In a bid to tackle the gender disparity in startup funding, Sephora has launched an accelerator for female-led beauty companies. Under the program, 10 early-stage startups will participate in a bootcamp and demo day in addition to receiving mentorship opportunities.

Besides illustrating Sephora’s digital innovation, the program highlights how owner LVMH leverages its enterprise structure to share best practices across brands. Another successful digital innovator within LVMH is Kendo, which shares Sephora’s corporate offices in San Francisco and is responsible for many of the most innovative brands in L2’s Digital IQ Index: Beauty. For example, Kendo brand Bite has been a pioneer with respect to personalization: customers can create custom lipsticks on the spot at the brand’s retail Lip Lab.

Bite's Lip LabAt other Beauty enterprises, the L2 study finds that the pace of digital innovation has been comparatively slower. Coty, for instance, displays lackluster digital competence despite having the widest distribution of any enterprise in the Index. Yet Coty’s recent endeavors – buying 43 P&G Beauty and Fragrance brands to become the world’s third-largest makeup manufacturer, embarking on a major leadership shake-up, boosting in-house creative and analytics with the acquisition of content-marketing agency Beamly – suggest that the enterprise is seeking to change its mindset when it comes to digital.

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