Kraft Heinz launches $100m venture fund focused on tech companies

Kraft Heinz has committed up to $100 million to Evolv Ventures, which is a fund that will invest in emerging tech companies transforming the food industry.

The company’s CEO Bernardo Hees said new technological innovations in the food industry create endless new opportunities to strengthen business models.

“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,” said Hees.

Kraft Heinz has brought on venture investor Bill Pescatello to lead the fund.

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Pescatello brings more than a decade of successful venture investing experience at two leading venture funds to Kraft Heinz.

Most recently, he was a Partner at Lightbank, the Chicago venture capital fund founded by serial entrepreneurs Eric Lefkofsky and Brad Keywell.

He was also a founding member of the Peacock Equity Fund, a $250 million global capital fund of GE Capital and NBCUniversal.

While Kraft Heinz has a long history of developing iconic brands including Philadelphia, Heinz and Oscar Mayer, the new fund will accelerate the company’s exposure to emerging technologies and businesses, and better leverage its position in the industry.

“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.

“With the insights, data and access available at Kraft Heinz, we look to take full advantage of our unique position and be the foremost value-added investor in the space,” he said.

Evolv Ventures will be based in Chicago.

Kraft Heinz is the fifth-largest food and beverage company in the world.

The Company’s brands include Kraft, Heinz, ABC, Capri Sun, Classico, Jell-O, Kool-Aid, Lunchables and Velveeta.

The announcement of the venture fund was made in early October, 2018.