Organic Baby Food Startup Yumi Secures $4.1 Million in Seed Funding
Company will initially launch in California and expand as Yumi grows.
With $4.1 million in seed funding from Brand Foundry, August Capital and NEA and others under its belt, organic baby food startup Yumi launched in California earlier this week, reports Forbes. The company was founded by Angela Sutherland and Evelyn Rusli who want to provide prepared organic baby food to busy parents who want healthier meals for their children. As a new parent, Sutherland compared baby foods and discovered that many – including organic brands – contained high amounts of fructose, and she wasn’t satisfied with the options available.
"It made me realize my choices were limited," Sutherland says in the Forbes article. "I either had to cook every meal, or compromise and make that choice in the grocery aisle."
Sutherland partnered with Rusli, a business journalist, to work with nutritionists and chefs to develop a line of organic and simple yet nutrient-dense meals for babies. All of Yumi’s food is organic, plant-based and low in sugar. It is also “big-allergen-free” which means it is gluten-free, soy-free and dairy-free.
“Babies deserve healthier and more thoughtfully-balanced food than grown-ups. Nutrition affects them a lot more than it affects us. So we work with pediatricians, nutritionists and chefs to create single-ingredient purees and multi-ingredient blends that best suit your baby’s needs,” says the Yumi website.
Yumi will target millennials and follow a meal kit subscription model. At the outset, subscribers can choose between six, 10 and 14 meals per week, starting at $50 per week for six meals. Meals include single-ingredient purees like white beans, black beans, broccoli and butternut squash, and over 50 combinations in their multi-ingredient blends like squash greens which includes yam, pineapple, dragon fruit, coconut milk, quinoa, banana, chia seed, date and wheat germ oil. Coming soon – finger food!
Similar to Amazon Fresh, the meals are delivered in insulated containers with ice packs. That packaging is curbside recyclable, insulation in the packing is compostable, and the ice packs are reusable. Shipping is free, and there is no long-term commitment. Subscribers can skip or cancel at any time.
Yumi’s website explains their process in three steps, “Farm to Face”:
- Yumi sources ingredients from the best farms.
- Their pediatricians, nutritionists and chefs prepare the meals.
- Yumi delivers. “Good for baby. Good for you.”
Yumi may have some competition with Little Spoon, a baby food startup in New York, which is currently available by invitation only. Nurture Life is a similar service offering organic, premade baby food weekly from infants to toddlers to kids with plans starting at $55 a week for an 8-meal plan.
Yumi is an example of one of the things we most love about the subscription model. It allows people with an innovative idea the ability to develop that idea and fill a niche or gap. While I am no longer a millennial and my children are adults now, this would have been a welcome service as a busy, new mom who wanted healthier choices for her baby. The successful seed funding round indicates that the Yumi founders have done their homework to create a product and model that investors are willing to back.
And, of course, we love that they are testing their product in a specific market – California – so they can learn from that experience and tweak everything from ingredient sourcing and product development to delivery and customer experience before taking Yumi to a larger audience. We wish Yumi success and look forward to watching them grow!