Starbucks invests $100m in startups

22 Mar 2019

Starbucks has announced what it describes as its pioneering investment in the new Valor Siren Ventures, which will serve as a growth driver for the next generation of food and retail start-up technology companies.

Starbucks invests $100m in startups

Starbucks has announced what it describes as its pioneering investment in the new Valor Siren Ventures, which will serve as a growth driver for the next generation of food and retail start-up technology companies. Managed by Valor Equity Partners, a growth-focused private equity investment firm that was among the first investors in food technology, the new fund will identify and invest in companies that are developing technologies, products, and solutions relating to food or retail. These verticals are, the company says, increasingly relevant to Starbucks as it seeks to support its world-class talent with an innovation agenda accelerated by external relationships.

The Starbucks $100 million cornerstone commitment to VSV is said to be 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 strategic partners and key institutional investors. Separately, Starbucks says it will also explore direct commercial arrangements with these start-ups. Under the leadership of Kevin Johnson, Starbucks president and CEO, the company says it is growing with focus and discipline, embracing new ideas and innovations that are relevant to Starbucks 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,” 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 startups, but also for Starbucks, as we build an enduring company for decades to come.”

Antonio J. Gracias, Valor's Founder, Managing Partner, and Chief Investment Officer, 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.”