DELIGHTFUL MOMENTS AND THE EMERGING SCIENCE OF HEALTH AND HAPPINESS
Joyance Partners is a venture capital partnership that invests in companies with the capacity to deliver, or contribute to the delivery of, Delightful Moments.
Delightful Moments are part of all human experience. They are the small, but powerful, separations from the daily humdrum. They are the moments when we feel a bit stronger, calmer, more joyful, more in control, and more in tune with the greater universe. MEDITATION. MASSAGE. ENDORPHINS. THE SMELL OF VANILLA. THE COOL OF JAZZ. THE TRANSCENDENCE OF OPERA. THE TASTE OF CHOCOLATE AND FINE WINE. These are all traditional sources for Delightful Moments.
Now, a range of new technologies has the potential to deliver these experiences. Science can help individuals be a bit happier, which can lead to greater health. Or a little healthier, which can lead to greater potential for happiness. It is a new, transformative cycle of human experience. The new science of health and happiness ranges from transforming the human organism (genetics, neuroscience, bioscience), to creating new forms of human chemistry (personal pharma, the microbiome), to reading, understanding or altering our minds (neuroscience) to expanding changing human experience rather than the body (virtual and augmented reality), and even to altering what we eat and drink (next generation food) and how we interact with one another (emergent community).These new areas of science constitute powerful technology Vectors of Happiness.
2019 AREAS OF FOCUS
Joyance Partners takes a long-term view on how emerging science will develop and deliver Delightful Moments. We recognize how nascent the new cycle of Health and Happiness is, and so accept that we are likely to see many twists and turns as technology advances and world society continues its seemingly inexorable digital transformation.
FIVE AREAS OF FOCUS
We have five Areas of Investment Focus. We will examine our progress in each of these areas every six months and adjust them based on all the available information we can glean on where to find the greatest technology and biology development in:
This covers a broad swath focused on solutions emerging from biology—the body; and neuroscience—the brain.
1. Neuroscience and Neurotech
Neuroscience: Molecular approaches to treat:
Mental disorders such as depression, anxiety or improve cognitive behavior
Neuronal degeneration diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases
Emerging applications as obesity and pain
2. Precision Health
At-home diagnostic and surveillance device
Genomic analytics (both germ-line and somatic mutations)
3. AI/AR/VR in Health
AI in health
As a device for diagnostic and monitoring tools
For drug discovery
To manage clinical trials
In patient care and monitoring
AR/VR in health
Therapeutics for cognitive disorders
Eye disease alteration
Pharmaceutical solutions such as senolytics
Early diagnostic tools
Patient monitoring tools
IoT/sensors/ robotics that improve care efficiency
At-home fertility monitoring devices
Pregnancy and nursing care
General women’s healthcare
Women’s sexual wellness
Communities that support young women under stress
We focus only on Digitally Native Brands with the greatest potential to intersect the health/happiness continuum. In those categories we look for these characteristics:
Solutions that deliver a generational opportunity to invest in a massive shift in global consumption habits. The Internet has disintermediated everything about consumer goods; from access to raw materials to direct communication with consumers. This new paradigm, combined with a lack of need for early adapters, provides companies with opportunities to quickly grow revenues. There will be many great companies created, but many won’t be 10x venture opportunities. The massive winners will be across all categories and be global, omnichannel brands.
The solutions/products we seek are/have:
Sold online primarily; omnichannel is recognized as an inflection point at the Series A
The opportunity to be micro-manufactured and ship well; preferably, but not always, using new tech materials
A type of product design or economics not feasible in the traditional channel
High customer lifetime value
High gross margins
Strong propensity to be shared via social Media OR garner earned media
Product timelessness; not subject to fast or seasonal product shifts
The categories we believe have the greatest health and happiness potential are:
Cosmetics/Anti-aging (ties to Longevity), with an emphasis on lab grown cosmetics
Food, with special focus on DNA and biome-based nutrition; lab grown foods
High consumption beverages, most prominently: water; with a high focus on innovation in coffee and tea
Supplements/Vitamins; only where derived from deep science and where personalization is front and center
Sexual Wellness/Contraception (ties to FemTech), a natural arena where the brain and body combine to provide joy.
Baby Care, including both services and physical goods
Pet Products, with special emphasis on next-generation pet nutrition
In addition to the products/services themselves, we will actively seek Community, Manufacturing and Distribution Services for these categories. How do any of these science-based, personalized products get to their market? How are the customer relationships reinforced?
IMMERSIVE EXPERIENCES AND VOICE
We continue to see value in content, but only from certain angles and tied to non-ad-driven business models. The greatest content opportunity we see on the near horizon is E-sports. We also see great value in platforms and tools for video streaming on mobile. We believe we near a tipping point for audio interfaces, especially audio search. We continue to see potential in VR/AR, but primarily tied to health and training in the near-term.
Our focus areas for 2019 are:
Streaming platforms and tools for mobile
Audio interfaces; special focus on audio search and underlying AIs
VR/AR as they impact education and health
We are not investors in traditional education. However, we see a confluence of trends from our current investments that moves education in a direction with investment potential for us. Specifically, we will focus on:
Alternatives to the traditional education constructs (pre-K-12, post-secondary, trade schools) and personalized learning (continuing, additive K-12 learning, post-secondary, and pre-secondary). Special focus on innovative, low-cost or no-cost to student business models
Education for acquisition of skills and experiences to improve employability
Game dynamics applied to education and training
VR/AR for education and training; particularly job skills acquisition
THE THREE CS
We see three fundaments for Delightful Moments:
Choice. A Delightful Moment must be something an individual chooses.
Change. A Delightful Moment brings about a notable change of state, in either the person or the person’s context. It is an experience separate from the norm.
Coherence. A Delightful Moment must be coherent, with a distinct beginning, middle and end. It is of a piece. It can be chosen again and again, or can change over time as the individual decides.