Starbucks has committed $100m as a cornerstone investor in Valor Siren Ventures (VSV) I, which will support the next generation of food and retail start-up technology firms.

Through this initiative, Starbucks intends to focus on new ideas and technologies that are meaningful to its business, important to customers and inspiring to partners.

Starbucks president and CEO Kevin Johnson said: “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.

“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.

“With an eye toward accelerating our innovation agenda, we are inspired by and want to support the creative, entrepreneurial businesses of tomorrow.”

“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.”

The fund will identify and invest in start-up firms that are engaged in the development of technologies, products and solutions associated with food or retail.

VSV I will be managed by the Chicago-based private equity investment firm Valor Equity Partners, which is reported to be one of the first investors in food technology.

In addition to the fund, Valor’s investments in the food and retail technology space include goPuff, Fooda and Sizzling Platter.

Valor founder, managing partner and chief investment officer Antonio Gracias said: “As experienced investors in food and retail technology, we are thrilled to partner with Starbucks, one of the most iconic and forward-thinking global brands.

“Under our partner Jon Shulkin’s leadership, we are incredibly excited to partner with Starbucks to drive innovation in the food and retail industries.”

The fund aims to raise another $300m from other partners and institutional investors in the near future.

Starbucks is also planning to explore options to establish a direct commercial arrangement with these start-ups.

Last month, Nestlé has announced the global launch of a range of coffee products under the Starbucks brand.