Blake Griffin on investing in plant-based food startup Daily Harvest
The U.S. plant-based food market is expected to reach $7.4 billion in retail sales this year, with plant-based milk and meat alternatives skyrocketing in popularity. As a result, we’ve seen an explosion of new companies and products aiming to fill the void for healthier food products that are produced through more eco-conscious methods.
Among those is Daily Harvest, which ships ready-to-blend smoothies and ready-to-serve soups directly to customers’ doorsteps. The company just expanded its portfolio to include a plant-based protein, “Crumbles,” which is touted as being made in the kitchen, not engineered in a lab, and made entirely from real ingredients like lentils, nuts, seeds, and veggies. And after introducing its version of almond milk last year, Daily Harvest is adding its own version of oat milk (“oat mylk”) later this summer, delivered in the shape of a frozen wedge and made from just three ingredients: oats, water, and a pinch of sea salt.
Daily Harvest recently reached unicorn status with a Series D funding round valuing the company at $1.1 billion, fueled by a new group of celebrity investors, including NBA superstar Blake Griffin, power forward for the Brooklyn Nets, who recently shared more with Fortune about his interest in the brand.
- Startup: Daily Harvest
- Location: New York, N.Y.
- Year founded: 2015
- Valuation: $1.1 billion
- Investment level: Series D
- Number of employees: 325
- Other major investors: Lone Pine Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners, M13, Patricof Co, Serena Williams, Bobby Flay, Paris Hilton, and Carmelo Anthony
Why he invested, in his own words
As I prepare for my 13th NBA season, one thing is clear: What I put into my body has been crucial in helping me play at the highest level. The lessons I learned about nutrition as a kid—when my mom made my brother and me drink green juice and take fish oil every morning, even though we hated it—have stayed with me throughout my career.
With all of my investments, it’s important that I’m personally connected to the company and its purpose. So when my team at [investment management firm] Patricof Co (P/Co) presented me with the prospect of investing in Daily Harvest, I was sold immediately. I jumped at the opportunity to work with an amazing brand and founder, Rachel Drori, and knew I would connect with Daily Harvest’s mission. The company’s commitment to a better food system that prioritizes human and planet health resonated with me. And from a business perspective, I love that it’s meeting consumers’ growing demand for delicious food that’s nourishing, convenient, and sustainable.
Plain and simple, Daily Harvest makes it easy to eat more sustainably sourced fruits and vegetables every day, even for someone who is constantly on the move like I am. But what really spoke to me is the company’s dedication to building a regenerative future through what we eat, what farmers grow, and how farmers grow it. Through my conversations with Rachel and team, I’ve learned that making just a small commitment to eating more fruits and vegetables can cut your carbon footprint by a third. Research also shows that organic and regenerative farming creates healthy soil capable of drawing 100% of the world’s carbon out of the atmosphere.
That was eye-opening for me, and I believe it is important to educate the next generation on how our food choices not only affect our health but the world around us. Now, as climate change is top of mind, I’m thrilled to be invested in a company that’s not only making it easy for us all to be healthier, but also changing the food system for the better.
This is an installment of Why I Invested, a series featuring famous investors from all different backgrounds and industries, revealing what inspired them to invest their own money in a new business.