Kraft Heinz launches venture capital fund for food tech
Kraft Heinz has committed up to US$100 million to a venture fund that will invest in emerging tech companies transforming the food industry. Evolv Ventures, which will be based in Chicago, will draw on Kraft Heinz’s position as the fifth-largest food and beverage company in the world.
“New technological innovations in the food industry create endless new opportunities to strengthen business models,” said Bernardo Hees, Chief Executive Officer at Kraft Heinz. “Through Evolv Ventures, we will work with tomorrow’s most innovative founders and companies in the space, and use the full resources of Kraft Heinz to help them succeed.”
It will be led by venture investor Bill Pescatello, who was a founding member of the Peacock Equity Fund, a $250 million global capital fund of GE Capital and NBCUniversal, and a Partner at Lightbank, the Chicago venture capital fund founded by entrepreneurs Eric Lefkofsky and Brad Keywell.
Kraft Heinz said the fund will accelerate its exposure to emerging technologies and businesses, and better leverage its position in the industry.
“At Evolv Ventures, we will move beyond brands to have a committed first look at our industry’s most promising and disruptive tech-enabled companies,” said Pescatello. “With the insights, data and access available at Kraft Heinz, we look to take full advantage of our unique position and be the foremost value-added investor in the space.”
As consumers increasingly look for more convenient, healthy and experimental foods, this could mark Kraft Heinz’s efforts to remain relevant by working with start-ups. It follows the company’s recently launched platform called Springboard, which aims to nurture, scale and accelerate the growth of disruptive brands.
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