New Incubation Ventures (NIV), an early-stage investment and incubation arm of The Estée Lauder Companies, has acquired stakes in Chinese skincare and makeup brand Code Mint. Correspondingly, the minority investment marks the company’s first-ever share in a Chinese brand.

Purchased at an undisclosed amount, the acquisition boosts the group’s growing roster of impressive investments. Previously, NIV acquired stakes in skincare brand Haeckels and fragrance brand Vyrao, both from Britain.

Estée Lauder’s minor investment in Code Mint is a prime example of China’s developing beauty market. Moreover, the foreign capital investment shines a light on the positive and long-term outlook for said market. 

Estée Lauder acquires minor stake in Code Mint
Image Source Code Mint

The partnership between NIV and Code Mint was officiated at a Black Butterfly Masquerade Party in Shanghai early this month. Additionally, the event marked the launch of the brand’s newest product – the Black Butterfly Eye Mask.

Founded in 2021 by influencer and beauty entrepreneur Grace Chow, Code Mint is a clean beauty brand offering skincare and makeup. Owned by Hangzhou Jianfa Meixue Technology, the company specialises in environmentally-friendly beauty products. 

Code Mint’s popular products include cleansers, sheet masks, eyeshadow palettes, lipsticks, and more. Contributing to its high-quality lineup is its investor and South Korean beauty equipment manufacturer, COSMAX, who produces the brand’s collections.

Clean beauty brands hold a smaller market percentage in China, as other brands opt for sensational extravagance. However, according to Deloitte’s 2023 China Consumer Insight and Market Outlook, at least 72% of consumers are keen to pay more for greener skincare and beauty products, proving a sizable demand for clean beauty.

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