Startbucks-backed venture capital fund leads US$6.5m round in PathSpot

USA – PathSpot, a creator of a real-time hand hygiene management system, has raised US$6.5 million in a Series A round led by Valor Siren Ventures I L.P. (VSV), bringing the company’s total funding to US$10.5 million. Formed with an anchor investment from Starbucks and in collaboration with the consumer and tech-focused focused private equity firm, Valor Equity Partners, VSV is a leader in early-stage food, food technology, and retail technology investing. Valor Siren Ventures was established in March 2019 with Starbucks pioneering a US$100 million investment in the fund…

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Starbucks partners with Sequoia Capital China to invest in tech companies

CHINA – Starbucks has announced a strategic partnership with leading investment firm, Sequoia Capital China to tap into China’s growing technology landscape and elevate the country’s coffee and retail industry. Through the partnership, Starbucks will make strategic co-investments with Sequoia Capital China, and commercial partnerships with next-generation food and retail technology companies to propel Starbucks digital innovation in China. The US coffee retail chain said that the collaboration with Sequoia Capital China enables early access to ideas in the retail marketplace, creating opportunities for strategic investment to evolve Starbucks business…

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Keurig Dr Pepper partners Nestlé USA for Starbucks K-Cup Pods in North America

USA – Keurig Dr Pepper (KDP) has entered into a long-term, strategic agreement with Nestlé USA to manufacture and distribute Starbucks branded packaged coffee in K-Cup pods in the U.S. and Canada. The new agreement with Nestlé, which acquired the rights in August 2018 to market and distribute Starbucks CPG and Foodservice products outside of Starbucks coffee shops globally, will replace the existing K-Cup pod agreement between KDP and Starbucks following a transition period.  Keurig Dr Pepper Chief Commercial Officer, Derek Hopkins commented, ” [This] announcement with Nestlé recognizes the…

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Luckin Coffee forays into smart coffee, snack vending machine market

CHINA – Luckin Coffee, China’s largest coffee chain operator is entering the automated retail market with the launch of its “luckin coffee EXPRESS” smart unmanned coffee machine and “luckin pop” smart vending machine. The luckin coffee EXPRESS features Swiss Schaerer coffee machines, IIAC Gold Award coffee bean blends from WBC coffee masters and other high-quality ingredients. The coffee chain claims that luckin popterminals will achieve significant economies of scale through large volume procurement, customization while significantly reducing channel costs. The unmanned terminals will cover locations including office buildings, campuses, airports,…

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Taste Holdings sell Starbucks South Africa stores seeking to exit food business

SOUTH AFRICA – Taste Holdings, licensed operator of Starbucks and Domino’s Pizza in South Africa has sold13 stores of its coffee chain to a consortium, K2019548958 (South Africa) Proprietary Limited, for 7 million rand (US$464,000) Taste opened the first Starbucks store in South Africa 2016 and the stores were set up at a cost of at least R5 million (US$ 338,000) each. The company revealed it is also in discussions on the sale its licences for the Domino’s Pizza chain and its two other food businesses, restaurant chain Maxi’s and…

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Nestlé debuts new Starbucks by Nespresso range in the UK and Ireland

UK – Nestlé has released a new range of Starbucks-branded coffee capsules, called Starbucks by Nespresso, in the UK and Ireland. Starbucks by Nespresso features eight coffee blends, which include Blonde Espresso Roast, Colombia, House Blend, Pike Place, Sumatra, Caffe Verona, Espresso Roast and Decaf Espresso Roast. The company noted that for the first time, its Nespresso’s aluminium capsule technology is available outside of its Nespresso business. The Nespresso capsules contain 100% premium grade Arabica coffee which is ethically sourced. Nestlé UK and Ireland Beverages business head Neil Stephens said:…

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Nestle and Starbucks launch Starbucks coffee creamers in the US

USA – Nestle and Starbucks have launched a line of refrigerated creamers under Starbucks brand in the USA as part of the global business alliance. The new Starbucks Creamers are the fourth product platform launched in a year following an agreement with Nestle to commercialize new products in various markets. The launch provides the Starbucks brand an entry into refrigerated creamer category, which is projected to top US$7.8 billion by 2023 in the US. It leverages on Nestle’s more than 50-year expertise in the creamer category and Starbucks nearly 50-year…

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South Africa’s Taste Holdings appoints Dylan Pienaar as new CEO

SOUTH AFRICA – Taste Holdings, South Africa’s licensed operator of Starbucks Coffee and Domino’s Pizza, has appointed its chief operating officer, Dylan Pienaar, as chief executive officer effective. Dylan will replace Tyrone Moodley who stepped down and has been reappointed as a non-executive member of the company, reports Reuters. Tyrone Moodley, the former chief executive, took over the position after the resignation of the co-founder and CEO Carlo Gonzaga. The company claims Moodley fulfilled his duties to restructure the business and support the new management team on its strategic alignment…

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Starbucks commits US$100m in new investment fund to support food startups

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…

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Starbucks local operator calls off expansion plan amid high operation costs

SOUTH AFRICA – Taste Holdings, the local licensee for Starbucks, has halted its ambitious expansion plans due to high operating costs and tight customer budgets, reports Business Day. Taste Holdings has so far opened 12 Starbucks outlets across Johannesburg, Pretoria and Durban and had hoped to have 45 stores open by 2020 – with a peak target of 150 countrywide. However, these plans have now been ruled out as the company struggles to control operational costs and debt. South Africa’s middle-class has been under pressure from slow economic growth, while the…

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