Our Investment in Sunnyside: A Simple, Structured Approach to More Mindful Drinking
At Joyance, we invest in companies that use technology to cultivate joy and improve the way we live. We are beyond excited to support one of the newest additions to our portfolio innovating a solution to help you meet your drinking goals: Sunnyside.
The CDC defines heavy drinking as more than seven drinks per week for women and more than 14 drinks per week for men. By this definition, there are 68 million heavy drinkers in the U.S. — nearly 1 in 3 adults. According to a 2021 NSDUH survey, 23% of people age 18+ reported that they engaged in binge drinking in the past month.
Drinking alcohol is prevalent in American culture and the market is reported to be $196.6 billion in 2023. But a new, conscious era of drinking is emerging; sales of no/low-alcoholic beers are on the rise, and NA bars are popping up in major cities all over the country. There’s a groundswell of consumers looking to reduce or eliminate consumption.
Sunnyside helps drinkers meet their alcohol reduction goals through a robust program via a supporting app that tracks drinks, identifies habits and progress, builds community, and connects users to coaches. Rather than focusing on abstinence, Sunnyside takes a harm reduction approach to help drinkers get within the threshold for CDC-defined levels of healthy consumption. Every Sunday, users are given the option to plan out their target consumption for the week. Sunnyside provides a suggested target using its algorithm, which is based on a series of data points including personal habits, demographics, goals, and CDC guidelines. With continuous use, the app provides insights and milestones, including number of dry days, money saved from drinking, hours of quality sleep added, and empty calories avoided. The app also connects users with others on the platform so they can engage through common challenges or meaningful reflections, and leverages successful Sunnyside program graduates as coaches. Coaches help new users work through any temptations or challenges, coming from a relatable, intimate perspective without judgment.
The company is run by co-founders Nick Allen and Ian Andersen, two growth experts with over a decade of tech leadership between them. CEO Nick quickly climbed the ladder at Citrix, then was Lyft’s first growth hacker hire in 2013. He is a terrific leader with a spherical view of what he’s building, from corporate culture to growth philosophy. CGO Ian also comes from an impressive background in product promotion and marketing, having held leading growth roles at Microsoft and MileIQ.
Sunnyside blends multiple core elements of Joyance’s science-backed, joy-based thesis. The company’s approach balances health and joy so that drinkers can be more mindful, improving both physical health and mental health through simple, structured support. More energy, better sleep, a healthier diet, a supportive community, and a better experience enjoying the drinks you do have — what better way to cultivate joy to improve the way you live?
By Jenna Jung, Investment Associate
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