Three years after its creation, what were the results for Obratori, the L’Occitane startup studio?

Join promising young companies and, perhaps, see the birth of potential partners for the L’Occitane group. Have another connection to Marseille, a city facing the Mediterranean, with a dynamic ecosystem but less saturated than the capital. But also create research links by settling in a place like the City of Knowledge and Innovation in Aix-Marseille to stay ahead of innovation and new market trends.

These are all arguments that inspired the design of Obratori, the startup-studio of the L’Occitane group that inaugurated in 2019.

Its target: innovative startups in the field of cosmetics, retail and wider well -being and even health, with sensitivity to environmental issues. Startups where the startup studio invests through a venture capital fund, for an average ticket of between 100,000 and 250,000 euros. ” These are not astronomical values ​​but it allows to launch these young companies that also turn to other investors. So very fast, they are able to raise up to 1 million euros in their first round of funding “, Observed Amaury Godron, CEO of Obratori.

Financial support in conjunction with 23 months of support provided by four employees. ” But because we are minority shareholders, we remain there despite this period. “.

13 startups were supported and 69 jobs were created

Operating since September 2018, Obratori supports a total of 13 startups, all still working. ” Generally, the first year of a startup’s life is a valley of death. But here, despite the covid and confinements, nothing fell “. The accompaniment offered is certainly not for nothing. Although Amaury Godron also underlined the many support mechanisms implemented by the State or the Southern Region.

In total, these 13 startups generated 69 job creation. And they operate in different fields: cosmetics of course, like Rouge Français, a company born in Hauts-de-Seine that set up its research and development here, taking advantage of the prototyping laboratory there; and collaborating with researchers from Timone hospital. But as well as health, whether using digital technology to reduce the effects of medical desertification (Healphi) or relying on health research for anti-aging cosmetic applications (Calysens).

There are also food startups like Bocoloco, a specialist in zero-waste online shopping. Or even premium gin offered by Charente -based company Melifera.

These different sectors are related to the activity of L’Occitane. When it comes to health, there are synergies in cosmetics. As for Bocoloco, it does the recycling of jars, which helps us meet the needs of the group’s customers. And for Melifera, it’s a company founded by a former Occitane employee and producing in France gin based on immortelle, a plant that gave the group one of its biggest hits. “.

And the start-up studio has just received three start-ups that further expand the spectrum of activities covered: Lolo Paris which runs in lingerie, Mon Suivi Diet in nutrition and In Hair Care in hairdressing.

Looking for nuggets in digital and packaging

However, there remain two main themes that have not been adequately covered according to Amaury Godron. ” We have a hard time finding nuggets in the packaging sector. Whether it’s designing new materials, replacing plastic … As well as digital. While L’Occitane uses many digital tools. Included in the store to improve the customer experience ”.

Especially popular with young shoots seeking support, the startup studio was forced to reject a large number of them. ” In 2021, our acceptance rate will be 1% “So, while it relies on a dozen supported projects each year, it’s a little less on this goal.” We are very selective but we want to accelerate and achieve this milestone of 10 startups per year. All that’s left is to find the right projects, carried out by the right teams. “.

Finally, Obratori fully intends to continue the relationships initiated in the world of research. ” Our presence here, within Cisam (the City of innovation and knowledge in the Aix-Marseille Editor’s note), allowed us to build bridges with several researchers. Students from Aix-Marseille University, doctoral students, leading projects and theses related to our startups that require their skills, and sometimes also research laboratories “. It allows L’Occitane to be part of this local ecosystem that contributes to change. Where public research and businesses work together to develop solutions to tomorrow’s key challenges.