Tobias Gunzehauser, co-founder yamo, Swisspreneur Podcast
Timestamps:

1:08 - The entrepreneur DNA

7:20 - Deciding to quit your job

15:45 - Introducing a new technology to the market

34:02 - Struggling with regulations

38:26 - 3 childless men making baby food

About Tobias Gunzenhauser

Tobias Gunzenhauser is co-founder and CEO of yamo, a B2C company revolutionizing the kid's food market with nutritious and organic options for kids of all ages.

Tobias’s academic background is in Business and Marketing. However, corporate jobs never motivated him, as he felt there was little he could fix with his own hands. It all changed in 2015, while Tobias was working as Brand Manager for the Campari Group. and he and his coworkers decided to go vegan for a month. The new vegans struggled to find healthy lunch alternatives near the office and, being natural problem solvers, turned to baby food for convenient and affordable meals.  

As an accidental consumer of baby food, Tobias was amazed at the shelf life of these products: was something that lasted 3 to 5 years left on its own truly safe for kids? With a bit of surveying, he found out that parents shared the same safety concerns, and, in the lack of more sustainable options they could trust, they often batch-cooked purées at home during the weekends, which can become a time-consuming chore for sleep-deprived parents.

After his first hand experiences with baby food, Tobias collaborated with food scientist, close friend and current co-founder, José Amado-Blanco, who knew just how to turn this traditional industry upside down with the help of technology. The commonly used heat sterilisation technique boosted product longevity, but it also killed necessary vitamins. High-pressure pasteurisation methods changed the game for yamo: lasting a couple of weeks in a refrigerated setting, their product can really achieve that comforting homemade flavour without compromising on proper nutrition.

Yamo’s ability to innovate with exotic recipes and nutritional conscience is what really makes their product shine. Even though the company has seen harder days between navigating strict regulations and battling lawsuits from HiPP, yamo has always managed to look on the bright side, and they have plenty of reasons to do so! With their early crowdfunding campaign, they were able to pre-sell product worth 52K CHF within a month. In July 2020, they raised 10.1M CHF in a Series A round, and now have a great network of investors like Five Seasons Ventures as leverage. Other recent milestones include expanding to the Spanish market and Carrefour and launching their new plant-based Yamoghurt. Listen to the episode to learn more about yamo’s journey on the food tech rollercoaster!

Resources

The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers, by Ben Horowitz

The High Growth Handbook: Scaling Startups From 10 to 10,000 People, by Elad Gil

Memorable Quotes

"We aren't fathers ourselves, and that allowed us to think differently and have a totally detached perspective with no bias at all. We had to learn everything ourselves."

"If people asked me, Should I do a crowdfunding campaign?, I would always tell them: Yes, do it, but it'll be a lot of work. We worked almost full-time for 2 to 3 months on our campaign before it launched."

If you'd like to listen to more conversations on the food and beverages industry, check out our episode with Leif Langenskiöld.

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