To help grow innovative companies in the grocery industry, Albertsons Companies has linked up with Greycroft to create an investment fund. The fund, which could be up to $50 million, is part of Albertsons’ strategy to work with emerging grocery technologies, Chain Store Age reported
“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,” Albertsons’ chief marketing and merchandising officer, Shane Sampson, said in an announcement. “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.”
Ian Sigalow, co-founder and partner of Greycroft, said in the announcement that eCommerce companies look to bring in a brick-and-mortar strategy as they grow. As a result, Sigalow said the firm’s partnership with Albertsons “will enable our companies to tap into [Albertsons’] 34 million weekly customers, across a wide range of industries including consumer products, healthcare, wellness, pharmaceuticals and grocery.”
The news comes after Albertsons’ 2017 announcement that it was buying meal-kit company Plated. According to CNBC, the deal was the first big strategic move in the grocery market since Amazon’s $13.7 billion deal to acquire Whole Foods Market, which sent Kroger’s stock plummeting roughly 30 percent.
Commenting on the deal, Albertsons’ chairman and CEO, Bob Miller, said, “This transaction is the latest example of Albertsons meeting our customers wherever and however they like to shop.”
In all, grocery delivery startups attracted $1.4 billion in venture funding in 2016. And while just 23 percent of Americans buy groceries online, that share is expected to more than triple in under 10 years.
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