New Faux Ground Beef Maker Closes $5M Seed Round

Francesca Billington

Francesca Billington is a freelance reporter. Prior to that, she was a general assignment reporter for dot.LA and has also reported for KCRW, the Santa Monica Daily Press and local publications in New Jersey. She graduated from Princeton in 2019 with a degree in anthropology.

Longeve Brands

Los Angeles is adding another player to its roster of packaged health food startups.

Irvine-based Longève Brands, a startup selling fake meat crumbles made of pea protein, closed a $5 million seed round Wednesday led by Wavemaker Partners and Springboard. The company's line of faux-meat products includes "Protein Crumbles" that resemble ground meat and can sit on pantry shelves instead of needing refrigeration.


Longève was co-founded in 2020 by Cie, a California-based venture studio whose portfolio includes Titan School Solutions, a software for schools to track food inventory. It was acquired by LINQ in November for $75 million.

Unlike others in the meat replacement consumer goods market, Longève Brands CEO Douglas Kantner said that his product is less processed and preservative-free.

The plant-based meat market was worth $939 million in 2019, up 18% from the year before, according to the Good Food Institute, a nonprofit promoting alternatives to meat and dairy.

The market has gained momentum in recent years after Impossible Foods and El Segundo-based Beyond Meat were picked up by fast food chains like Starbucks, Carls Jr. and others. But Kantner doesn't see those brands as competitors because "they are making burgers and sausages. We are providing a shelf-stable, clean label product that can be used in a variety of dishes."

"Our real competitor is meat from animals," Kantner added.

Longève will use the funding to build brand awareness, hire and add more plant-based foods to their line of products, which are stocked in U.S. retailers Erewhon and HEB and in grocery stores across Mexico, Australia, Southeast Asia and the United Arab Emirates. It finds a natural home in Southern California, a hub for nutrition consumer packaged goods — from meatless burger brand Beyond Meat in El Segundo to downtown's Califia Farms.

"If your recipe calls for one pound of ground beef, you take three ounces of this stuff, reconstitute it with water and it kind of poofs up," Cie co-founder and CEO Anderee Berengian said. "It's ready to take on the flavor profile of whatever spices and ingredients that the chef wants to add."

RezVen Partners and Alumni Ventures Group also participated in the round.

https://twitter.com/frosebillington
francesca@dot.la

Subscribe to our newsletter to catch every headline.

Cadence

Energy Shares Gears Up To Bring Equity Crowdfunding to Retail Investors

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 Gears Up To Bring Equity Crowdfunding to Retail Investors
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
RELATEDEDITOR'S PICKS
LA TECH JOBS
interchangeLA
Trending