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Kraft Heinz launches $100 million food technology venture capital fund

While Kraft Heinz has a history of developing iconic brands like Philadelphia and Oscar Mayer, Evolv will accelerate its exposure to fast-growing food startups
A Kraft Heinz tomato ketchup bottle
The maker of Philadelphia cream cheese, ketchup and roasted peanuts has hired Bill Pescatello to lead the fund

Kraft Heinz Co (NASDAQ:KHC) announced the launch Friday of Evolv Ventures, a $100 million venture fund focused on concepts that are shaking up the food industry, such as supply chain technology and e-commerce.

The maker of Philadelphia cream cheese, ketchup and roasted peanuts said it hired Bill Pescatello, a founding member of Peacock Equity, an investment group put together by NBCUniversal and GE Capital to lead the Chicago-based fund.

“New technological innovations in the food industry create endless new opportunities to strengthen business models,” Kraft Heinz CEO Bernardo Hees said in a statement. “Through Evolv Ventures, we will work with tomorrow’s most innovative founders and companies in the space and use the full resources of Kraft Heinz to help them succeed.”

READ: Warren Buffett steps down from Kraft Heinz board

While Kraft Heinz has a long history of developing iconic brands including Philadelphia, Heinz and Oscar Mayer, Evolv will accelerate Heinz’s exposure to fast-growing food startups.

“At Evolv Ventures, we will move beyond brands to have a committed first look at our industry’s most promising and disruptive tech-enabled companies,” said Pescatello in a statement.

Heinz is not the first food company to enter this investment space. In 2016, Kellogg Company (NYSE:K) invested $100 million in a venture fund, while General Mills Inc (NYSE: GIS) has used its fund to invest in companies such as Kite Hill and Beyond Meat, according to Bloomberg.

Shares of Kraft Heinz were trading flat at $55.60. 

Contact Uttara Choudhury at [email protected]

Follow her on Twitter@UttaraProactive 

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