A New $125 Million Venture Capital Fund Lunched by Leading Grocers

Five of the world’s foremost grocery retailers have joined hands to establish W23 Global, a collaborative venture capital (VC) fund aimed at driving innovation within the industry. The fund, with equal participation from each retailer, will focus on investing in startups and scale-ups leveraging technology to enhance customer experiences, optimize the grocery value chain, and address sustainability challenges.

Ingrid Maes, CEO and Chief Investment Officer of W23 Global, highlighted the venture’s potential, stating, “W23 is an international VC fund with a proposition to offer investors access to innovation in grocery and sustainability worldwide.”

The investment committee, comprising CEOs from the partner retailers, aims to identify and support entrepreneurial endeavors that offer solutions to industry challenges.

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W23 Global’s investment strategy includes improving consumer experiences, streamlining supply chains, and tackling sustainability issues spanning from production to consumption. The fund seeks to accelerate the growth of startups with promising solutions in these areas.

Frans Muller, CEO of Ahold Delhaize, emphasized the importance of collaborative innovation, stating, “We believe in driving retail innovation and fostering sustainability through partnerships with startups and scale-ups.”

W23 Global’s portfolio companies will have the freedom to engage with any customer, regardless of partnership status, fostering an open ecosystem conducive to innovation and growth.

With an initial commitment of US$125 million over five years, W23 Global aims to catalyze change within the grocery sector while promoting sustainability. Led by Ingrid Maes, an industry veteran with over 25 years of experience, the fund is positioned to make a significant impact on the global retail landscape.


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