Starbucks Partners With Sequoia Capital: Digital Transformation Fuels Growth

Tianyancha App showed that Xingran (Shanghai) Investment Partnership (Limited Partnership) was formed by the strategic collaboration between Starbucks China and Sequoia Capital China on Sept. 8, 2020.

Looking forward to propelling Starbucks’ digital transformation in all dimensions, Sequoia and Starbucks will make co-investments and form commercial partnerships with next-generation food and retail technology companies in China.

In April 2020, Sequoia Capital China announced its ground-breaking strategic collaboration with Starbucks Corporation. The establishment of the joint venture, Xingran, marks Starbucks’ long-term commitment to grow the coffee and retail industry in China, one of its two lead growth markets alongside the U.S.

Starbucks wrote on its website that, through the partnership, it would “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.

This is not the first time for Starbucks to invest in a venture fund targeting at tech solutions. On March 20,2019, Starbucks committed a $100 million cornerstone investment in the new Valor Siren Ventures I L.P. . The fund identifies and invests in companies that are developing technologies, products, and solutions relating to food or retail.

Starbucks’ “insatiable appetite” for tech innovation has augmented the company’s forefront position in China’s retail landscape. From the first time it started accepting mobile payments in 2011, innovation strategy had been tightly coupled with Starbucks’ corporate business strategy. At the heart of it is Starbucks’ digital flywheel, consisting of rewards, personalization, payment, and ordering, which are repeatedly credited with driving growth.

The collaboration with Sequoia Capital China enables Starbucks’ early access to new ideas in the retail marketplace, creating opportunities for strategic investment to further improve Starbucks’ business in China.

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“Together with Starbucks, we look forward to bringing the digital transformation of the consumer retail industry in China to the next level,” said Neil Shen, Steward of Sequoia Capital, and the Founding and Managing Partner of Sequoia Capital China.