Sodexo Ventures (No. 6 on the DiversityInc Top 50 Companies list) fund makes first investment with Wynd, a start-up specialized in solutions to digitize retail points-of-sale and create cross-channel customer journeys.
Sodexo, world leader in Quality of Life services, announced November 17 the launch of Sodexo Ventures, a 50 million euro venture capital fund, whose investments will combine agility and creativity with the Group’s investment capacity, skills and expertise in sectors as varied as Food-Tech, health and wellness, data, mobility and smart buildings.
Sodexo Ventures will invest in start-ups with high growth potential in line with Sodexo’s current or future activities. This investment strategy will allow Sodexo to closely monitor, anticipate and respond to evolutions in its rapidly moving sectors and markets.
Technology is evolving and opening up new ways of communicating, thus creating new channels of interaction and transaction for consumers. In addition, customer habits are also changing: consumers demand more time optimization, convenience and personalization. Evolving consumer needs, new and disruptive technologies and the changing nature of services are creating a new competitive landscape.
For Sodexo, it is a key opportunity to provide new and better services and enhanced experiences to the people we serve. Sodexo has already begun this journey, notably in the food environment, with the development of direct-to-consumer applications and online portals proposing menus, nutritional information, card recharging, waiting times and pre-ordering features. With Sodexo Ventures, the Group, building on its existing assets, will accelerate its ambitious strategy to enhance existing services as well as imagine the services of tomorrow.
“Sodexo Ventures will allow Sodexo to combine the agility and creativity of start-ups with the Group’s investment capacity, expertise and international footprint to create even more value for our clients and consumers through ever more innovative Quality of Life services,” saidSodexo Chief Executive Officer Michel Landel.
Sodexo Ventures will make its inaugural investment alongside Orange Digital Ventures, joining both the latter and Alven Capital as minority investor in Wynd, a French start-up specialized in digital solutions for retail and restaurants such as click and collect, office delivery and booking. This move reflects Sodexo’s enhanced focus on the “consumer experience” to respond to the changing needs and behaviors of its 75 million consumers worldwide.
Founded in 2013 by Ismael Ould and Arthur Perticoz, Wynd has developed a modular SAAS solution that aims to connect the in-store (digital for store) and the out-of-store (web to store) world. It offers a full solution to manage on-site and off-site sales, a unified back-office to handle operations and CRM, and a solution to authorize and process on-site and off-site payment.
With Wynd’s tailor-made solutions, Sodexo will be able to create omni-channel consumer experiences and will develop new services and enhancing existing ones with table booking, ordering, payment, couponing and loyalty functions, all while leveraging Sodexo Benefits & Rewards merchants’ offers. This cutting edge technology will allow Sodexo to obtain a 360 vision of consumer experience from mobile to table, from office space to dining space.
“After building a rewarding partnership over the past year, we are delighted to continue to grow our business with Sodexo, with whom we share the same values and ambition to revolutionize the consumer experience,” saidIsmael Ould, CEO and co-founder of Wynd.
This investment is subject to a vote at Wynd’s shareholders meeting scheduled the week of Nov. 21, 2016.