Kellogg launches venture capital fund

by Monica Watrous
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Kellogg 1894 Capital
Kellogg established eighteen94 capital to invest in startups pioneering in food, ingredients, packaging and technology.

BATTLE CREEK, MICH. — Kellogg Co. has launched eighteen94 capital (1894), a $100 million venture capital fund to invest in startups pioneering in food ingredients, packaging and technology.

Gary Pilnick, Kellogg, 1894 Capital
Gary Pilnick, vice-chairman of Kellogg

“As consumer preferences move toward more diverse tastes and trends, the pace of innovation in the packaged food industry continues to intensify,” said Gary Pilnick, vice-chairman of Kellogg.  “By investing directly in the most promising entrepreneurs and ventures, we can increase greatly our access to game-changing ideas and trends that could become significant sources of growth for us. At the same time, we will be providing these companies with essential growth capital and access to Kellogg resources and expertise, which will help drive their ideas and businesses. It’s truly a win-win.”

Through 1894, Kellogg seeks to invest in emerging companies in both its core categories and adjacent categories, as well as in businesses that have developed consumer-driven technologies that may lead to long-term, mutual growth opportunities. Though stage-agnostic, the fund will focus on early stage businesses that have demonstrated proof of concept in the marketplace and have generated initial revenue.

Simon Burton, a 10-year executive at Kellogg with extensive investment experience, will manage 1894 as managing director. Additionally, Kellogg has partnered with Touchdown Ventures, which specializes in corporate venture capital, to assist with managing the fund.

Simon Burton, Kellogg, 1894 Capital
Simon Burton, executive at Kellogg and managing director of 1894

“We want to help take our partners’ innovative spirit and passion as far as they can go,” Mr. Burton said.  “We want to help create the ideal conditions for growth; that’s why we believe that 1894 will become the destination for ideas.”

By establishing 1894, Kellogg joins the likes of companies including General Mills, Inc., Campbell Soup Co., and the Hain Celestial Group, Inc., that have initiated similar endeavors within the past year.
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