SEATTLE – Starbucks Corp. is investing $100 million in a new venture capital fund established to identify and support start-ups developing technologies, products and solutions relating to food or retail. The fund, Valor Siren Ventures I LP, managed by private equity investment firm Valor Equity Partners, will seek to raise an additional $300 million in the coming months from other strategic partners and institutional investors.
Separately, Starbucks said it plans to explore direct commercial arrangements with food and retail technology start-ups supported by the fund.
“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 Kevin Johnson, president and chief executive officer of Starbucks. “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 has a 20-year history working with companies in the consumer, engineered products and services sectors. Investments in food and retail technology include goPuff, Fooda and Sizzling Platter.
“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,” said Antonio J. Gracias, founder, managing partner and chief investment officer of Valor Equity Partners. “Under our partner Jon Shulkin’s leadership, we are incredibly excited to partner with Starbucks to drive innovation in the food and retail industries.”