Starbucks has launched an investment fund to boost food and retail startup technology companies.
The new entity, Valor Siren Ventures, will be managed by Valor Equity Partners, a growth-focused private equity investment firm that was among the first investors in food technology. Starbucks has contributed an initial US$100 million into the fund, which will identify and invest in companies developing technologies, products, and solutions relating to food or retail.
“These verticals are increasingly relevant to Starbucks as it seeks to support its world-class talent with an innovation agenda accelerated by external relationships,” the company said in a statement.
Valor Siren Ventures will seek to raise an additional $300 million in the coming months from other strategic partners and key institutional investors.
Separately, Starbucks will also explore direct commercial arrangements with these start-ups. Starbucks president and CEO Kevin Johnson says the company is embracing new ideas and innovations that are relevant to its customers, inspiring to its partners, and meaningful to its business.
“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,” he said.
“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 startups, but also for Starbucks, as we build an enduring company for decades to come.”
Over 20 years, Valor’s team has worked with companies, principally in the consumer, engineered products, and services sectors. Its investments in food and retail technology include GoPuff, Fooda and Sizzling Platter.