As part of the raise, Yumi structured the investment as an SPV (special purpose vehicle) to allow more than 70 woman investors to purchase shares at a 20% discount. Notable participants included Goldman Sachs executive Christina Minnis, City National Bank CEO Kelly Coffey, Day One Ventures founder Masha Drokova, and Nasdaq executive Lauren Dillard.
Spotlighting social equality
The investment round was introduced to draw attention to persistent gender inequality issues within venture capitalism and equity finance, says Yumi. According to the Pew Research Center, women in the US earned only 84% of what men earned in 2020. The company’s successful all-woman funding represents a significant activism step towards addressing the ongoing disparity.
Founded by Angela Sutherland and Evelyn Rusli in 2017, Yumi sells a popular line of plant-based baby and toddler foods through a D2C subscription service. Yumi has quickly grown into a top-selling brand, and now reportedly feeds 3% of all babies born in the US. This year the company expects to reach close to $100 million in sales.
Leveling the playing field
Yumi’s women-driven Series B funding is the brand’s latest attempt to break down barriers and set new socially responsible standards in business.
“As a mission-driven brand, Yumi is focused on providing nutrient-dense, scientifically-based products that help parents better optimize their entire family’s nutrition,” Angela Sutherland, co-founder and chief executive officer of Yumi told Food Business News.
“Being a data-driven company based in the CPG space, a category whose primary customer is often female yet is typically funded by male-owned venture capital companies, we believe it was important for us to recognize and correct this imbalance,” she added. “By providing opportunities for investment from a group of powerful women, we were excited to be able to level our own internal playing field.”