Ahold Delhaize, 4 Top Grocers Launch Venture Fund W23 Global

Five major global grocery retailers have united to establish an innovative collaborative venture capital (VC) fund named W23 Global. This pioneering fund aims to invest in promising start-ups and scale-ups that leverage technology to revolutionize customer experiences, streamline the grocery value chain, and tackle sustainability issues within the sector. Each retailer contributes equally to the funding and partnership of W23 Global, with their respective CEOs holding positions on the investment committee.

Ingrid Maes, CEO and Chief Investment Officer of W23 Global, expressed the potential of the venture, stating, “W23 represents a game-changing international VC fund with a compelling proposition for both investors and portfolio companies. Our goal is to provide unparalleled access to transformative innovation in the grocery and sustainability realms on a global scale. Working closely with our investors, W23 Global will identify common challenges and empower entrepreneurs to develop solutions, expediting the journey to global expansion for portfolio companies. With prominent grocery CEOs involved in our investment committee, founders can swiftly tailor their ideas to meet the evolving needs of retailers.”

W23 Global complements the ongoing direct innovation and investment strategies of its partner retailers. Portfolio companies of the fund will retain the freedom to engage with any customer, whether affiliated with W23 Global or not, under terms of their choosing.

Upon the fund’s announcement, Frans Muller, CEO of Ahold Delhaize, emphasized their commitment to retail innovation and customer value proposition, stating, “As pioneers in retail innovation for over a century and a half, Ahold Delhaize has consistently led the charge in investing in customer-centric initiatives. We eagerly anticipate strengthening our efforts through collaboration with other industry leaders to maximize our collective impact. By partnering with top-tier start-ups and scale-ups, we are confident in our ability to further drive retail innovation, promote sustainability, and deliver enhanced value to communities worldwide.”

Focus Areas of Investment: W23 Global intends to invest in start-ups and scale-ups leveraging technology to:

  • Enhance consumer experiences by facilitating faster, more personalized, and interconnected shopping experiences across physical stores and online platforms.
  • Optimize grocery value chains to enhance efficiency and benefit all stakeholders involved.
  • Address significant sustainability challenges within the grocery sector, spanning from farm to household. These include reducing emissions and waste, innovating packaging solutions, ensuring product traceability and transparency, promoting healthy choices, and preserving biodiversity.

In addition to supporting early-stage ventures, W23 Global will actively seek out entrepreneurs who are addressing issues currently underserved by existing solutions.

Source link