Chipotle Unveils $50M Early-Stage VC Fund

Fast casual restaurant chain Chipotle unveiled its new $50 million venture fund this week to invest in early-stage companies.

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The fund, Cultivate Next, will invest in seed to Series B stage companies “that can accelerate the Company’s strategic priorities such as running great restaurants, amplifying technology and innovation, further advancing its Food With Integrity mission, and expanding access and convenience for consumers,” Chipotle said in a statement.

The venture fund will be financed by only Chipotle, according to the company. And while the venture fund itself is new, it won’t be the first time the Newport Beach-based company, which was founded in 1993 in Colorado, invests in startups. Chipotle has invested in at least three companies before, according to Crunchbase. 

Most recently, the company invested in self-driving vehicle and delivery company Nuro’s Series C in March 2020, per Crunchbase data. The company also invested in restaurant chain Everytable’s venture round and the incubator Elix Incubator’s seed round.

Chipotle has nearly 3,000 restaurants in the United States, Canada and Europe.

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias

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