Los Angeles-based baby food company Yumi has hired Goldman Sachs partner Sarah-Marie Martin as its first CFO, the company announced Thursday.
Martin has been a managing director for Goldman's financial and strategic investors group since 2016. Prior to that, she spent more than two decades at Credit Suisse.
- Yumi serves 2% of all babies in the U.S., it told Bloomberg, and is experiencing rapid growth as a result of broader demand for food delivery amid the pandemic.
Martin, a mother of five, said Yumi's mission inspires her, and there is "a large market opportunity" for fresh, organic baby food delivery.
"I'm bringing an extraordinarily vast network of relationships across investment banking and our clients," Martin told CFO Dive. "I've done hundreds of M&A and financing deals, so I'm also bringing deal execution expertise."
Martin's near-term goals are executing on Yumi's growth, and working with senior management on using its existing capital to execute on its growth plan.
"Yumi has so many potential growth opportunities, but there's only so much time and resources," she said. "The skillset I'd bring to that is lots of problem-solving experience, and hopefully good judgment."
The startup also may appeal to public market investors, she added.
"The market is looking for high-growth companies that are well-positioned to disrupt the traditional food industry," Martin told Bloomberg. "There are many options in Yumi's future, whether that's within the next 12 months or beyond."
But despite its rapid growth trajectory, Yumi does not intend go public within 12 months, Martin said, bucking the trend of investment bankers joining start-ups on the heels of an IPO announcement.
"We're open-minded, and we'll be smart based on what the markets will bear," she said. "But our core focus in the near term is scaling the core baby food business."
Evelyn Rusli, a former Wall Street reporter, and Angela Sutherland, another Goldman alumnus, founded the brand in 2017, when dog food delivery companies outnumbered baby foods.
With Martin's hire, three out of the four c-suite positions at Yumi will be held by women, with co-founders Sutherland and Rusli in the CEO and CMO roles, respectively.
"I'm so delighted to be part of a business that is succeeding in venture capital when there seem to be these incredible impediments to women and diverse businesses," Martin said.
The company counts venture capital firms New Enterprise Associates, August Capital and Brand Foundry among their investors.
Yumi is also expanding beyond baby food with offerings for older children, Martin said. "There's a lot of opportunity here to continue to grow with the child," Rusli said, according to Bloomberg.
"My goal here is to be the strategic CFO," Martin added. "That doesn't mean I don't plan on overseeing accounting and finance, but I think the expectation for me, and my expectation for the role, will be to be a real thought partner to the business."