Mondelēz Begins Corporate VC SnackFutures Ventures to Aid Future Acquisitions

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Mondelēz has closed its innovation hub SnackFutures and CoLab Program, which helped develop early-stage snack products for five years. The company has since formed SnackFuture Ventures, a corporate venture capital firm.

The new organization was founded as part of Mondelēz’s efforts to double down on investments in growth-stage startups positioned to be the “disruptors of the future,” according to Richie Grey, VP and Global Head of SnackFutures. The goal is to scale up businesses linked with Mondelēz’s current categories and markets before adding them to the portfolio. Mondelēz invested in Hu Master Holdings through SnackFutures and later acquired the paleo chocolate maker for $340 million in 2021.

Gray notes that SnackFutures Ventures invests directly from Mondelēz’s bank sheet and is “choiceful and highly strategic” in their financing choices.

“It’s been a test and learn process for us, and starting from scratch needs a lot of effort and resources. Gray explains that Mondelēz’s vision aligns with the corporate venture model rather than a startup accelerator, as the corporation thrives on scale. “We don’t operate as a traditional fund; it’s really about investing in the right businesses with capabilities and technologies relevant to our portfolio and future.”

SnackFutures Ventures invests in early-stage brands that disrupt Mondelēz’s core categories, including chocolate, biscuits, and baked goods. They also target scale-up companies with a minimum annual revenue of $20 million, driven by strong repeat purchases and in-store velocities. These companies are normally needed to generate positive EBITDA and have previously achieved profitability.

“We envisage an acquisition in three to four years after our first investment,” Gray went on to say. SnackFutures Ventures has invested in two Israeli startups so far: Celleste Bio, a cocoa ingredients producer using cell culture methods, and Torr Food Tech, which uses its proprietary iWeld™ technology to replace unhealthy binders such as added sugar in snacks. They will continue to source deals globally.

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