Ulta Beauty, the nation’s largest beauty retailer, has launched a digital innovation fund that looks to invest up to $20 million in emerging technology startups. Called Prisma Ventures, the fund will target companies built to disrupt online and in-store experiences with new technology to fuel discovery, personalization, and convenience.

Ideal startup candidates are typically in the Series Seed and Series A phase. Candidates are evaluated based on five key metrics, including aligning with Ulta’s core innovation pillars; leadership and cultural compatibility; successful completion of diligence across functions; scalability; differentiation.

“Launching Prisma Ventures is yet another way Ulta Beauty innovatively leads and delivers forward-thinking retail experiences. We believe this fund presents opportunities for creative disruptors to further propel the industry forward,” said Prama Bhatt, Chief Digital Officer, Ulta Beauty. “We set out to build lasting relationships with startups, welcoming them into our ecosystem, co-creating and experimenting in ways that tap each other’s expertise and ultimately leverage our resources to imagine – and reimagine – what’s next for retail and beauty.”

Beyond capital investment, Prisma Ventures will provide access to Ulta’s deep expertise and resources, its innovation team, and its unparalleled consumer insights and in-market testing opportunities.

Since its conception in 2021, Prisma Ventures has partnered with and invested in a variety of start-ups including Haut.ai, Adeptmind, Revea, LUUM, and ReStyle. To date, these investments have enabled greater personalization and diagnosis within Ulta Beauty’s digital skin and hair experiences.

“Ulta Beauty’s investment was a gamechanger, providing us both with an incredible opportunity to test, learn, deploy, and scale our low-code AI innovation platform. Ulta Beauty leveraged our platform to create engaging, differentiated experiences for beauty lovers nationwide, plus it added to Iterate’s credibility,” said Jon Nordmark, co-founder, and CEO, Iterate.ai. “The collaborative spirit has been a constant throughout our six-year relationship which grew from a small agreement in 2016 into an eventual investment. Together, we’re pushing the industry forward with incredible AI-, AR-, and IoT-related innovation.”