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Organics e-tailer Thrive Market appoints Sunil Kaki as SVP Marketing

Founded in 2013, Los Angeles’ Thrive Market is an e-commerce club with a conscience. The business is on a mission to make healthy living easy and affordable for everyone. Thrive Market members can buy best-selling healthy foods and natural products in everyday sizes at significantly less than retail prices – including major e-tailers like Amazon. And for every paid membership, Thrive Market donates a free membership to a family in need.

Responsibility for telling the Thrive Market story now falls to Sunil Kaki, who has been appointed SVP, Marketing following a successful search by Renovata.

Only founded in 2013, Thrive Market has attracted $161M in funding in three major rounds. Interest from VCs has been driven by several trends conspiring in Thrive’s favor. First, the market opportunity has exceeded ordinary e-commerce because natural foods (organic, paleo, vegan) have been less accessible to ordinary consumers for so long. It’s a cultural barrier which Thrive has efficiently broken down. Second, healthy eating has also become a sharp focus for consumers in recent years (and with a membership fee, the company incentivizes treating healthy eating as a lifestyle choice). And Thrive also cuts costs by buying directly from brands – removing the wholesale layer. The result is sales of over $120M in 2016.

An $8M seed came in January 2014 from Compound and Digi Ventures, plus health and wellness celebrities including Tony Robbins and Deepak Chopra. July 2015’s Series A netted just under $33M, led by Greycroft Partners – the largest Series A in L.A. ecommerce history. And in June 2016, Invus led a Series B of $111M. A $10M convertible note followed in October 2016.

Sunil Kaki is a high-growth marketing specialist with the management skills to build and lead world-class teams alongside a dedication to accurate real-time data and iterative improvement; These have helped him find what he calls “the big hits” in a business, and consistently manage budgets of $100MM+. He built his career managing marketing and customer acquisition programs for early leaders in the Martech ecosystem: in 2004-5, he managed blue-chip affiliate programs for clients like Adobe and Real Networks for Commission Junction. Senior roles with and followed, broadening his experience to deployments of advertising networks, mobile and strategic partnerships. From 2010-13, he led digital marketing for Intuit’s Quickbooks; then moving to Amazon where he ultimately led Social Advertising worldwide. For the past two years, he has worked at multi-channel e-commerce giant, Zulily; where in particular his customer insights activity has served to improve the first user experience and repurchase rates and reduce customer churn.

Reporting directly to Nick Green, Thrive Market’s Co-founder and CEO, Sunil will again take responsibility for amplifying the voice of the customer throughout the member lifecycle. He will also lead the company’s messaging and creative vision.

About Thrive Market

Thrive Market was founded in 2014 by serial entrepreneurs Nick Green, Gunnar Lovelace, and Sasha Siddhartha; the original idea coming from Lovelace’s childhood on an organic farm. While attempting to raise their Series A in 2014, Thrive Market was rejected by over 50 venture capital firms. As an alternative source of funding, they turned to influencers in the health and wellness community, ultimately raising $10M from over 150 individuals.

This influencer model helped Thrive Market achieve unprecedented growth with a $50M run-rate in under 9 months without any paid media spend. It remains the fastest growing ecommerce company in its category. In 2016, the company also launched its private label product line, for which they have since launched nearly 100 Thrive Market branded products. With its position as sector-leader established, Thrive Market is now focused on building a multibillion dollar business.

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