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Albertsons, Greycroft to help emerging companies expand

Albertsons and venture capital firm Greycroft are teaming up to develop innovative companies by leveraging each other’s strengths.

The two companies announced the creation of a fund — up to $50 million over time — that will invest in and look to help grow emerging companies and technologies in the grocery sector. The fund will utilize Greycroft’s investment expertise and connections into the early-stage technology industry and Albertsons’ grocery expertise and national footprint, including its presence in e-commerce home delivery in eight of the top 10 MSA’s in the United States.

Albertsons said its investment in the fund is part of its broader technology strategy, aiming to provide insights and opportunities to partner with new and emerging technologies impacting the grocery sector.

“Albertsons 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,” said Shane Sampson, chief marketing & merchandising officer. “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.”

In 2018, annual online retail sales of food and beverages in the U.S. are expected to exceed $20 billion, according to Coresight Research. Since 2013, investment in the food and beverage sector has more than tripled, as the industry continues to be disrupted by start-ups and incubators.

“As our e-commerce companies scale, they often incorporate a brick-and-mortar strategy to reach the entire U.S. market,” said Ian Sigalow, co-founder and partner of Greycroft. “This partnership with Albertsons will enable our companies to tap into their 34 million weekly customers, across a wide range of industries including consumer products, healthcare, wellness, pharmaceuticals, and grocery.”

Albertsons operates stores across 35 states and the District of Columbia under 20 banners including Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s, Acme, Tom Thumb, Randalls, and Star Market, as well as meal kit company Plated.
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