Albertsons Companies and venture capital firm Greycroft announced the creation of a fund, up to $50 million over time, that will invest in and aim to help grow emerging companies and technologies in the grocery sector.
In 2018, annual online retail sales of food and beverages in the US are expected to exceed $20 billion, according to Coresight Research. Since 2013, investment in the food and beverage sector has more than tripled, as the industry continues to be disrupted by start-ups and incubators. Together, Albertsons and Greycroft intend to take a leading role in investing in and developing new and innovative companies.
“Albertsons Companies is committed to meeting customers wherever and however they like to shop, and part of that is being at the forefront of the tremendous innovation our industry has seen over the last five years,” said Shane Sampson, Chief Marketing & Merchandising Officer.
“As we saw with our recent acquisition of Plated, Albertsons Companies has the capital, scale, and expertise to power future growth of the most promising emerging businesses and technologies across the food and grocery space. We are thrilled to be partnering with Greycroft, whose investment acumen and relationships are positioned to be key drivers of our success,” said Sampson.
The fund will utilize Greycroft’s investment expertise and connections into the early-stage technology industry and Albertsons Companies’ grocery expertise and coast to coast footprint, including its leading presence in e-commerce home delivery in 8 of the top 10 Market Service Areas in the United States. As such, Albertsons investment in the fund is part of its broader technology strategy, aiming to provide insights and opportunities to partner with new and emerging technologies impacting the grocery sector.
“As our eCommerce companies scale, they often incorporate a brick-and-mortar strategy to reach the entire US market. This partnership with Albertsons Companies will enable our companies to tap into their 34 million weekly customers, across a wide range of industries including consumer products, healthcare, wellness, pharmaceuticals, and grocery,” said Ian Sigalow, co-founder and Partner of Greycroft. “We believe that consumers should be able to get access to these high quality products and services whenever they want, wherever they want, and that requires a coast to coast footprint.”