Joyful Ventures Launches $23M Fund to Propel the Sustainable Protein Sector

The new climate venture fund aims to catalyze the $1.00.5T animal protein industry towards sustainable food solutions.

LOS ANGELES, June 27, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — VC newcomer Joyful Ventures announced today, via Bloomberg News, the successful closing of $23M of their $25M sustainable protein fund. As the industry’s only LGBTQ-and woman-led firm, Joyful Ventures is dedicated to building the next generation of the industry’s game-changing companies.

Joyful Ventures Co-Founders from left to right: Blaine Vess, Jennifer Stojkovic, Milo Runkle (PRNewsfoto/Joyful Ventures)

The fund announcement comes on the heels of the landmark USDA approval of cell-cultivated meat to US consumers last week.

Joyful Ventures, led by partners Milo Runkle, Jennifer Stojkovicand Blaine Vess, carries a wealth of expertise in the alternative protein sector, entrepreneurship, and investment. The fund will focus on disruptive early stage startups working in all aspects of sustainable and regenerative protein solutions, including plant-based, precision fermentation, mycoproteins, molecular agriculture, and cultivated technologies, with a strong focus on B2B.

Runkle, Stojkovic, and Vess bring over 40 years of industry experience. Runkle, Mercy For Animals founder and co-founder of New Crop Capital and The Good Food Institute, has dedicated his career to advocating for food system reform. Stojkovic, Vegan Women Summit founder and award-winning author, serves as advisor and board member to the industry’s biggest plant-based brands. Vess, a seasoned entrepreneur and investor in 50+ startups, has a proven track record of successful exits.

“The future is full of world-changing sustainable protein companies whose founders face critical challenges in early stages,” said Vess.

Joyful Ventures has already invested in two start-ups. Orbillion Bio, based in San Franciscohas a proprietary full stack approach to cultivated meat, while New School Foods, based in Torontois utilizing a unique muscle fiber and scaffolding platform to create plant-based seafood alternatives to traditional fish.

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

The Joyful Ventures team offers a compelling value proposition for the climate crisis. A recent Boston Consulting Group study found that investing in plant-based protein is eleven times more impactful than EVs, four times more impactful than green building, and three times more impactful than decarbonizing cement.

“Rather than trying to capture the carbon, methane, and nitrogen that we’re creating, let’s prevent it from happening by changing what is on our plates,” said Stojkovic. “If you are investing in climate, and you want real, scalable solutions, there’s nothing better than food.”

Joyful Ventures is a 506(c) fund and is accepted limited partners with a minimum $25,000 commitment. For inquiries related to investing in the fund, please visit

About Joyful Ventures
Joyful Ventures is an early VC fund driving climate solutions through sustainable protein and food technology. With over 40 years of industry experience, Joyful Ventures aims to drive a revolution in the food industry towards sustainability.

Candice Smith
[email protected]

SOURCE Joyful Ventures