Starbucks, Sequoia China strike partnership to make tech investments

A Starbucks Corp. logo sits in the window of a closed coffee shop at the Yuyuan Bazaar in Shanghai, China, on Friday, Feb. 7, 2020.

Qilai Shen | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Starbucks has struck a partnership with venture capital firm Sequoia Capital China to co-invest in technology businesses in the world’s second-largest economy.

The coffee chain said that along with co-investments, it will look to form “commercial partnerships with next-generation food and retail technology companies.” 

“The partnership enables Starbucks to tap into the most dynamic Chinese technology entrepreneurs in order to delight our customers with meaningful innovations created in China, for China,” Belinda Wong, chairman and chief executive officer at Starbucks China said in a press release.

Starbucks will be able to get early access to “ideas in the retail marketplace, creating opportunities for strategic investment,” the company said. Companies that it invests in will be able to leverage Starbucks’ retail expertise, scale and infrastructure, it added.

The latest push from Starbucks aims to boost the digital aspect of its business in China, one of its most important markets. 

In 2018, Starbucks struck a partnership with e-commerce giant Alibaba to begin deliveries of its products. 

The company said that it will “explore opportunities to embed digital technologies across all dimensions of its retail business” and use data to help decision making. Starbucks will also look at technologies that could help it manage its growing retail operations in China and optimize its supply chain and inventory management. 


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