Brazilian meat processor Minerva has launched a venture-capital fund to target investments in start-ups across the supply chain.

It “will be focused on start-ups and tech companies with highly innovative skills, strictly related to Minerva’s value chain (alternative proteins, logistics, livestock, agri-tech and food retail) that have a long-term potential to enhance synergies, leverage our capabilities and unlock unique opportunities,” the company said in a statement, without providing further details.

just-food asked Minerva for more information regarding the targeted geographical markets, the amount of money it plans to invest and the reasons behind the launch, but a spokesperson for the meat processor said no other details would be revealed until after it publishes its next set of results on 28 July.

“The company remains in its quiet period until it discloses its second-quarter 2020 results,” the spokesperson said.

The venture-capital fund is part of a three-pronged initiative under a newly launched “innovation area” which will also include an e-commerce platform and advanced analytics

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Minerva said the e-commerce platform will “leverage opportunities of the digital sales channel” and will initially be aimed at Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay. 

“The company’s e-commerce-based strategy will strength our digital sales channels and improve Minerva´s market intelligence on consumer preferences, enabling additional commercial opportunities,” it said.

Meanwhile, the analytics segment “will be responsible for the development and management of statistic data and artificial intelligence tools to support Minerva´s decision-making process on the operational, financial and risk management front”. 

It added: “Since 1992, Minerva has a unique data lake comprising public information about the meat industry and global trade, that once integrated will certainly improve Minerva’s efficiency and provide a myriad of new opportunities to the company.”

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