Fast-growing beauty artificial intelligence (AI) startup lululab has raised money from outside interests, mostly from strategic investors seeking to connect with the firm.

Netmarble, L&C Bio, L&C Bio’s subsidiary Global Medical Research Center and CTK Investment purchased redeemable convertible preference shares newly issued by lululab, industry sources said on Tuesday (November 10).

A spin-off from C-Lab, the in-house venture company program of Samsung Electronics, lululab developed the skincare assistant LUMINI, which won the CES Innovation Awards in 2019 and 2018. Based on AI technology, the device can scan and analyze a skin condition in 10 seconds and recommends the most suitable cosmetic products. Version 2 of personalized internet of things skin assistant LUMINI Kiosk was unveiled in July. LUMINI was given a LVMH Innovation Award and exhibited in LVMH Lab at VivaTech.

Most strategic investments in the startup are from companies that want to create synergies with their existing business. L&C Bio signed a memorandum of understanding with lululab in early October to jointly create a new beauty platform, and lululab is collaborating with CTK Cosmetics, CTK Investment’s parent company, a source familiar with the latest deal said.

“The domestic beauty market has recently entered a low-growth stage of 1% and cosmetics companies are putting in efforts to cope with the situation,” said a source. “Investors seem to have optimistic views on the company’s AI-related business.”

South Korean game publisher Netmarble seemingly took part in lululab’s capital increase to create links with its living care business, which has been a focus since it bought home appliance rental service provider Coway. (Reporting by Byung-yoon Kim)

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