One of the first companies the Kairos Fund is investing in is Little Spoon, an organic local baby food delivery company that is launching its nationwide service Thursday. The start-up is only two years-old but has attracted heavyweight angel investors such as Kyle O'Brien, Chobani's executive VP of sales, and Sean Rad, co-founder and former CEO of Tinder, the popular dating app.
According to co-founder and CMO Lisa Barnett, a former brand strategist at Estee Lauder and venture capital investor at Sherpa Foundry, Little Spoon is targeting a lucrative niche in the $55 billion global baby food market: Affordable organic food for infants that is not processed with harmful chemicals and preservatives.
Right now, that business is dominated by huge corporations such as Nestle's Gerber, Campbell Soup Company's Plum Organics and Beechnut. Recent studies have found detectable levels of lead in baby food samples, a serious health concern since lead can cause problems with attention and cognitive development in a baby's formative first two years of life.
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While other organic baby food companies are springing up, Little Spoon says it has an edge because it owns the facility where it produces the baby food and can control the process in California. It also uses a technique called high-pressure processing (HPP), which is basically what happens with cold-pressed juices and is used to lock in the nutrients and neutralize bad bacteria instead of using additives, preservatives or simply flash-freezing like some other brands.
The company has set up a nationwide shipping network so products can ship anywhere in a day. Little Spoon will ship you up to two weeks worth of 4 oz.-sized meals for babies at $2.99 per meal for three meals a day (if you buy in bulk), or up to $4.99. The team behind Little Spoon also consists of co-founder Michelle Muller as the "chief mom," co-founder and CEO Ben Lewis, and co-founder and chief product officer Angela Vranich.