7-Ventures is the venture capital arm of convenience store chain 7-Eleven. 7-Ventures is investing small amounts of money into startups within the retail and food spaces. It is led by 7-Eleven business development executive Raja Doddala. The reason for 7-Ventures is to go and find products and services in food and beverage, and new technology and business models that change how people interact with retailers and apply that back to the core business and corporate strategy. Another obvious benefit is using 7-Eleven stores to test startup ideas.
7-Eleven joins the growing number of large corporations with venture capital funds, including Google, Intel and Samsung, amid a decline in traditional venture capital investments. Corporate provides all the resources, knowledge and distribution, and the entrepreneurs provide the ideas, new technology and that agility to bring something to market quickly. 7-Ventures doesn't yet have a target of planned investments per year or even major return expectations.