Starbucks to Boost China Investment With New Sequoia Partnership

Starbucks Corp. (SBUX) has entered into a strategic partnership with investment firm Sequoia Capital targeted to make technology investments in China, its leading growth market next to the U.S.

Under the terms of the partnership, Starbucks will make strategic co-investments with Sequoia Capital China, and seek commercial partnerships with next-generation food and retail technology companies to propel the U.S. coffee shop chain’s digital innovation in China. The move is part of the company’s focus to grow its coffee and retail industry segment in China.

“Starbucks has an insatiable appetite for innovative ideas that augment the Starbucks Experience and keep it at the forefront of China’s retail landscape,” said Belinda Wong, chairman and chief executive officer of Starbucks China. “China’s vibrant environment is a rich ground for entrepreneurship that has seen the emergence of many local innovators that we hugely admire. The partnership enables Starbucks to tap into the most dynamic Chinese technology entrepreneurs in order to delight our customers with meaningful innovations created in China, for China.”

Through the collaboration with Sequoia Capital China, the U.S. coffee chain hopes to get early access to ideas in the retail marketplace. In addition, Starbucks expects the partnership to leverage its retail expertise, scale and infrastructure to help realize the “growth aspirations of like-minded purpose-driven companies that have a passion for leading positive change for customers and communities”.

Starbucks is scheduled to report its earnings on Tuesday.

Wall Street analysts take a cautious stance on the stock assigning a Moderate Buy consensus rating divided into 16 Holds and 10 Buys. They $79.13 average price target reflects a potential 4.7% yield in the next 12 months. (See Starbucks stock analysis on TipRanks).
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