Debut – a vertically integrated synthetic biology company that is spearheading the creation of innovative and novel high-performing active ingredients in beauty – announced recently that it has raised $34 million Series B in a funding round led by BOLD, the venture capital fund of L’Oréal, the world leader in beauty. And additional participating investors include Fine Structure Ventures, Material Impact, GS Futures, Cavallo Ventures, Cultivian Sandbox Ventures, ACVC Partners, and others.
As part of the strategic partnership with L’Oréal’s venture capital fund BOLD, Debut is going to develop a wide variety of novel ingredients and beauty and personal care products using its proprietary cell-free and biotechnology model, with a view to accelerating the commercialization of this technology across the entire beauty industry. And Debut is the only player in the biotech space with full vertical integration capabilities incorporating ingredient discovery, finished clinically-backed scalable ingredients, and brands on the shelf, all delivered at unprecedented speed. The Series B funding round and partnership with BOLD will equip Debut with the resources to quickly establish this new benchmark in the industry.
Debut’s proprietary Bio2Consumer platform spans ingredient discovery, cell-free, biofermentation, formulation, clinical trials, and brand creation. And the platform utilizes cell-free and advanced fermentation approaches such as continuous biomanufacturing to overcome the limitations of traditional methods, dramatically reducing the need for space, water, and expensive and unsustainable inputs. Along with producing rare, high-value, and novel compounds, Debut’s technology also improves traditional ingredient manufacturing. The platform comprises a proprietary database of over 3.8 million pre-clinical data points to find and discover new ingredients that address beauty consumer needs. By overcoming the limitations of cell-based fermentation, Debut is able to produce high-value ingredients rapidly and more sustainably.
The company’s portfolio of ingredients is both natural and lab-made, comprising the best of both worlds and protecting the environment from resource extraction. And Debut’s inputs into the biomanufacturing process are found in nature. The enzymes used for catalyzing the transformation to high-value natural products are also found in nature.
Debut’s $22.6 million Series A in August 2021 (led by Material Impact) helped scale its unique and unprecedented ingredient development model, establish its in-house brand incubator, and grow into its 26,000-square-foot facility in San Diego.
“Debut exists to set a new standard in beauty by developing novel active ingredients that herald a new era with regard to performance, sustainability, scalability, and cost, and we are thrilled to be partnering with L’Oréal’s BOLD, the beauty world leader that is as invested in this industry’s future as we are. Every day, we are leveraging our team’s groundbreaking technology, scientific research, and unbridled creativity to lead the biological revolution that will transform beauty as we know it. We harness synthetic biology to create novel and higher-performing ingredients that are not accessible by other means in order to advance product benefits and target unmet consumer needs.”
“What science allows us to do is understand how nature makes it, and then translate that to an industrially scalable system to provide the exact same molecules that are found in trace amounts in nature using synthetic biology.”
— Debut Founder and CEO Joshua Britton, Ph.D.
“Debut addresses one of the beauty world’s fundamental challenges: driving innovation without the resource-intensity and environmental impact that comes with relying on traditional manufacturing alone. Cell-free biomanufacturing is not science fiction: it is here. We could not be more excited to be the first beauty leader to invest in Debut and partner with them to create stand-out active beauty innovations while protecting the planet’s resources.”
— Barbara Lavernos, Deputy Chief Executive Officer in charge of Research, Innovation and Technology, at L’Oréal