Slideshow: VCs Tackle Baldness, Love Handles and Assorted Blemishes with Big Bucks

In the foreseeable future, we will all be able to look much better, thanks to lustrous, robotically delivered hair transplants, injections to zap away chin wattles and fat-melting devices to whittle down love handles.

Those, at least, are the promises of a few of the venture-backed companies in the cosmetic treatment space that have recently raised funding, filed to go public, or passed a key clinical milestone.

Though consumer spending remains depressed in this period that some are calling the “recoveryless recovery,” VCs are still betting that people will pay significant sums to look younger, thinner, and well-tressed. The most recent case in point: Restoration Robotics, a medical device company focused on hair restoration, announced this week that it closed a $41 million Series C round led by Clarus Ventures and joined by Sutter Hill Ventures, Alloy Ventures and Interwest Partners. The company is making computer-assisted technology that enables harvesting of hair follicles during hair restoration procedures.

The news from Restoration Robotics comes three weeks after another company in the cosmetic treatment space – Pleasanton, Calif.-based Zeltiq Aesthetics – filed for a $115 million initial public offering. The company, which developed a technology called “coolsculpting” that eliminates fat cells through freezing them, has raised venture funding from backers including Advanced Technology Ventures, Aisling Capital, Frazier Healthcare and Venrock.

And those are just two out of many more. In the following slideshow, take a look at which companies in the aesthetics space have raised the most venture capital – and what blemishes and unsightly bulges they’re offering to fix.

[slideshow]

[slide title=”Zeltiq Aesthetics”]
Location: Pleasanton, Calif.
Business Description: Develops a “cool-sculpting” technology to eliminate fat cells through freezing them. Focuses on areas with “stubborn fat,” such as bulges around the waistline, which can be difficult to lose through diet and exercise alone.
Business Stage: Filed for a $115 million initial public offering in July. Posted revenues of $14.3 million and a net loss of $825,000 in the first three months of the year.
Funding: Raised $104 million since 2005 from backers including Advanced Technology Ventures, Aisling Capital, Frazier Healthcare and Venrock.
[slide title=”Kythera Biopharmaceuticals”]
Location: Calabasas, Calif.
Business Description: Develops out-patient cosmetic treatments, including an injection therapy for reducing fat under the chin.
Business Stage: In Phase III clinical trials for its chin fat therapy. Also has active research programs in hair and fat biology, facial contouring and pigmentation modulation.
Funding: Raised $61 million between 2005 and 2009 from backers including Versant Ventures, Prospect Venture Partners, JAFCO, Altitude Life Science Ventures and Arch Venture Partners. Also secured investment, tied to meeting milestones, from Intendis, Bayer HealthCare’s dermatology business.
[slide title=” TRIA Beauty “]
Location: Dublin, Calif.
Business Description: Sells an over-the-counter laser hair removal system.
Business Stage: In Phase III clinical trials for its chin fat therapy. Also has active research programs in hair and fat biology, facial contouring and pigmentation modulation.
Funding: Raised $84 million since 2005 from backers including Aisling Capital, De Novo Ventures, Technology Partners and Vivo Ventures
[slide title=”Restoration Robotics”]
Location: Mountain View, Calif.
Business Description: Develops robotic technology for hair restoration.
Business Stage: Plans to use latest funding round to commercialize its technology.
Funding: Has raised $73 million, including a $41 million round announced this week, from backers including Clarus Ventures, Sutter Hill Ventures, Alloy Ventures and Interwest Partners.
[slide title=”Follica”]
Location: Boston
Business Description: Develops therapies for conditions and disorders of the hair follicle.
Business Stage: Is developing treatments that target activation of stem cells to induce hair follicle neogenesis.
Funding: Has raised $24 million since 2008 from backers including InterWest Partners, Polaris Venture Partners and PureTech Ventures.
[slide title=”WaveRX”]
Location: Waltham, Mass.
Business Description: Develops non-invasive treatments for dermatological disorders
Business Stage: Appears to be in stealth mode.
Funding: Has raised $16.6 million since 2004 from backers including 5AM Ventures, Polaris Venture Partner and Three Arch Partners.
[/slideshow]