How baby food startup Yumi took on 70 female investors

Final month, California-based baby food startup Yumi introduced a $67 million Sequence B funding spherical, led by San Francisco-based biotech fund Jazz Ventures Companions, AF Ventures, and 23andme cofounder and CEO Anne Wojcicki. It brings the corporate’s whole funding to $79 million and provides extra name-brand investors right into a fold that already included the founders of Warby Parker, Harry’s, Sweetgreen, and Uber, in addition to such celebrities as Snoop Canine and Gabrielle Union.

However this new funding additionally represents one thing else to Yumi cofounders Angela Sutherland and Evelyn Rusli: It’s an opportunity to embed their beliefs as ladies founders into the corporate’s cap desk. This funding spherical includes a female-led particular goal car (SPV), which incorporates about 70 new ladies investors and women-led companies. Yumi chief monetary officer Sara Marie Martin says the SPV is about creating extra choices for ladies. Realizing that ladies proceed to earn 84% of what males earn, in line with a Pew Analysis Middle evaluation, Yumi goals to degree the taking part in area through the use of the SPV as a chance for ladies to spend money on the corporate at a 20% low cost.

“Having extra ladies investors is fantastic for us as a result of it expands our community, and the entire objective is to get extra ladies concerned in enterprise capital,” says Martin, a 25-year Wall Avenue vet and former Goldman Sachs exec who joined Yumi final Could. “Getting extra seats on the desk for higher funding alternatives, to get extra women-founded companies funded by ladies. It’s not all about cash: It’s about understanding one another, having entry to one another, giving one another recommendation, and studying from each other. With a enterprise like ours, we now have a chance to be highly effective in that regard and actually leverage that.”


The SPV is led by Desiree Gruber, founder and CEO of the inventive company Full Image and cofounder of DGNL Ventures. Gruber says that the SPV is comprised of a mixture of first-timers and seasoned investors. “Closing the gender fairness hole is lengthy overdue, so it’s inspiring to see an organization degree the taking part in area and flip its cap desk with a strong group of female investors,” says Gruber. “The Yumi SPV is a extremely actionable case examine for different firms who wish to equalize their cap tables however don’t have deep networks of certified female investors. This SPV reveals that there are instruments and communities on the market for individuals who wish to see change on this trade.”

Yumi investor Anjula Ancharia, who has beforehand backed Bumble and ClassPass, says an organization’s cap desk also needs to be a mirrored image of its management and buyer base. “So many of those firms which might be actually focused at ladies or have an enormous female-user base—whether or not it’s Pinterest, Fb, Twitter, or Instagram—all have only a few ladies on the cap desk or ladies across the board desk,” says Ancharia. “From my perspective, while you’re attempting to unravel an issue, otherwise you’re promoting a product largely aimed toward ladies, it’s actually essential to have ladies across the desk.”

Based in 2017, Yumi has shortly established itself as a frontrunner in pioneering and advocating for increased requirements within the baby and children food market, with a variety of natural choices all with out added sugars or preservatives. During the last 12 months, Yumi reportedly served 2% of all infants born in America, and even increased in some markets (in San Francisco, it’s 10%.). Initially making a reputation for itself with progressive recipes and substances for youngsters of all ages, Yumi has since branched out to curated-product collections like its Chef Sequence, made in collaboration with Michelin-starred and James Beard Award-winning cooks, and expanded its merchandise to incorporate a line of nutritional vitamins. This new funding will probably be used to proceed its product line growth.

Martin says she hopes Yumi isn’t the one firm to make use of an SPV as a device to construct extra gender fairness amongst startups’ investors. “I hope Desiree and others elevate women-focused SPVs for extra companies which might be owned by or have a majority buyer base for ladies,” says Martin. “It’s such a terrific alternative to make ourselves higher and assist remedy our personal issues as ladies. I’m so excited as a result of I don’t need this to only be us.”