June 28, 2023
From Vegconomist

Joyful Ventures announces the launch of a $23M venture fund aimed at promoting climate solutions with sustainable protein and food technology. 

The new company, led by partners Milo Runkle, Jennifer Stojkovic, and Blaine Vess, has closed $23M of its $25M fund and plans to focus on pre-seed and seed-stage startups in the alt-protein sector including plant-based, precision fermentation, mycoprotein, molecular agriculture, and cultivated technologies. It will also place a strong emphasis on B2B opportunities, the company states.

Joyful Ventures’ leadership team comprises Runkle, founder of Mercy For Animals and co-founder of New Crop Capital and The Good Food Institute; Stojkovic, founder of VWS; and Vess, an entrepreneur and investor who has backed over fifty early-stage companies.

©Joyful Ventures

“We believe that the global movement toward food transformation is expanding and accelerating,” comments Vess. “The future is full of multi-billion dollar, world-changing sustainable protein companies whose founders face critical challenges, particularly in the pre-seed and seed stages.”

Notable backers

Joyful Ventures’ advisory team features a diverse array of global industry founders and CEOs, including Oatly Co-founder Bjorn Oste, Shiok Meats CEO Dr. Sandhya Sriram, Wild Earth CEO and Indie Bio Co-founder Ryan Bethencourt, and The EVERY Co. CEO Arturo Elizondo

“We’re not just passively investing in promising sustainable food technology startups,” says Stojkovic. “Our team is fully committed to leveraging our expertise, powerful network, and industry insights to nurture our portfolio companies, guiding them towards growth and success. Not many in the industry have access to the industry’s top founders and CEOs at their fingertips like our team. This kind of connectedness and mentorship experience is invaluable for our founders.”

Runkle states, “We are not just investing in companies; we are investing in global transformation. We are proud to champion entrepreneurs forging a future where nutritious, sustainable food is universally accessible.”

Scalable, quick solutions

Joyful Ventures is currently accepting limited partners and says its fund offers a compelling value proposition compared to most climate change investments.

“Rather than trying to deal with the carbon, methane, and the nitrogen that we’re creating, let’s prevent it from happening by changing what is on our plates,” said Stojkovic. “Boston Consulting Group found that investing in plant-based protein is 11 times more impactful from a climate investment perspective than EVs, it’s three times more impactful than decarbonizing cement, and four times more impactful than green building, and yet that’s where you keep continuing to see most of the investments go.

“If you are interested in investing in climate, and you want real, scalable, quick solutions, there’s nothing better than food.”

Source: Vegconomist.com