Nestle is buying a majority stake in Blue Bottle Coffee, an Oakland-based coffee company valued at $US700 million in the deal — and Silicon Valley is rejoicing.
Why? Because since its inception in 2002, Blue Bottle Coffee had taken in over $US120 million in funding from some of the tech industry’s most prominent venture investors…and some of Hollywood’s finest, to boot.
That means those investors are likely getting a nice payout with Thursday’s deal.
Here’s a brief list of some of the A-listers who are getting richer off the Blue Bottle deal.
- Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom, who invested in Blue Bottle all three times the company went after venture funding: Once each in 2012, 2014, and 2015.
- Evan Williams, cofounder of Twitter.
- “Shark Tank’s” Chris Sacca, as well as his venture firm Lowercase Capital.
- GV, the venture capital firm formerly known as Google Ventures.
- Jared Leto, of “Suicide Squad” fame, who’s actually a prolific startup investor.
- Bono, the frontman of U2.
- Pro skater Tony Hawk.
- Morgan Stanley.
If this list proves nothing else, it’s that the definition of a “tech company” is rapidly changing. For further evidence, look at Amazon’s purchase of the Whole Foods grocery chain.
Nestle is spending $US500 million to take a 68% stake in Blue Bottle, the Financial Times reported Thursday. The deal values the 50-plus-location coffee chain and roastery at more than $US700 million.
If a slow-drip pourover coffee company can qualify for this level of interest from Silicon Valley’s top investors, then either everything is a tech company, or nothing is.