French plant-based pork start-up La Vie raises €25M in funding round backed by Natalie Portman
La Vie, a Parisian start-up producing vegan alternatives to bacon and lardons, has secured €25M in its Series A round.
Seven Ventures led the latest funding round, with investments also coming in from Oyster Bay, Entrepreneur First, Bleu Capital, Partech and Capagro.
As well as investors, several new business angels have also joined La Vie, including big names such as American actress Natalie Portman and Oatly‘s Chairman, Eric Melloul.
Other business angels joining the start-up are CEO of the refurbishing device company Back Market, Thibaud Hug de Larauze, the founder of the carpooling start-up BlaBlacar, Frédéric Mazzella, and CEO of the online marketplace for secondhand clothing Vinted, Thomas Lodewijk Plantenga.
The start-up commented on their social channels: “This funding will allow us to expand at lightening speed in France, the UK and Europe. Also, it will accelerate our innovation program to bring even more yummy products to consumers.”
According to their website, La Vie’s vegan lardons have 33% fewer calories, 15 times more fibre and 60% less fat than their meat-based counterpart.
The lardons are made with soya protein paste, natural colourings and flavours, and sunflower oil (a substitute for meat-based fat). These ingredients are mixed together to create a similar appearance to regular bacon. The product is then sliced and smoked with beech to give it the juicy quality and smokey taste associated with traditional French lardons.
Previously known as 77 Foods, after three years of research the start-up rebranded to La Vie in October 2021, when they also launched their pork-free products onto the French market in supermarkets such as Carrefour.
La Vie’s vegan bacon is also now available at France’s vegan burger chain, Hank.