Starbucks has announced that it is getting into the investment business. Its new fund, Valor Siren Ventures, hopes to help a new generation of technology-driven food and retail startups with its $100 million in seed money.
That’s just the start for the new fund, Starbucks says. They are hoping to attract an additional $300 million from other partners and institutional partners. Valor Equity Partners will manage the new funds.
“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,” Starbucks President and Chief Executive Officer Kevin Johnson says. “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.”
Both companies have a long history of innovation in the food and retail spaces. Starbucks is known for its popular mobile payment platform and has partnered with Uber on its UberEats on-demand delivery service. Valor Equity Partners has a solid history in technology and consumer foods as well, investing in chains such as WowBao, Fooda and Eatsa.