Joyful Ventures Spearheads Sustainable Future with $23M Fund for Alternative Protein Startups

Joyful Ventures, a new venture capital fund, is making waves in the alternative protein sector with a $23 million fund aimed at supporting startups that are innovating the food system. The fund, led by a diverse team of women and LGBTQIA+ individuals, is co-founded by Jennifer Stojkovic, founder of the Vegan Women Summit; Milo Runkle, co-founder of The Good Food Institute; and Blaine Vess, co-founder of edtech startup Student Brands.

The fund’s focus is on startups that are developing technologies in the areas of plant-based proteins, precision fermentation, mycoproteins, molecular agriculture, and cultivated technologies. The fund has already invested in New School Foods, a company developing plant-based salmon, and Orbillion Bio, a company producing cultivated Wagyu beef and other products.

Stojkovic, in an interview with TechCrunch, emphasized the importance of investing in the larger agricultural system to drive down costs and create sustainable change. She also highlighted the importance of building companies with multiple revenue streams, such as those that can serve both the food and cosmetic industries.

The fundraising journey for Joyful Ventures was not without its challenges, taking several months to close the fund. However, the team remains optimistic about the future of the alternative protein space, especially with recent regulatory approvals for companies like Upside Foods and Good Meat to sell their cultivated chicken products in the U.S.

Joyful Ventures is committed to investing in founders who are in it for the long haul and who understand the complexities of disrupting a century-old system. The fund is geographically agnostic and is actively seeking investment opportunities worldwide.

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