Joywell Foods, a food technology company developing a sweet protein portfolio, 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.
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 past 10 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.