Joywell Foods Closes $6.9M Series A Financing Led by Evolv Ventures
Funding to accelerate sweet protein platform development, commercialize consumer concepts, and establish partnerships with better-for-you CPG partners to reinvent the experience and quality of everyday foods
DAVIS, Calif., July 21, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Joywell Foods, a food technology company developing a sweet protein portfolio, today announced the closing of a $6.9M Series A financing round. The round was led by Evolv Ventures, a venture fund backed by Kraft Heinz. Combined with a previous seed round, this latest raise brings the company's total funding to $13.2M. Energized by the company's continued progress in developing its technology platform and processes for commercial scale, both Khosla Ventures and SOSV—who participated in Joywell Foods Seed round — have returned to support the company's growth, alongside Alumni Ventures Group and other investors.
Previously known as Miraculex, Joywell Foods will use the new capital to continue its mission to reinvent the experience of everyday foods. The funding will enable the build-out of its proprietary technology platform, broaden its sweet protein portfolio and expand R&D operations. The company also plans to test a number of consumer offerings through D2C and limited retail.
"Our team is excited to bring sweet proteins to commercial scale with the support of our newest investor, Evolv Ventures. These funds bring us one step closer to our vision of eliminating the prevalence of sugar in our diet," said Karen Huh, CEO of Joywell Foods. "Sweet proteins – many of which are over 1000 times sweeter than sugar – can reduce how much sugar we consume in our daily lifestyle," she added.
Not only are sweet proteins exponentially sweeter than sugar, they are not associated with sugar's long-term negative health implications. According to University of California, San Francisco's SugarScience team, the overconsumption of sugar is linked to metabolic syndrome which includes diabetes, heart disease and liver disease. They report that Americans consume on average 17 teaspoons of sugar per day, or 57 pounds of added sugars annually.
"We believe in the sweet protein space and its application in consumer products," said Steve Sanger, Founder and Partner of Evolv Ventures, and newest board member at Joywell Foods. "Joywell Foods is a thought leader in this area and is pioneering solutions that enable great taste and reduce mainstream sugar consumption. The company has the potential to make a big impact in the sweet protein space."
The last ten months have been pivotal for Joywell Foods. The company published a peer-reviewed toxicology study on the miracle berry protein commonly known as miraculin, filed three provisional patent applications, and commercialized a first-to-market protein sweetened concept – the Pop Lolly – a reduced sugar popsicle product utilizing miraculin as a sweetener.
Huh also joined CTO and Co-Founder Jason Ryder to lead the team as CEO in September 2019 and led the company's rebranding from Miraculex to Joywell Foods to better reflect the company's pursuit of several sweet proteins.
About Joywell Foods
Joywell Foods is a food technology company building a new category of delicious foods based on naturally sweet proteins. These proteins are derived from exotic fruits that evolved to provide sweetness without sugar or negative health impacts. Many people perceive sweet proteins as tasting more similar to sugar than the existing artificial and alternative substitutes.
Our proprietary technology platform produces proteins using both plants and fermentation technology. The first protein is miraculin, which is sourced from the miracle berry fruit. When enjoyed as a pure ingredient or in a food product, miraculin's sweetness is up to 5500x that of sugar. Beyond miraculin, there are several other sweet proteins that exhibit over 2000x the sweetness of sugar. Joywell Foods is funded by Evolv Ventures, Khosla Ventures, SOSV, Alumni Ventures Group, and other investors. For more information, please visit joywellfoods.com.