Kraft Heinz Co., headquartered in Chicago and Pittsburgh, said it launched Evolv Ventures, a venture fund that will invest in emerging tech companies transforming the food industry. Kraft Heinz committed up to $100 million to Evolv Ventures and brought on venture investor Bill Pescatello to lead the fund.
“New technological innovations in the food industry create endless new opportunities to strengthen business models,” said Bernardo Hees, CEO of Kraft Heinz. “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.”
Pescatello brings more than a decade of successful venture investing experience at two 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, the company said, and was also a founding member of the Peacock Equity Fund, a $250 million global capital fund of GE Capital and NBCUniversal.
The new fund will accelerate Kraft Heinz’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,” Pescatello said. “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.”
Evolv Ventures will be based in Chicago, Kraft Heinz said.