Ulta Beauty has launched Prisma Ventures, a $20 million fund for emerging retail technology startups (primarily Series Seed and Series A) that address discovery, personalization and convenience via personalized and data-driven technology; AR, VR and the metaverse; technology-powered custom beauty products and in-store services; and social commerce.
Fund participants will have access to Ulta Beauty’s innovation team, consumer insights and in-market testing opportunities.
Applicants for the fund are assessed by alignment with Ulta focus areas, leadership and cultural compatibility, diligence and risk assessment, and business plan and scalability.
To date, Prisma Ventures has partnered with and invested in Haut.ai, Adeptmind, Revea, LUUM and ReStyle, enabling personalization and diagnosis within Ulta Beauty’s digital skin and hair experiences, per the retailer.
Ulta notes that it "does not intend for all investments to directly impact its offerings but where synergies exist, the partners will co-create to bring innovation to the market."
“Ulta Beauty’s investment was a gamechanger, providing us both with an incredible opportunity to test, learn, deploy, and scale our low-code AI innovation platform," said Jon Nordmark, co-founder, and CEO, Iterate.ai. "Ulta Beauty leveraged our platform to create engaging, differentiated experiences for beauty lovers nationwide, plus it added to Iterate’s credibility. The collaborative spirit has been a constant throughout our six-year relationship which grew from a small agreement in 2016 into an eventual investment. Together, we’re pushing the industry forward with incredible AI-, AR-, and IoT-related innovation.”
"Launching Prisma Ventures is yet another way Ulta Beauty innovatively leads and delivers forward-thinking retail experiences," said Prama Bhatt, chief digital officer, Ulta Beauty. "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.”