Nestlé invests in LATAM start-ups through Angel Ventures

By Niamh Michail

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/andresr
© GettyImages/andresr

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Nestlé is investing in Angel Ventures, a Latin American venture capital firm based in Mexico in order to fuel start-up innovation in Latin America.

The Swiss food giant said the start-ups could be related to new technologies, food brands or business models. It said the agreement was unique in the region and would bring together Nestlé's technology and Angel Ventures’ strategic capabilities.

Founded in 2008, Angel Ventures has so far invested over US$40 million in over 40 early-stage companies, linking them with strategic investors, such as Nestlé. It recently created the Pacific Alliance Fund II, which is actively investing in companies in the economic block made up of Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru, and looking to close at US$100 million in the first quarter of 2020.

Laurent Freixe, Nestlé’S CEO for the Americas said the three stakeholders were agreed on the high development potential of the region.

We are sure that this strategic alliance will lead to the strengthening of the entrepreneurial ecosystem. It will also promote job creation, increase the level of competitiveness in young entrepreneurs and approach innovative proposals that allow us to continue revolutionizing the food and beverage industry,” ​he added.

Nestle’s investment will be used to create a Food Tech Committee whose mission is to find emerging companies with innovative technologies or business models and invest in them, providing support in decision-making and accelerating their growth.

The founders of Angel Ventures, Hernán Fernández and Camilo Kejner, said Nestlé was a strategic partner thanks to its capital and also its desire to make available its research and development leadership.

Angel Ventures’ portfolio includes several food industry start-ups, such as Cervecería Cinco de Mayo, a craft brewery located in Puebla and Pinchef, an e-commerce company that delivers fresh ingredients and step-by-step recipes directly to customers’ homes at an affordable price. The company says its goal is to challenge the traditional retail supply chain model by offering a service that is even more convenient than groceries purchased online.

Nestlé's LATAM investment

This summer, Nestlé announced plans to invest R$1 billion (US$248m)​ at its factories in São Paulo state and in start-up acceleration over the next three years. 

Last month, Nestlé Health Science (NHSc) Brazil launched Nestlé Beyond Food​, a competition that plans to create and build partnerships with start-ups working in the field of e-health.

Brazil was the first country NHSc chose to run a business acceleration program.

As part of Nestlé Beyond Food, the Swiss food giant is working with São Paulo-based entrepreneur network, StartSe, and R&D and manufacturing specialists, Innoscience, in order to identify start-ups offering products or services that address nutritional health problems, such as personalized nutrition, healthy aging, and gut health.

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