Last month, California-based baby food startup Yumi introduced a $67 million Series B funding spherical, led by San Francisco-based biotech fund Jazz Ventures Partners, 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 Dogg and Gabrielle Union.
But 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 encompasses a female-led particular goal automobile (SPV), which incorporates about 70 new ladies investors and women-led companies. Yumi chief monetary officer Sarah Marie Martin says the SPV is about creating extra choices for ladies. Knowing that ladies proceed to earn 84% of what males earn, in line with a Pew Research Center evaluation, Yumi goals to stage the taking part in discipline through the use of the SPV as a possibility for ladies to spend money on the corporate at a 20% low cost.
“Having more women investors is wonderful for us because it expands our network, and the whole goal is to get more women involved in venture capital,” says Martin, a 25-year Wall Street vet and former Goldman (*70*) exec who joined Yumi final May. “Getting more seats at the table for better investment opportunities, to get more women-founded businesses funded by women. It’s not all about money: It’s about knowing each other, having access to each other, giving each other advice, and learning from one another. With a business like ours, we have an opportunity to be powerful in that regard and really leverage that.”
The SPV is led by Desiree Gruber, founder and CEO of the artistic company Full Picture and cofounder of DGNL Ventures. Gruber says that the SPV is comprised of a mixture of first-timers and seasoned investors. “Closing the gender equity gap is long overdue, so it’s inspiring to see a company level the playing field and flip its cap table with a powerful group of female investors,” says Gruber. “The Yumi SPV is a highly actionable case study for other companies who want to equalize their cap tables but don’t have deep networks of qualified female investors. This SPV shows that there are tools and communities out there for people who want to see change in this industry.”
Yumi investor Anjula Acharia, 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 these companies that are really targeted at women or have a huge female-user base—whether it’s Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram—all have very few women on the cap table or women around the board table,” says Acharia. “From my perspective, when you’re trying to solve a problem, or you’re selling a product largely aimed at women, it’s really important to have women around the table.”
Other investors within the SPV embody 40 North head of markets A.J. Murphy, former Bank of America exec and Point Advisors founder Anne Clarke Wolff, Goldman (*70*) exec Christina Minnis, AF Ventures president Jordan Gaspar, Chicago Red Stars proprietor and former NFL exec Julie Haddon, City National Bank CEO Kelly Coffey, Day One Ventures founder Masha Drokova, and Nasdaq exec Lauren Dillard.
Founded in 2017, Yumi has shortly established itself as a pacesetter in pioneering and advocating for greater requirements within the baby and children food market, with a variety of natural choices all with out added sugars or preservatives. Over the final 12 months, Yumi reportedly served 2% of all infants born in America, and even greater in some markets (in San Francisco, it’s 10%.). Initially making a reputation for itself with modern recipes and substances for kids of all ages, Yumi has since branched out to curated-product collections like its Chef Series, 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 might 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 instrument to construct extra gender fairness amongst startups’ investors. “I hope Desiree and others raise women-focused SPVs for more businesses that are owned by or have a majority customer base for women,” says Martin. “It’s such a great opportunity to make ourselves better and help solve our own problems as women. I’m so excited because I don’t want this to just be us.”