The buzz around artificial intelligence has touched almost every industry, from technology Unpleasant restaurantsand the beauty industry is no different.
Oddity, a data-driven beauty platform, is one of the companies that has shown great interest in using AI technology. Parent company Il Makiage and SpoiledChild recently announced it has acquired Boston-based Revela, a biotech startup that uses an AI-powered tool to research ingredients and research new formulations.
The deal, worth $76 million, belongs to Oddity largest acquisition to date and will be accompanied by an additional $25 million investment to fund Oddity Labs, a biotechnology center.
“We’re doubling down on this innovation, but this time we’re using biotechnology to discover the most exciting, promising, functional ingredients for consumers,” Oddity CFO Lindsay Drucker Mann told Yahoo Finance Live (video above). “This is technology that has already proven itself in pharma. Today we are harnessing that power and unleashing it for beauty and wellness indications.”
The total investment of more than $100 million aims to bring AI-based molecule discovery, commonly used in pharmaceutical drug development, to drive research and development for cosmetics and other beauty products.
Revela’s AI tool will help researchers better identify and test new molecules that could solve customer pain points, Oddity said in a rack. It will also speed up the discovery process, Drucker Mann said, which otherwise relies on a lot of trial and error.
“Now, with AI, you’re increasing your ability to explore those ingredients, extrapolating from thousands to a billion plus, and seeing which ones are most likely to elicit the cell’s desired response,” she said.
Although the beauty category is booming currently, Drucker Mann said she believes the beauty industry has fallen behind when it comes to innovation and ingredient development.
“It’s a great category and there’s so much growth opportunity,” she said. “But the truth is, when it comes to product innovation and ingredient development, the industry is falling behind. And actually most of what we use today is in top performers… hair products or skin products, they are the same remixed, repackaged , ancient ingredients that have been around for decades.”
Drucker Mann explained that it is not only artificial intelligence that will advance the beauty industry, but also other forms of technology such as synthetic biology and robotics.
“Some of these enabling technologies have reached a threshold level that allows us to develop bioengineering solutions that were never possible before,” she said. “We know those solutions exist. We see them in pharma. They’ve never been invested in and discovered for beauty and wellness.”
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