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Amatil X joins forces with Artesian Venture Partners

Amatil X, the corporate venturing platform of Coca-Cola Amatil, has partnered with Artesian Venture Partners to establish a multi-million dollar fund targeting early stage start-ups focused on delivering value for customers, strengthening Amatil’s capabilities, and exploring new growth opportunities.

Amatil X, the corporate venturing platform of Coca-Cola Amatil, has partnered with Artesian Venture Partners to establish a multi-million dollar fund targeting early stage start-ups focused on delivering value for customers, strengthening Amatil’s capabilities, and exploring new growth opportunities.

Coca-Cola Amatil Group Director of Partners and Growth Mr Chris Sullivan said funding for the Amatil X Early Stage Venture Fund would come from existing resources allocated to the Amatil X program. The Fund would seek minority investments in early stage start-ups that meet investment thesis criteria and mandate, and would be managed by Artesian.

“One focus of Amatil X is to invest in platforms that allow our current and future customers to optimise their business and increase sales,” Mr Sullivan said.

“Artesian are recognised experts in identifying and recommending high quality early-stage startups for investment. We’re proud to partner with them in growing start-up ecosystems and scouting for business opportunities for the future,” Mr Sullivan said.

“Artesian’s Venture Capital as a Service (VCaaS) platform provides Amatil X with the scalable resources and expertise required to filter and select the best early stage startups across Amatil’s territories. By investing in a portfolio of best-of-breed early stage startups, Amatil X has access to a pre-screened and de-risked pipeline from which they may choose to make strategic, later stage investments,” said Jeremy Colless, Managing Partner of Artesian Venture Partners.

“The Amatil X and Artesian partnership addresses the dynamics of a new wave of corporate innovation activity that requires access to the pipeline of distributed R&D activity beingundertaken by thousands of early stage startups operating across the region,” Mr Colless said.

First investment from Fund
Mr Sullivan said the Amatil X Early Stage Venture Fund had also secured its first minority investment in Aider (www.aider.ai), a New Zealand-based start-up which has developed an artificial intelligence digital assistant for SMEs to improve outcomes for hospitality and retail businesses.

Mr Sullivan said Aider’s technology, accessible through a mobile app and voice-activated technology, gives underserved SMEs immediate access to insights from their data. Aider also monitors a business’s real-time performance data to support financial decisions.

“Voice-activated commerce will contribute more than $80 billion per year to global economies by 2023, and we’re enthusiastic about encouraging its rollout in our region,” Mr Sullivan said.

“Aider fits the bill. It brings together all aspects of a business owner’s data to optimise returns and helps the retailer better match data with instinct in daily business decisions.”

Funding from the Amatil X Early Stage Venture Fund will further develop Aider’s capabilities and extend its rollout to businesses ranging from corner stores and cafes to major consumer chains.

Aider co-founder and CFO Mr Pete Weaver said the digital assistant was like having a rock-star employee.

“Aider starts with a conversation. Via text or voice-assistants like Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, a business owner can simply ask Aider real time questions like “what was my top-seller last week?”, “what will my sales look like next week?” or “what was my wage cost vs. revenue last month?”, and Aider returns a prompt answer.

“Aider is homegrown technology which has been in market in New Zealand for one year, and now has over two hundred customers from local retailers to Westpac Bank NZ. We aim to grow Aider’s presence in New Zealand and Australia, and then look at other markets.”

Amatil X was launched in April 2018 in Australia and New Zealand and in Indonesia from April 2019. In each location, Amatil X scouts for start-ups that address Coca-Cola Amatil’s business priorities in:
  • on-demand delivery,
  • distribution optimisation,
  • in-store analytics, and
  • sustainable packaging.