Marks & Spencer partners with Founders Factory

Marks & Spencer has partnered with Founders Factory to launch Founders Factory Retail – a joint venture focused on investing and growing retail startups.

M&S will become Founders Factory’s exclusive UK retail partner, and invest in a number of startups, sourced through Founders Factory’s global network. M&S will become the majority shareholder within the joint venture which will build a portfolio of investments in fast growth startups, which it will seek to grow and scale.

Steve Rowe, chief executive at M&S, said: “Partnering with Founders Factory as their exclusive retail partner gives M&S access to a global network of start-ups and entrepreneurs which will provide disruptive thinking and questioning to the way we work at a time of critical transformation within the business.”

Brent Hoberman, co-founder and executive chairman of Founders Factory, added: “After over 60 investments in the last two years we have seen the huge potential of combining startup innovation with corporate scale and expertise, and so we are excited by this new chapter in a sector that is changing rapidly through technology.”

The launch of Founders Factory Retail bolsters the ongoing transformation of M&S, which is seeking to place digital at the heart of the business. M&S recently announced a strategic partnership with Microsoft, which is testing the capabilities of technology and artificial intelligence in a retail environment.

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