When consumed in moderation, sugar is not bad for us, and humans’ ability to detect sweetness is etched into our DNA, but with the abundance of it in today’s food and drinks, we are getting more than we should.
Companies have created alternatives to sugar over the years, like Stevia, while others have tapped into technologies to come with new ways of sweetening foods in a way that is healthier. Some of those include Supplant, DouxMatok, MycoTechnology and Sensient.
Food tech startup Joywell Foods has been in this sector for nearly a decade, building up a sweet proteins platform, and is nearing the commercialization of its first products, boosted by a cash infusion of $25 million in Series B funding.
The round was led by Piva Capital, with participation from B37 Ventures, Global Brain Corporation, and existing investors Khosla Ventures, Evolv Ventures, SOSV’s IndieBio, and Alumni Ventures.
As a part of the investment, Piva partner and co-founder Adzmel Adznan will join Joywell’s board. The new investment brings Joywell’s total funding to $38 million since the California-based company’s inception in 2014 by Alan Perlstein and Jason Ryder.
Joywell uses a proprietary microbial fermentation process to produce sweet proteins that are nearly identical to those found in exotic fruits and berries. Though these proteins taste like sugar — and are around 2,000 times sweeter than sugar — they don’t impact blood sugar levels or gut microbiomes, CEO Ali Wing told TechCrunch.