Joywell Foods raises $ 25 million to launch sweet protein - TechCrunch

Joywell Foods raises $ 25 million to launch sweet protein – TechCrunch

When consumed sparingly, sugar is not bad for us and the human ability to recognize sweetness is etched into our DNA, but with its abundance in today’s food and drink, we get more than we should.

Over the years, companies have developed alternatives to sugar, such as Stevia, while others have used technology to come up with new ways of sweetening food in a healthier way. Some of them include Supplant, DouxMatok, MycoTechnology and Sensient.

Joywell Foods, a food technology startup that has been in the sector for nearly a decade, is building a sweet protein platform and nearing commercialization of its first products, backed by a $ 25 million financial infusion to fund B-series.

The round was led by Piva Capital with the participation of B37 Ventures, Global Brain Corporation and existing investors Khosla Ventures, Evolv Ventures, SOSV IndieBio and Alumni Ventures.

As part of the investment, Piva’s partner and co-founder Adzmel Adznan will join Joywell’s Board of Directors. The new investment brings Joywell a total of $ 38 million since the California company was founded in 2014 by Alan Perlstein and Jason Ryder.

Joywell uses a patented microbial fermentation process to produce sweet proteins that are almost identical to those found in exotic fruits and berries. Although these proteins taste like sugar – and are about 2,000 times sweeter than sugar – they do not affect blood sugar levels or the intestinal microbiome, said CEO Ali Wing TechCrunch.

“We are biologically prone to craving sugar, so it’s not something we should actually feel so bad about,” she added. “If you really look at today’s consumption, more than 70% of consumers are actively working to reduce the sugar in their diets, and the number one blame is added daily. We just have to deal with it differently, and that’s the beauty of technology and what we do. “

When Wing joined the medical industry about a year ago, Joywell had only one protein. He now has about half a dozen proteins derived from fruits such as berry serendipity and catempha, and is working on a wide range of products. Wing said she could not describe exactly what the products were, but the company was already working on canned beverages and foods such as chocolate and would be able to participate in any category of food that includes sugar.

In addition to providing a healthier alternative, Joywell also strives to be more sustainable, saying “every one percent reduction in sugar production leads to savings of approximately 650,000 acres of sugar cane fields.”

The company still has pre-earnings, so Wing could not talk much about the growth metrics, but said it had joined to lead the commercialization of Joywell, and new funding would accelerate R&D and expansion efforts.

“A lot of what I’ve done here in nine months is a lot of consumer testing of different product formulations to create marketing insights,” she added. “The most important next steps are largely in the regulatory process and we have several regulatory milestones ahead of us. We are also adding protein and building pipes around them. ”

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