USA – The world’s leading coffee giant, Starbucks has announced that it is committing US$100 million in a new investment firm, Valor Siren Ventures I L.P. (VSV) to support growth of food and retail startup companies.

The new venture fund will partner with startup technology companies with a goal to grow the next generation of companies focused on innovations.

Managed by Valor Equity Partners, a leading growth-focused private equity investment firm, the new fund will identify and invest in companies that are developing technologies, products, and solutions relating to food or retail.

Starbucks said the investment was vital in supporting its strategy to build a world-class talent with an innovation agenda accelerated by external relationships.

The new fund will seek to raise an additional US$300 million in the coming months from other strategic partners and key institutional investors.

Starbucks will also explore direct commercial arrangements with these start-ups, with a focus on embracing new ideas and innovations that are relevant to Starbucks customers, partners and 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 Kevin Johnson, Starbucks president and CEO.

“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.”

Valor Equity Partners is an operational growth investment firm focused on high growth companies across various stages of development.

It works with companies, principally in the consumer, engineered products, and services sectors, having invested in food and retail companies such as 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.

Under our partner Jon Shulkin’s leadership, we are incredibly excited to partner with Starbucks to drive innovation in the food and retail industries,” said Antonio J. Gracias, Valor’s Founder, Managing Partner, and Chief Investment Officer.

Following a US$7.15 billion deal to acquire the rights to Starbuck’s coffee retail brand in the US, Nestle last month released its first range of Starbucks-branded coffee products.