Starbucks Corp is investing $100 million in a newly created fund to promote companies developing new technologies and products for the food and retail industry.
The fund, Valor Siren Ventures Fund, will later seek to raise an additional $300 million, the world's largest coffee chain said.
Valor Equity Partners, which runs the fund, is an early stage investor in Tesla.
"We are inspired by, and want to support the creative, entrepreneurial businesses of tomorrow with whom we may explore commercial relationships down the road," Starbucks Chief Executive Kevin Johnson said in a statement.
With the move, Starbucks joins companies such as Golden Valley-based General Mills in supporting startup and early-stage companies.
Mills' venture capital arm, 301 Inc., invests in outside, early-stage companies that could be a potential acquisition in the future, including plant-based protein companies Farmhouse Culture and Kite Hill.
The largest U.S. meat producer, Tyson Foods, started a fund called Tyson Ventures in 2016 to invest specifically in businesses that focus on developing plant-based protein. Kraft Heinz and PepsiCo Inc. have also set up similar funds.
Starbucks, which conducted its annual meeting on Wednesday, reaffirmed its longer-term revenue and profit targets and said it would buy back $2 billion in shares, as part of a commitment to return $25 billion to shareholders through 2020.
The annual shareholder meeting came as the coffee chain counters sluggish performance in its U.S. business through a revamp of its stores and introduction of fresher food and cold brews that has driven market-beating same-store sales in the past two quarters.
The company's shares are up about 11 percent since the beginning of the year, compared with a 13 percent gain in the S&P 500 Index.