For years, individuals, and sometimes corporate teams, have participated in charity runs and walks to raise funding and awareness for causes they believe in. In most cases, the organizers of these events (large and small) have taken on the administrative and infrastructural onus of setting up the philanthropic portions that allow individuals to set up their own fundraising initiatives. What if a SaaS platform could facilitate individuals to partake and structure charitable giving, without relying on other parties, at the employer/employee level? Enter Groundswell, a recently launched philanthropy-as-a-Service platform that provides charitable fundraising tools and administrative solutions as an employee benefit. Employees are able to create and contribute to the pool of their choice (donor-advised funds), for causes that resonate with them, with employers providing tax-advantaged matching/gifting funds. Traditionally, corporate social responsibility and charitable endeavors have been concentrated on a handful of opportunities that are selected at the highest levels within the company. Groundswell’s innovative approach decentralizes corporate giving, creating enhanced engagement among employees and stakeholders. LA TechWatch caught up with Groundswell Chief Product Officer Tammy Hahn to learn more about the company’s launch, strategic plans, latest funding round from investors that include GV, Human Ventures, Moonshots Capital, Felicis, and Core Innovation Capital, and much, much more…
The pandemic has brought flexibility to the forefront whether it be for work or living. This is no different for our dogs that have also had to adjust to our at-home and remote living lifestyles. Dogdrop is a flexible provider of dog care services that’s expanding nationwide to cater to the needs of dog owners. Rather than traditional dog daycare services, where you drop off Buster, for the traditional 9-5 workday, Dogdrop offers on-demand care with clients able to drop off without an appointment and for shorter periods, giving dog parents flexibility when juggling everything on their schedule and providing often much-needed socialization for the dogs. The company opened its first location in Downtown LA just before the pandemic hit our shores and is now poised to scale with a plan to franchise the model to new cities like Charlotte, Austin, Denver, and Salt Lake City as well as expand to new locations across LA. There is a range of pricing options spanning from pay-as-you-go ($10/hr,$40/day) to an unlimited option ($600); Dogdrop also monetizes with its own line of dog care products – wipes and poop bags. LA TechWatch caught up with Dogdrop CEO and Cofounder Shaina Denny to learn more about how her personal experience led to the company’s founding, strategic expansion plans, latest round of funding from investors that include Fuel Capital, Muse Capital, Animal Capital, Gaingels, The Helm, Mars PetCare and Garrett Smallwood.
The use of industrial robotics has been growing steadily since the 1960s when robotic-assisted automation was first introduced into manufacturing in the automotive industry. The advent of the internet and connected devices is now fueling a new uptick in robotic sales as applications are more sophisticated and specialized. Today’s environment with labor shortages, high labor costs, and decreasing hardware costs ensure that the future of manufacturing will be reliant on robotic automation. GrayMatter Robotics is a platform that powers smart robotic assistants that focus on specialized surface finishing tasks in manufacturing like sanding, polishing, and spraying. The platform serves as an operating system that seamlessly integrates with commercially available robots, sensors, and tools to give manufacturers the ability to introduce automation in a timely manner without friction, significant training, or excess cost. Founded in 2020, GrayMatter allows manufacturers to be flexible and more competitive at a time when manufacturing is slowly returning to the states. LA TechWatch caught up with GrayMatter Robotics Cofounder and CEO Ariyan Kabir to learn more about the use of industrial robotics in manufacturing, the company’s strategic plans, recent round of funding led by Stage Venture Partners and Calibrate Ventures.
While a site like Kayak can help you get a clear understanding of costs when it comes to travel, other sites offering recommendation options are typically a crapshoot, littered with fabricated reviews and manipulated results that do not take into account the traveler. With such a glut of information (some accurate, some not) available, one can easily get overwhelmed. Welcome is a newly-launched app, just out of beta, that serves as a curated city and travel guide that leverages AI coupled with vetted recommendations from experts and friends to give travelers personalized recommendations that take into account preferences, weather, time of day, and a host of other factors fueled by a robust data-driven and tech-enabled approach focused on contextual place discovery. The app elegantly delivers seamless recommendations that allow users to actually enjoy their travels instead of endlessly researching for it. The app comes out of beta with over 50,000 users in 350+ cities that have provided over 300K reviews. LA TechWatch caught up with Welcome Founder, serial entrepreneur, and CEO Matthew Rosenberg (founded and exited Cameo) to learn more about how his travels after his previous exit inspired the business, the challenges of raising funding for a travel-related business during a pandemic, the company’s strategic plans, latest round of funding from investor that include Accel and Lakestar Ventures.
The virtual reality market is on pace to reach $160B/yr by 2023. VR sets like Oculus’s Quest 2 becoming more and more accessible to the masses contributes to this expected meteoric growth. ForeVR, launched by two early Zynga employees, is a VR-focused gaming studio looking to bring popular games to the virtual reality universe. The company’s first title, launched in the Spring, is a bowling game that combines real gameplay with stunning visuals and is designed for all ages. LA TechWatch caught up with CEO Marcus Segal to learn more about the company’s launch, strategic plans, hosting fundraising meetings within the Bowling game, latest round of funding from investors that include Bessemer Venture Partners, Galaxy Interactive, and All Star Capital.
COVID has generated a new need for collaboration tools as the world moved to remote work. With companies struggling to keep their workforce on the same page, communication and training platforms shifted from nice to have to necessities for the health of businesses. According to McKinsey, 97% of employees and executives believe a lack of alignment within a team impacts the outcome of a task or project. Tango is a workflow documentation platform that simplifies capturing processes and providing step-by-step tutorials for virtually any process, ensuring that teams and employees are seamlessly on the same page. The platform offers a browser extension that captures workflows and allows employees to annotate and document on the go without friction. Tango, founded in 2020, focuses on the workplace learning market ($370B), allowing organizations to ensure that their employees are able to optimize productivity and scale up their skills while new hires are on-boarded quickly with an enduring repository of company best practices available. The platform is currently in private beta with public beta opening next month. LA TechWatch caught up with CEO and Cofounder Ken Babcock to learn more about the inspiration for the business, the company’s strategic plans, recent round of funding from investors that include Wing Venture Capital, General Catalyst, GSV Ventures, Outsiders Fund, Red Sea Ventures, Michael Stoppelman, Jai Ranganathan, Shoaib Makani, and Julia Lipton.
There are countless options for SaaS platforms to collect payments from their customers within their applications. But what if the application is designed to enable clients to accept payments from their customers. PayEngine is a payment platform that seamlessly integrates into SaaS applications to directly address this. SaaS businesses using PayEngine are able to set […]
The average company uses 137 unique SaaS applications on average. When adding in offline vendors, management of these vendor relationships can become a daunting task. Terzo is an enterprise vendor relationship management that enables organizations to take control of their vendor relationships and optimize them for the long and short term. By understanding spend and utilization data, users of the platform can drive cost-savings and enhanced performance by renegotiating contacts, changing plans, canceling unused services, removing excess licenses, and switching to different providers. LA TechWatch caught up with CEO and Cofounder Brandon Card to learn more about the inspiration for the business, the company’s strategic plans, and recent round of funding from investors that include Great Oaks Venture Capital (Lead), NJF Capital Ventures, Innovation Global Capital, Abnormal Security Ventures
The digital ad spending market in the US is expected to exceed $190B in 2021. Businesses need to embrace the online ad revolution and be willing to adapt as the paid marketing environment is constantly evolving. The days of setting up a simple Facebook campaign and hoping for returns are no longer viable. Trust is a corporate card and community focused on optimizing advertising spend. The card, which has no annual fee, offers flexible payment terms and increased spending limits while the community puts data front and center, allowing businesses to really understand their marketing spend and the platforms that they are spending on through dedicated support and curated expert resources. With Trust, marketers are able to leverage scale to ensure that they are able to compete with larger advertisers from an informed standpoint to drive growth. Founded in 2019, the company recently launched with support for campaigns on Snap, Facebook, Pinterest, TikTok, Google, Apple, Amazon, Hulu, Instagram, Youtube, et al. LA TechWatch caught up with Cofounder and CEO James Borow to learn more about how the founding team’s experience at Snap led to the inspiration for the business, the company’s strategic plans, and recent round of funding from Lerer Hippeau, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Upfront Ventures, and Upper90.
Establishing monthly and annual recurring revenue has long been the gold standard to measure SaaS companies and the prospects of their businesses. For e-commerce businesses, facing increased competition and higher acquisition costs, creating recurring revenues through subscriptions is one of the things they can do to normalize their revenue streams and build higher lifetime values for each customer. While there have been many solutions that can handle the infrastructure portion of recurring payments, not much attention has been paid to managing the customer relationship. Upscribe is a platform designed specifically for high-growth subscription direct-to-consumer e-commerce brands to optimize the customer relationship and, in turn, revenue derived. The company focuses on reducing churn and increasing retention, allowing customers to skip shipments, swap products, and change order frequency and shipping details seamlessly. Upscribe also offers data insights for merchants that can help them on the acquisition side and the platform seamlessly integrates with existing providers already found in the merchant’s technology stack. Founded in 2019, the Santa Monica-based startup is already profitable. LA TechWatch caught up with Founder and CEO Dileepan Siva to learn more about the trends that are leading to the “SaaS-ification” of e-commerce, the company’s future plans, recent round of funding from investors that include Uncork Capital, Leaders Fund, The House Fund, Fahd Ananta, and Laura Behrens Wu.
Care management has become widely adopted by health systems to streamline healthcare for Americans. However, while these systems make optimize the experience for providers, patients may be overwhelmed by all the details and instructions provided to them for their care. This gets compounded for those that are elderly, underserved, and those suffering from chronic conditions. […]