The Starbuck Corporation announced this week that it will be making a US$100mn investment in Valor Siren Ventures I, a venture capital fund totalling $400mn managed by Valor Equity Partners, a leading growth-focused private equity investment firm.
Valor Equity partner were, according to Starbucks, among the first investors in food technology. According to a press release, the new fund will identify and invest in companies that are 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.
With Starbucks functioning as the cornerstone investor, the fund will attempt to raise the additional $300mn over the coming months from other strategic partners and key institutional investors.
Starbucks also intends to form mutually beneficial commercial relationships with the companies in the incubator. Under the leadership of Kevin Johnson, Starbucks president and CEO, the company 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, says the company.
“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.”