Starbucks (SBUX) made its first-ever private equity investment as the coffee behemoth bets on the changing retail landscape.
The Seattle-headquartered global coffee behemoth committed $100 million to Valor Siren Ventures I L.P., a new fund that aims to "identify and invest in companies that are developing technologies, products, and solutions relating to food or retail."
"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," CEO Kevin 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."
The fund, which is expected to raise another $300 million from investors, is led by Chicago-based private equity firm Valor Equity, a well-known investor in food technology.
Valor's investment approach utilizes the firm’s operational and technical expertise to accelerate growth. Some of the companies Valor has worked with include goPuff, Fooda, and Sizzling Platter.
Starbucks, which opened its 30,000th store this week, hosted its largest-ever Annual Meeting of Shareholders on Tuesday.
Julia La Roche is a finance reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter.