Erewhon’s Latest Trendy Beverage? Barcode, an Adaptogen-Infused Sports Drink

Keerthi Vedantam

Keerthi Vedantam is a bioscience reporter at dot.LA. She cut her teeth covering everything from cloud computing to 5G in San Francisco and Seattle. Before she covered tech, Keerthi reported on tribal lands and congressional policy in Washington, D.C. Connect with her on Twitter, Clubhouse (@keerthivedantam) or Signal at 408-470-0776.

Barcode is a premium hydration brand made with all natural, plant-based ingredients.
Courtesy of Barcode
Los Angeles’ trendiest grocery store is investing in a new sports drink that’s putting a healthy spin on Gatorade.

Erewhon Market is among the new investors in Barcode, an L.A.-based sports drink startup launched by former New York Knicks performance director Mubarak Malik and former Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma. On Monday, Barcode announced a new $2.2 million funding round that also included Destiny’s Child singer Kelly Rowland and NBA player Maurice Harkless, as well as Los Angeles-based Trousdale Ventures among other VC firms.

Barcode is among a trend of drink brands—including L.A.-based AMASS Brands, which has partnered with pop star Katy Perry to make alcohol-free aperitifs—that are dipping into the adaptogen craze. Barcode’s drinks are infused with ashwagandha, cordycep mushrooms and rhodiola rosea—plant extracts that may improve organ functions and mental sharpness, though studies on such claims remain mostly inconclusive.

Barcode has looked to bring those elements into the realm of sports drinks, offering three flavors (lemon lime, watermelon and pinot noir) that sell for $48 per 12-pack. The company plans to expand via Texas-based gourmet grocery store chain Central Market and launch on Amazon next month, with broader plans to eventually expand across the U.S.

The investment is yet another notch in the belt for Erewhon, which has helped popularize the market for “functional drinks” infused with prebiotics, adaptogens and superfoods that promise health benefits. The organic market was the first vendor to carry Olipop, a prebiotic-infused soda that recently raised $30 million from Beverly Hills-based Monogram Capital Partners and celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow and the Jonas Brothers.

Subscribe to our newsletter to catch every headline.


Los Angeles’ Wage Growth Outpaced Inflation. Here’s What That Means for Tech Jobs

Samson Amore

Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He holds a degree in journalism from Emerson College and previously covered technology and entertainment for TheWrap and reported on the SoCal startup scene for the Los Angeles Business Journal. Send tips or pitches to and find him on Twitter @Samsonamore.

Los Angeles’ Wage Growth Outpaced Inflation. Here’s What That Means for Tech Jobs

Inflation hit cities with tech-heavy workforces hard last year. Tech workers fortunate enough to avoid layoffs still found themselves confronting rising costs with little change in their pay.

Those national trends certainly touched down in Los Angeles, but new data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) show that the city of angels was the only major metro area that saw its wage growth grow by nearly 6% while also outpacing the consumer price index, which was around 5%. Basically, LA was the only area where adjusted pay actually came out on a net positive.

So, what does this mean for tech workers in LA County?

Read moreShow less

Energy Shares Wants to Offer You a Chance to Invest in Green Energy Startups

David Shultz

David Shultz reports on clean technology and electric vehicles, among other industries, for dot.LA. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Outside, Nautilus and many other publications.

Energy Shares Wants to Offer You a Chance to Invest in Green Energy Startups
Photo by Red Zeppelin on Unsplash

The Inflation Reduction Act contains almost $400 billion in funding for clean energy initiatives. There’s $250 billion for energy projects. $23 billion for transportation and EVs. $46 billion for environment. $21 billion for agriculture, and so on. With so much cash flowing into the sector, the possibilities for investment and growth are gigantic.

These investment opportunities, however, have typically been inaccessible for everyday retail investors until much later in a company’s development–after an IPO, usually. Meaning that the best returns are likely to be captured by banks and other institutions who have the capital and financing to invest large sums of money earlier in the process.

That’s where Pasadena-based Energy Shares comes in. The company wants to help democratize access to these investment opportunities and simultaneously give early-stage utility-scale energy projects another revenue stream.

Read moreShow less

How These Ukranian Entrepreneurs Relocated Their Startups to LA and Found Success

Aisha Counts
Aisha Counts is a business reporter covering the technology industry. She has written extensively about tech giants, emerging technologies, startups and venture capital. Before becoming a journalist she spent several years as a management consultant at Ernst & Young.
How These Ukranian Entrepreneurs Relocated Their Startups to LA and Found Success
Joey Mota

Fleeing war and chasing new opportunities, more than a dozen Ukrainian entrepreneurs have landed in Los Angeles, finding an unexpected community in the city of dreams. These entrepreneurs have started companies that are collectively worth more than $300 million, in industries ranging from electric vehicle charging stations to audience monetization platforms to social networks.

Dot.LA spent an evening with this group of Ukrainian citizens, learning what it was like to build startups in Ukraine, to cope with the unimaginable fear of fleeing war, and to garner the resilience to rebuild.

Read moreShow less