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Why 7-Eleven has a venture capital arm

Large companies such as Google and Intel have venture capital arms that provide investment capital to startup companies around the country. The 7-Eleven international chain of convenience stores, which started in Texas nearly 90 years ago, also has a venture capital arm called 7-Ventures. The company aims to invest in new technology that can help the company better interact with its customers.

The company has made investments in startup investments in companies such as KeyMe, which is a digital locksmith company as well as a loyalty card firm called Belly. However, investing in food technology is a top priority for the venture capital branch going forward. Other investment priorities include coming up with better ways to communicate with customers and better ways to leverage its 8,500 locations in the United States.

Some ideas include allowing delivery services to partner with 7-Eleven as well as allowing customers to have products delivered to Amazon lockers located in stores. The company anticipates that it could be as little as six months before it starts partnering with delivery services in an effort that may make it easier to provide customers with what they want without leaving home.

Many new companies rely on venture capital to test new ideas, expand into new markets or otherwise commence operations. However, this money is not given out for free. The venture companies will generally ask for an equity stake in the company or a spot on the company's board. Anyone who owns a startup that would like to ask for venture capital may wish to speak to a business law attorney. An attorney may be able to help draft documents, vet various venture capital opportunities and ensure that the financing process complies with all legal and regulatory requirements.

Source: Recode, "Oh Thank Heaven, Even 7-Eleven Has a Venture Capital Arm", Ina Fried, August 07, 2014

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