Where We Are Investing Now: Food

Photo by Natural Chef Carolyn Nicholas on Unsplash
  • D2C and the B2B side of lab-grown and plant-based meats: The line between these two types of companies is starting to blur. We should expand this definition to include the supply side: collagen, colorants, shelf-stable ingredients, bioreactors as a service, etc., like our companies Novel Farms and Orbillion Bio.
  • Coffee/Tea/Water: Only if it’s a novel delivery method or is creating a new ritual around better ingredients, like our company Copper Cow.
  • Alcohol Replacement Beverages: Only if it tastes outstanding, there is clear traction, the ingredients are safe, and the method is protectable.
  • New/Novel Ingredients: This includes “functional ingredients” with direct health effects like increasing blood flow to the muscles or slowing down the heart rate. All new ingredients should be scrutinized by our science team for safety and efficacy. This category will come down to taste and function, validation for which will come from market reactions, so we may invest a bit later here than in other categories.
  • DNA-Based Nutrition: Science is strong for microbiome, like in our company Thryve, but in most other cases science needs to catch up. We will look at a lot of companies here, but will invest rarely as we wait for the science to mature.
  • Medical Food or Food for Special Medical Purposes: We should keep an eye on the space as it develops but not move on anything yet due to tough regulation in the space. It is extremely difficult to get covered by insurance but startups (including Thryve) are starting to be able to recommend food based on your condition. It’s only a matter of time.
  • Food Robotics and AI like autonomous delivery, fresh vending concepts, and other novel technologies that can reduce the cost of food production and distribution while also ensuring food safety, like our company Yo-Kai.
  • New product development to identify optimal flavors, textures, nutritional components, and ingredient combinations, like our company Aromyx.
  • Customer experience to help them find the ingredients/food they’re looking for. We’re seeing applications in the home through the phone or smart devices.
  • Waste Prevention and sustainable packaging: The sustainable packaging industry is worth $367B, according to CB Insights’ Industry Analyst Consensus. With certain types of plastics being banned around the world, green manufacturing will become table stakes and we should look for the companies that are democratizing this type of manufacturing (as a service, or through new innovation).
  • Cell-based production: Most cell-based production is based on medical devices and methods. We should keep an eye out for people disrupting the methods and machinery needed to produce these new ingredients.

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Joyance Partners

Joyance Partners

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Joyance Partners is the first venture fund focused on investing in companies that deliver Delightful Moments derived from science.