In December, Unilever announced plans to acquire Living Proof, a hair care startup that aims to use science and technology to design improved products. Living Proof previously raised $62M in disclosed funding from investors including Leerink Partners, Polaris Partners, and Jennifer Anniston, and in 2013 earned a $163M valuation.
Beyond its funding, Living Proof racked up over 40 patents since 2008. Some of its most significant developments focus on hair health: it has a patented “Healthy Hair Molecule,” OFPMA, which it says creates a weightless shield around each hair strand, and a “Thickening Molecule,” PBAE, which it says increases hair thickness. Many of Unilever’s existing beauty-related patents focus on skincare. However, one of Unilever’s recent patent filings (which has not yet been approved) focused on hair coloring, more in line with Living Proof’s hair care focus.
We used our newly launched patent database on the CB Insights platform to look into a few more of Living Proof’s patents. More detailed information is available to our clients, who can log in here. For more information and to view patents related to beauty and cosmetics on CB Insights, sign up for a free trial here.
Note: The patent filing process involves a significant time-lag before the publishing of patent applications. This delay can range from several months to over two years, meaning that records prior to 2013 are likely complete at the time of analysis, but there may be applications from 2014 on that have yet to be published.
Patent name: Cationic alcohols and uses thereof
Status: Granted September 2015
Description: The patent covers a new formulation for hair care products for damaged hair that condition the hair while diminishing the greasiness and oiliness caused by prior formulations. According to the patent, the formulas can also be used to treat skin, fabrics, and other objects as well as hair. The image below illustrates the product’s results on damaged hair as compared to other products.
Patent name: Coloring agents and methods of use thereof
Status: Granted November 2016
Description: The patent covers a new formulation for hair coloring products. According to the patent, this formula provides improved color fastness and vibrancy as compared to other products. The image below shows a commercially available red hair dye on the two samples on the left, labeled (a), both immediately after application and after 15 shampoo cycles. The right side shows Living Proof’s formula, on the two samples labeled (b), both immediately after application and after 15 shampoo cycles.
Patent name: Skincare applicator
Status: Granted June 2014
Description: The patent covers a new type of applicator for skincare products, as illustrated below.
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