Over the past few years, corporate venture capital investors have solidified their stature as a reliable source of VC funding. The number of companies launching investment arms has exploded, and the amount of new funds has continued to rise despite the current market volatility.
Ulta Beauty, the largest chain of beauty stores in the U.S., became the latest company to launch a venture arm this week. Prisma Ventures will tap a $20 million fund to back early-stage companies that have the potential to improve the online or in-store shopping experience for Ulta customers. Ulta chief digital officer Prama Bhatt said that after years of developing technology internally, a venture fund seemed like the next step to foster innovation at the company.
“If we think about our purpose, which is to shape the future of the beauty landscape, it seems appropriate to continue that vision by working with startups,” Bhatt told TechCrunch.
Ulta is just the latest corporate venture fund to launch this year. Consumer-focused companies including The Home Depot and Chipotle also announced funds this year, while corporations ranging from drug wholesaler AmerisourceBergen to defense consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton also debuted funds. Just these four funds bring $450 million to the table.