Joyance Partners: A New Member of Our Fund Family


Over its 5-year history, Social Starts has grown from a tiny single fund into a successful fund family.

Now, we are delighted to announce our newest, and most unique, expansion.

We have just initiated our 6th fund, Joyance Partners. Joyance will use the Social Starts method of intense focus at moment-of-inception to invest in companies with the potential to deliver happiness to individuals in their lives via what we are calling Delightful Moments.

Delightful Moments have been part of all human experience. They are the small, but powerful, separations from the daily humdrum. They are those moments when we feel a bit stronger, calmer, more joyful, more in control, and more in tune with the greater universe, further away from anxiety and pain.

Psychedelics. Meditation. Nicotine. Endorphins. The smell of vanilla. Massage. Jazz. These are all traditional sources for Delightful Moments.

The Tech Vectors of Happiness range from transforming the human core (genetics), to creating new forms of human chemistry (personal pharma) or perceptions (neurosciences), to platforms that change a human’s circumstances, rather than body (virtual reality) and even transform that body into something radically new (personal robotics).

Social Starts has long had an interest in personal health. It was a natural corollary to our focus on content, commerce and IoT. Until now, we have never had the domain expertise or capital to dive into this white-hot segment fully. Now, we can. Joyance will augment the current Social Starts team that includes new partners with PhDs in Bioinformatics and Physiology, and team members with backgrounds in bio, VR and lab sciences. This new group will generate its own investments and also augment the Social Starts funds with access to more than 1,000 new company evaluations each year and deeper diligence in these new technology areas. Social Starts and Joyance hope to cooperate on early-stage investments regularly.

By investing in the Tech Vectors of Happiness, Joyance Partners is the first VC health fund focused purely on individual, personal experience, rather than today’s medical industrial complex. While Joyance sees the value in helping doctors and clinics, health plans and hospitals, our new fund sees far greater long-term human impact and value in the generation of technologies that will replace today’s syndrome-centric approach, with something more personal, more preventative, more predictive and dramatically more powerful. And Social Starts will benefit from the deep domain expertise Joyance brings and the unique deal flow it will develop.

Find out more about our new fund at

My mentor, Bill Ziff, used to say: “Great questions drive great answers.” The questions: “How do we define and measure the experience of happiness? How can technologies help us become happier?” will be among the best questions any of us has ever had the chance to explore.