Starbucks is putting $100 million into a new fund to develop food and retail startups, the coffee giant announced Wednesday.
The fund, Valor Siren Ventures, will be managed by Chicago-based Valor Equity Partners, which has previously invested in Tesla, SpaceX, Eatsa, Fooda and numerous other tech-enabled endeavors.
The new fund seeks to raise an additional $300 million in the coming months from strategic partners, Starbucks executives said.
It’s the first time the Seattle-based coffee giant has invested in a fund such as this, and the move fits with CEO Kevin Johnson’s recent tech-focused initiatives, including an announcement Wednesday that Starbucks is focusing on technology to reimagine the customer experience.
“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,” Johnson said in a statement. “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.”