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Published in Food/Agribusiness

Gordon Food Service invests in $595M food and retail VC fund

BY Thursday, July 14, 2022 10:12am

WYOMING — Food service distributor Gordon Food Service Inc. is among the returning investors in a Chicago-based venture capital fund that invests in the food and retail industries. 

The closely held Wyoming-based Gordon Food Service participated in Valor Equity Partners’ recent $595 million fundraising round for Valor Siren Ventures II L.P., an early stage venture capital fund. 

The new fund, which oversubscribed its target of $400 million, follows in the footsteps of Valor Siren Ventures I, which Chicago-based Valor Equity formed in 2019 in partnership with Seattle-based Starbucks Corp.

Strategic anchor investors Starbucks and Switzerland-based Nestlé S.A. both participated in the second fund. In addition to Gordon Foods, other returning investors included Marriott International Inc., Kuwait-based multinational retail franchise operator Alshaya Group, and Mexico City-based restaurant operator and holding company Alsea S.A.B. de C.V.

Valor Siren Ventures targets investments in early stage companies in food, food technology, retail, retail technology and sustainability within the food and retail markets. 

Valor Equity Partners manages both funds. 

“Our world class strategic and financial partners in VSV I rejoined us in our oversubscribed VSV II fundraise,” Valor Siren Ventures Fund Manager Jon Shulkin said in a statement. “VSV II will continue to partner with and serve exceptional entrepreneurs and companies that are driving innovation and leadership within our sector focus areas with an increased emphasis on sustainability.”

Valor Equity Partners closed fundraising for the second fund at the beginning of April, but just announced the results of the fundraising round this week. 

Gordon Food Service has been active in the venture capital industry in recent years. The company in 2017 created the Chicago-based Relish Works corporate venture capital fund to invest in companies that modernize the foodservice industry. 

Previous investments have included 86 Repairs Inc., a company founded in Grand Rapids that streamlines the end-to-end repair and maintenance process for restaurants. 

Gordon Food Service, Relish Works and Chicago-based nonprofit 1871 also partnered to create The Food Foundry, a startup business accelerator based in Chicago focused on growing food and beverage industry companies.

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