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Amatil X establishes venture fund for start-ups

Coca-Cola’s corporate venturing platform, Amatil X, has collaborated with Artesian Venture Partners on a multi-million dollar fund for new start-ups. The program is targeting start-ups that deliver value for customers, strengthening the beverage bottler’s capabilities and growth opportunities.

Coca-Cola Amatil group director of partners and growth Chris Sullivan said that funding from Amatil X Early Stage Venture Fund is coming from current resources for the program. The fund seeks minority investments in early stage start-ups that passes the investment thesis criteria and mandate and would be managed by Artesian.

“One focus of Amatil X is to invest in platforms that allow our current and future customers to optimise their business and increase sales. Artesian are recognised experts in identifying and recommending high quality early-stage start-ups for investment. We’re proud to partner with them in growing start-up ecosystems and scouting for business opportunities for the future,” Sullivan said.

“Artesian’s Venture Capital as a Service (VCaaS) platform provides Amatil X with the scalable resources and expertise required to filter and select the best early stage startups across Amatil’s territories. By investing in a portfolio of best-of-breed early stage startups, Amatil X has access to a pre-screened and de-risked pipeline from which they may choose to make strategic, later stage investments,” said Jeremy Colless, managing partner of Artesian Venture Partners.

The first minority investment involves New Zealand-based start-up, New Aider, which develops an artificial intelligence digital assistant for SMEs for retail businesses.

Sullivan said the business provides underserved SMEs access to insights from their data and monitors a business’ real-time performance data to support financial decisions.

“Voice-activated commerce will contribute more than $80 billion per year to global economies by 2023, and we’re enthusiastic about encouraging its rollout in our region,” Sullivan said.

The fund will also help develop Aider to roll out the service to new businesses including corner stores, cafes and major consumer chains.

“Aider starts with a conversation. Via text or voice-assistants like Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, a business owner can simply ask Aider real time questions like “what was my top-seller last week?”, “what will my sales look like next week?” or “what was my wage cost vs. revenue last month?”, and Aider returns a prompt answer,” Aider co-founder and CFO Pete Weaver said.

Coca-Cola first launched Amatil X in Australia and New Zealand in 2018 and in Indonesia from April 2019. The program looks for start-ups in areas such as on-demand delivery, distribution optimisation, in-store analytics and sustainable packaging.

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