At the company's annual investor meeting, Starbucks Coffee announced today the launch of Valor Siren Ventures LP (VSV), a new $ 100 million fund to support "the next generation of venture capital companies." food and retail sector ".
Starbucks will partner with Valor Equity Partners on the new fund, the first of its kind for the coffee giant. VSV will "identify and invest in companies that develop technologies, products and solutions in the areas of food and retail," according to a press release. The fund will seek an additional $ 300 million from strategic partners and institutional investors over the coming months.
"We believe that innovative ideas are a fuel for the future, and we continue to build on this legacy in our society, be it in the beverage industry, experimental sales or our digital flywheel. "said Kevin Johnson, CEO of Starbucks. "At the same time, and with the goal of accelerating our innovation agenda, we are inspired by and want to support the creative and entrepreneurial businesses of tomorrow with which we can explore business relationships later. This new partnership with Valor offers exciting opportunities, not only for these startups, but also for Starbucks, as we build a sustainable business for decades to come. "
Chicago-based Valor Equity Partners has already invested in technology-based companies, such as the POS Chowly Restoration Platform and ROAM robotics developer.
Starbucks has already acquired brands such as Evolution Fresh organic beverage manufacturer and tea maker Teavana.
Starbucks also took advantage of the annual meeting to announce that it would begin testing recyclable and compostable cups in stores in New York, Seattle, London and Vancouver, BC, within the next year.
The company is also focusing on redesigning stores, according to a press release. Starbucks will begin to "modernize the customer experience" for all touch points starting this summer in New York. Director of Operations Roz Brewer suggested that the changes would be influenced by the expansion of the brand's distribution and brand loyalty programs.
"I do not want anyone to walk away today thinking it's furniture or a new renovation strategy," Brewer said. "Re-imagine the [store] listens to our customers to better position our company now and for the future. "