways in which it hopes to reshape its business:
- Boosting on-demand customization of cosmetics beyond just skin care
- Improving tech for skin assessment/analysis
- Increasing direct marketing to consumers, which is a strategic strength of smaller beauty brands
- Gathering consumer insights to enhance the effectiveness of marketing
The MatchCo app is distributed through Apple’s App Store and was featured as "Best New App" and "Best of November" at launch in November 2015.
"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, A.I. for Beauty."
“We are thrilled to welcome MATCHCo, a company possessing innovative digital technologies, into our Group," said Shiseido CEO Masahiko Uotani. "Creating innovations is an area of special strategic focus for Shiseido Group, and we look forward to offering more unique value to consumers around the world. This will now be made possible through accelerated innovation in rapidly evolving digital tools and customized products.”
"MatchCo is a truly unique company with a transformational technology platform, go-to-market strategy and approach to engaging with consumers," said SAC CEO Marc Rey. "We are very excited to leverage their technology and tools across Shiseido’s brand portfolio and continue to build on their innovation."
"Shiseido is the perfect platform to increase our product offering and expand our technology," said Dave Gross, founder and CEO of MatchCo. "We are honored to join an organization that has such a rich heritage of innovation. We look forward to working with our new colleagues in addressing the individual needs of each and every customer in a way never before possible."
"Today our MatchCo customer experiences her own bespoke foundation individually made to match her skin tone from the comfort of her own phone, but this is just the beginning," said Andy Howell, founder and chief strategy officer of MatchCo. "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, A.I. for Beauty."