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Starbucks is committing $100 million to a new investment arm, which will partner with companies that are developing technologies, products and solutions in the food and retail space.
Called Valor Siren Ventures, the unit will be managed by investment firm Valor Equity Partners and will aim to serve as a growth driver for the next generation of food and retail start-ups.
The Starbucks $100 million commitment is the first of its kind for the company, and the new fund will seek to raise an additional $300 million in the coming months from other partners.
Separately, Starbucks will explore direct commercial arrangements with start-ups selected.
Under the leadership of CEO Kevin Johnson, Starbucks said it is looking to grow with focus and discipline, embracing innovations that are relevant to its customers.
“We believe that innovative ideas are fuel for the future, and we continue to build on this heritage inside our company across beverage, experiential retail, and our digital flywheel,” said Johnson.
“At the same time, and with an eye toward accelerating our innovation agenda, we are inspired by, and want to support the creative, entrepreneurial businesses of tomorrow with whom we may explore commercial relationships down the road.
“This new partnership with Valor presents exciting opportunities, not only for these start-ups, but also for Starbucks, as we build an enduring company for decades to come.”
Valor Equity Partners founder and managing partner Antonio Gracias said: “As experienced investors in food and retail technology, we are thrilled to partner with Starbucks, one of the most iconic and forward-thinking global brands. Under our partner Jon Shulkin’s leadership, we are incredibly excited to partner with Starbucks to drive innovation in the food and retail industries.”
Last month, Nestlé released its first range of Starbucks-branded coffee products, following the agreement to acquire the rights to the American coffee chain’s retail brand for $7.15 billion last May.
The new line includes a variety of signature Starbucks blends and single-origin coffees, as well as a selection of classic beverages such as caramel macchiato and cappuccino.
Through the alliance, Nestlé has the perpetual rights to market Starbucks consumer packaged goods and foodservice coffee and tea products around the world, outside of Starbucks coffee houses and excluding ready-to-drink products.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019
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