• The first record raising of €25M in Series A financing from investment funds led by Seventure, and international celebrities that are committed to protecting the planet. This includes Natalie Portman (actress, director, producer) and the CEOs of Vinted, Blablacar, and Back Market.
• La Vie™ owns a unique patented recipe, resulting from Research and Development testing 5000 recipes which reproduces the pleasure of meat without resorting to animals.
• The first two products are a new generation veggie bacon and lardons that are a hit with consumers. They are available nationally through Carrefour in France, and through major restaurant chains.
• This financing will enable La Vie™ to accelerate its innovation program, extend its range, and distribution. The brand aims to be in 100% of the French retail chains by 2022, as well as launch in the UK and across Europe.
• La Vie™ is a French start-up and brand that is produced in the Vendée region of France. It aims to be one of the world's top 3 plant-based meat brands by 2030 in a market that will be worth around €10B.
Paris, January 19, 2022
After a highly acclaimed launch in the market last October, La Vie™ today announces a record fundraising of €25 million in Series A, with Seventure (lead), Oyster Bay, Capagro, Partech, Entrepreneur First and Blue Capital.
Also, several French and international Business Angels are now on board with the project attracted by its quirky and joyful universe which breaks established plant-based codes. They are now helping La Vie™ in accelerating its development and include:
- - Natalie Portman, Actress, Director, Producer
- - Eric Melloul, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Oatly
- - Thibaud Hug de Larauze, CEO of Back Market
- - Thomas Lodewijk Plantenga, CEO of Vinted
- - Frederic Mazzella, founder of BlaBlaCar
A French invention that takes plant-based meat into a new era
La Vie™ was founded in 2019 to face the environmental challenges of intensive farming (18% of CO2 emissions). Today, it is embodied by its co-founders Nicolas Schweitzer (impact entrepreneur and Chief Executive Officer) and Vincent Poulichet (PhD and Chief Technical Officer).
Despite the progress of plant-based alternatives as a meat substitute, the two entrepreneurs noticed an essential element missing to replicate the taste and culinary experience of meat: fat. It gives meat its characteristic taste, one that’s been sought after for thousands of years. Out of their Parisian laboratory, their three years of R&D focused on taste, making it possible to develop a unique recipe in the world that reproduces animal fat with plants. By crackling, infusing, caramelizing, the plant-based meat sector enters a new era: that of uncompromising indulgence.
Since its launch, the first versions of this patented recipe are veggie bacon for catering and veggie lardons listed in Carrefour hypermarkets and supermarkets across France. By focusing on guilt-free pleasure with a smile and the accessibility of its products, La Vie™ wants to encourage consumers to switch to plants without disrupting their eating habits. The start-up wants to encourage bon-vivant fun-loving consumers whether they be vegans or meat lovers to sit in fellowship around a table.
Finally, a new generation of plant-based meat also means new generation of health credentials. La Vie products have a reduced quantity of ingredients (only 8 for their plant-based bacon ! ) and are rich in proteins, fibers, with 11 times less saturated fat. Not forgetting the planet and animals - greenhouse gas emissions are 7x lower than pork helping with the protection of water resources, soil, and animal life.
In a nutshell, this is a new generation of plant-based meat for people who love meat but prefer life.
Fundraising to finance growth and European partnerships
With this record fundraising in the European plant-based meat market, La Vie™ plans to continue promoting its vegan bacon and lardons, starting with retailers where products are already a hit with consumers. At Carrefour, sales have outstripped estimates by 200% and the products are already the bestselling items of the plant-based meat category. The brand intends to replicate this success throughout France and Europe with all the other major retailers.
The catering market has also shown great promise with partner chains announcing the products becoming bestsellers. The brand ambition is to invest in further partnerships with the largest restaurant chains, to get a maximum of consumers to try this ultra-indulgent vegan experience.
Finally, La Vie™ intends to continue investing in R&D to launch a large number of product innovations and thus significantly increase its impact on the global food transition. This push aims to get the brand in the top 3 of global rankings for 2030 in the plant-based meat category. To make this happen, they are hiring 40 new talents starting in 2022, thus doubling the La Vie™ headcount.
Nicolas Schweitzer, CEO and co-founder of La Vie™:
“After 3 years of intensive research, we have succeeded in developing a plant-based meat that appeals to everyone from vegans to meat-eaters. This is a huge step towards a more plant-based diet. Unlike our international counterparts, our efforts have been exclusively focused on what gives meat that taste we love fat. Only the French could cook up something like that! This funding will allow us to get our first products, lardons and vegetable bacon better known in Europe and the US. It will also allow us to invest in the development of our teams for more innovations”.
Thomas Lodewijk Plantenga, CEO of Vinted:
“Making the switch to plant-based foods is essential and I believe that technological innovation has a key role to play in encouraging consumers – even the most reluctant – to make the switch. The La Vie™ team has created a delicious recipe and a unique brand that will make plant-based meat so appealing that it will become the norm in our societies. »
Thibaud Hug de Larauze, CEO of Back Market:
“La Vie™ is like a brand from outer space that aligns 100% business and impact. It has the ability to massively reduce the CO2 emissions of the food industry without requiring the slightest compromise from the consumer, quite the contrary!".
Frederic Mazzella, Founder of BlaBlaCar:
“Today, intensive farming is the biggest emitter of CO2 on the planet, along with the transport sector. It is urgent to change what we have on our plates. With La Vie™ veggie meat, we finally combine business with pleasure by changing our habits without compromising on taste! »
About La Vie™
La Vie™ is a start-up behind a patented plant-based fat technology that replicates the taste, appearance and texture of meat. The first 2, 100% French plant-based recipes, are lardons and bacon. With its quirky universe, La Vie™ wants to gently guide consumers towards vegetable substitutes, which are more respectful of the environment and healthier. Founded by Nicolas Schweitzer and Vincent Poulichet, the start-up aims to expand quickly and on a large scale through large retail chains and restaurants.
More information on: www.laviefoods.com and https://www.instagram.com/lavie_foods/
Seventure Partners is a long-term investor that actively supports innovative companies that have a positive impact on people, society and the planet. With €900 million under management at the end of 2021, Seventure is a European leader in innovation capital and has been investing since 1997 in companies with high growth potential operating in two main areas of activity: Life Sciences (Health & Digital Health, Food, Blue Economy, Animal & Agriculture, Sport & Well-being…) throughout Europe as well as in Israel, Asia and North America. It also provides capital for Digital Technologies mainly in France and Germany. Seventure supports the development of companies from company creation (seed and first round), to development capital financing rounds (venture, growth, pre-IPO and IPO), with amounts invested between €500 K and €10 million per financing round and up to €20 million per company. With the Health for Life CapitalTM funds of €160M and €250M and its co-investment funds, Seventure is notably one of the leading investors in Foodtech with, for example, Mycotechnology, BCD and Foodsmart in the USA, Polaris and La Vie in France.
Founded in San Francisco and Paris, Partech is one of the most active venture capital funds in the world, and brings capital, operational experience and strategic support to entrepreneurs at the seed, venture and growth stages. The Partech portfolio currently includes 200 companies in 30 countries, 14 of which are valued at over $1 billion: Alan, Bolt, Cazoo, Jellysmack, Made.com, ManoMano, Merama, People.ai, Rohlik, Sorare, Toss, Wave, WorldRemit, Xendit.
About Oyster Bay
Oyster Bay Venture Capital is a leading European early-stage Food & Agri-Tech investor. Our mission is to back the disrupting challengers of today and turn them into the category leaders of tomorrow. We work with ambitious founding teams and leverage our first-hand operational and entrepreneurial experiences in the food & beverage sector to help them in their quest to build better and more sustainable businesses.
Created in 2014, Capagro is the benchmark French venture capital fund dedicated to European start-ups in the agriculture and agri-food sector, with €124 million under management. Its mission is to invest in and accelerate the development of FoodTech and AgTech companies and encourage the adoption of innovative solutions and technologies. Independent and pioneering through its sector-based approach, it relies on a unique ecosystem of underwriters and industrial partners to maximize value creation in the long- term. Capagro's team of experienced investors is distinguished by the combination of strong sector expertise and rich international experience.
About Entrepreneur First
Entrepreneur First is where the ambitious come together to build globally significant technology companies. Through its platform it is present in 6 cities on 3 continents. Entrepreneur First invests in people with high potential to help them meet their future cofounders, develop their ideas and obtain funding from leading investors as soon as possible. Since 2011, Entrepreneur First has built over 5,000 businesses from scratch; supported 3,000 alumni worldwide. Their portfolio is valued at over $5 billion.
About Blue Capital
Bleu Capital is the venture arm of Jean-Pierre Chessé's family office. Bleu Capital has invested in early-stage companies in the United States and Europe founded by humble, ambitious, transparent and execution-oriented entrepreneurs. As a permanent fund, we take a long-term bet on founders and actively guide them in developing the critical business management processes needed to drive a company's growth and profitability. Portfolio companies include Contentsquare, Cargo, La Vie, TEKYN, ForDays, Goodeed, Datahawk, French Founders,…