Sophim, a family company specialized in natural ingredients for cosmetics and personal care, recently completed a €20 million funding round that will double the company's production capacity at two industrial sites — one located in Peyruis, in the south of France, and the other in Almeria, Spain — and accelerate its international development. Smalt Capital is the only financial investor in this €4.5 million funding round, alongside banking support and funding in recovery bonds.
According to Cécile Pinatel, marketing and communication manager at Sophim, the timing is right, as the market has shifted toward naturally derived solutions for squalane. This positions Sophim's olive-derived Phytosqualan (INCI: Squalane) for success and secures the supply of the ingredient for the industry. "We want to become the reliable supplier [for vegetal squalane]," Pinatel said, adding that the company will also explore new sources for plant-derived squalane.
Furthermore, Alexis Margnat, managing director of Sophim, underscored the importance of not only an increased capacity, but in thinking greener by reducing energy costs and byproducts. For example, the company chose to improve its existing intermediate process, which is better for the environment. "It is a more expensive investment up front," Margnat noted, "... but the idea is not [just] to produce more, but to produce better."
Sophim's ingredients are distributed in more than 60 countries. Present in France, Spain and Asia, the company supports customers in their transition to greater naturality with ingredients that are of natural, renewable and competitive origin. Sophim's flagship product, Phytosqualan, is COSMOS approved, 100% of vegetable origin and follows the principles of the circular economy by recovering olive fatty acids — a material that has, per the company, been poorly recovered — from a local supply to reduce the carbon footprint.
"In our rapidly growing environment, sustainable development must remain a priority," said Margnat. "Ecological responsibility is at our heart and has always been an essential element in the development of our business project."