YEE GOES THE FOOD ROUTE: Patrick Yee, who left his role as chief executive officer of Laird + Partners last month, has lined up a new gig. He has been named chief marketing officer of Daily Harvest, a New York-based subscription service specializing in frozen, plant-based, one-step-prep foods, which recently closed $43 million in Series B funding.
“For me, more than ever, food is such a reflection of your personality and your style,” Yee said. “I was personally moved so much by how my experience with food has evolved over the years — in that gap between how I aspire to eat versus the way that I end up eating, when I haven’t had lunch at 3 p.m. and I’m rushing to try to find something, or I’ve got to get out of the door and I have minus five minutes. I think for the modern professional, it’s such a challenge to eat the way that you want to. There’s been this larger shift of wellness and food, and it’s a huge driver of your lifestyle.”
Prior to Laird + Partners, Yee was executive vice president of marketing and strategy at Refinery29 for eight years. Before that, he was founder and president of Shopflick, a venture-capital backed shopping site sold to Sugar Publishing in 2009. Earlier, he cofounded RocketXL, a digital marketing agency which was sold in 2008 to Cossette Communications Group.
As chief marketing officer, Yee’s role will be “expanding our world, bringing the brand to life in new, creative ways.”
“It’s really about standing for something more than just our products,” he added. Yee, who started Tuesday, said he wasn’t ready to discuss specifics yet.
“I think I’m bringing a content approach with my background with Refinery and certainly my stint at Laird as well. I think there’s no better time to be a storyteller than now. And I think there are so many great stories and so many ways for our brand to come to life in ways that it isn’t right now, and I think video will play a big part of that.”
Daily Harvest’s latest fund round was led by Lightspeed Venture Partners with significant participation from VMG Partners. Additional investors include M13, chef and restaurateur Bobby Flay, Olympic gold medalist Shaun White and actress Haylie Duff.
Daily Harvest, launched in 2015, partners directly with organic farms and is able to harvest produce at peak ripeness and freeze it on-site, locking in nutrients that typically degrade during the traditional grocery supply chain. The brand has more than 100,000 subscribers nationwide and has expanded its line of pre-portioned cups to include smoothies, overnight oats, chia parfaits, sundaes and soups that are ready in minutes. Daily Harvest’s Series A funding in June 2017 included investments from Gwyneth Paltrow and Serena Williams.
Interestingly, other executives have parlayed their fashion experience into the food business. Christine Day, former ceo of Lululemon is now ceo of Luvo, a privately held frozen food company that develops, manufactures, markets and sells retail food products.