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In The News: cellulose-based pigments for color cosmetics

color innovator Sparxell secures millions in seed funding

Photo by Yoksel 🌿 Zok on Unsplash

🦋💰The Color of Money

Sparxell, a UK-based startup specializing in structural color, announced $3.2m in seed funding at the start of April as well as plans to launch a Series A round of funding in the months ahead.


The company, founded in 2022 by Dr Benjamin Droguet and Professor Silvia Vignolini, is using the funding to advance the development of its pigment technology for use across multiple industries. Sparxell is already working with “product innovation partners” in the auto sector, in fashion, as well and in the consumer goods space. Future funding will go toward “[upscaling] production capacity and [accelerating] commercialization.”


Beauty is one of the key markets that Sparxell is targeting, which is why the company exhibited last month in the Ingredient Zone at Cosmopack (the supply side trade show that runs alongside Cosmoprof Worldwide Bologna). Sparxell’s focus on beauty is also likely why the company took care to note that L’Oréal is an anchor investor in the Circular Innovation Fund and that this global venture capital fund participated in the recent round of seed funding.


Sparxell pigments are made from plant-based cellulose; and the company had developed manufacturing techniques that make it possible to use structural color technology to produce cosmetic effect pigments and glitters at commercial scale.


And while the sophisticated science of it all is quite fascinating, Sparxell’s marketing story is one of environmental sustainability: “Our plant-based materials can be grown and sourced locally in a complete rethink of how colors are currently being manufactured while reducing transport emissions,” says Droguet, who (along with being a Founder) is the company’s current CEO.


“Traditional chemical colorants,” he points out, “are causing major environmental harm through every stage of their lifecycle, from manufacture to degradation.”


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