Little Spoon Inc., a direct-to-consumer baby-food firm focusing on millennial dad and mom, raised $44 million in a venture-capital funding spherical.

The so-called Sequence-B financing spherical values the corporate at roughly $200 million, folks acquainted with the matter mentioned. It was led by Valor Fairness Companions.

Little Spoon ships natural purées, toddler meals and nutritional vitamins to prospects, bypassing grocery shops and different distribution retailers. Final 12 months, Little Spoon launched Plates, its meals for toddlers and greater kids. The corporate additionally provides a digital neighborhood that gives caregivers with a platform to attach and work together.

“Packaged baby food hasn’t evolved in line with the modern parent,” Chief Govt

Ben Lewis

mentioned in an interview. “It was this glaring void that we couldn’t ignore,” added Mr. Lewis, who co-founded Little Spoon in 2017 with

Lisa Barnett,

Michelle Muller

and

Angela Vranich.

Little Spoon is one in every of a number of upstart baby-food corporations to leap aboard the natural pattern, aiming to draw the rising demographic of millennial dad and mom. Latest reviews of excessive ranges of toxic metals in several top baby-food brands opened the door for brand spanking new rivals centered on security.

Co-founders Lisa Barnett, Angela Vranich, Michelle Muller and Ben Lewis.



Picture:

Little Spoon Inc.

Little Spoon additionally emphasizes that it’s a mission-driven firm. Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, it has donated greater than $100,000 of its merchandise to meals pantries and launched a program to provide the merchandise at value to first responders and anybody who skilled pandemic-related monetary hardship, in keeping with the co-founders.

“It’s exactly the kind of company we like to invest in,” mentioned

Jon Shulkin,

a board member and companion at Valor Fairness Companions, which additionally invested in Little Spoon throughout its Sequence A financing spherical. “They’re solving a problem and doing good work.” He mentioned he’s optimistic concerning the firm’s progress prospects as a result of there are “always ways to scale” for makers of child and youngsters’s meals.

Little Spoon mentioned it’s rising shortly, delivering seven million meals because the onset of the pandemic out of the 15 million delivered because the firm’s founding. Massive baby-food makers have needed to adapt as some dad and mom make their very own and others embrace baby-led-weaning, through which infants are served items of actual meals quite than purées.

Whereas total meals gross sales surged throughout pandemic-related shutdowns across the U.S., the baby-food phase didn’t obtain the identical increase, in keeping with market-research agency IRI. Gross sales of child meals dropped within the spring of 2020, and although they’ve climbed since, progress has continued to lag behind the broader meals phase.

Write to Corrie Driebusch at [email protected]

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