Funding up 40% in a banner year for LA Tech with ~$4.3B invested. Read on for clear, concise analysis that spans deals, IPOs, SPACs, the pipeline for the future, and much, much more in a clear, concise format.
Mobile phone usage is exploding in Africa and the continent is the world’s fastest growing mobile market. StarNews Mobile is a mobile video network that’s partnered with the largest telecom operators to provide video content to this burgeoning base of consumers. The company allows entertainers and brands to reach their audiences while allowing content creators to monetize their content. LA TechWatch caught up with Founder and CEO Guy Kamgaing to learn more about the market opportunity in Africa for content providers, the company’s future plans, and recent funding round from I&P and Expert Dojo.
The virtual reality gaming market is expected to reach $45B/yr by 2027. The increased affordability of VR sets like Oculus’s Quest 2 will contribute to this massive growth. ForeVR, founded by two ex-Zynga employees, is seeking to capitalize on this trend with its VR-focused gaming studio. Emerging recently from stealth, the company’s first title, launching in early 2021, is focused on bowling and ForeVR plans to build new games that are based on popular games in real life. LA TechWatch caught up with CEO and Cofounder Marcus Segal to learn more about the genesis of the company, its future product pipeline, first institutional round of funding from investors that include Galaxy Interactive Fund, Presence Capital, Emmett Shear, Justin Kan, Mark Pincus, and Justin Waldron.
Small businesses have been devastated by the pandemic and neighborhood schools and studios are no different. There has been a wave of innovation that empowers these small businesses to rapidly digitize to address changing customer preferences. Finli is the small business management platform and payment solution for these family-centric businesses that have been traditionally reliant on paper and pencil models. On the platform, parents and caretakers connect their bank accounts or credits to schedule and process payments for their children’s education, while schools and studios can invoice, streamline payments, and service their customer bases. LA TechWatch caught up with CEO and Founder Lori Shao to learn more about the critical service the platform provides to family businesses, the company’s future plans, and recent seed extension round from investors that include MaC Venture Capital, TechStars Los Angeles, Core Innovation Capital, and Muse Capital.
Deal flow down ~50% MOM with strength in Series A and Series B funding rounds in November but a void in late-stage fundings. Aggregate statistics for all LA funding deals by stage of funding (Early, Series A, Series B, & Late) including mention of notable rounds for November 2020.
More often than not, hiding behind the paywalls of many fitness apps is premium content such as virtual fitness classes led by celebrity trainers that require additional spending in order to access. Shred, the digital fitness app, goes against the grain by offering a constantly growing library of high-quality workouts within its subscription and provides the opportunity to make your workouts social by including your friends. Since the company’s founding in 2018, more than 3M workouts and 76M exercises have been completed on the platform. LA TechWatch caught up with CEO Adam Weinstein to learn more about the company’s experience growing during COVID, future plans to roll out new products including video-based social workouts, and Shred’s recent funding round.
The sharing economy is making the concept of ownership obsolete for many categories. Rachelle Snyder and her cofounder had to go through the difficult process of deciding which of their belongings to take with them during a cross country move and their outdoor gear just couldn’t be accommodated. The experience of trying to obtain gear once in LA led to the foundation for launching Arrive Outdoors, the rental company for premium, outdoor equipment that can deliver an assortment of outdoor gear straight to a consumer’s door. Rachelle shares some insight about how the company makes the exploration of the outdoors more accessible and the company’s recent seed funding round from investors that include Freestyle Capital Science Inc., AVG Basecamp Fund, Corigin Ventures, Pine5 Ventures, and James Reinhart and John Voris.
Anyone who has ever been in charge of organizing a group trip is familiar with all the planning that goes into it, and executing the most basic plans like how to get from point A to point B can kickstart a flurry of activity that includes hours of Google searches and phone calls with various vendors. Swoop makes it as easy as ordering an Uber with its group transportation booking platform that digitizes mom-and-pop group chauffeur operators. CRO and Cofounder Peter Evenson shares more insight on how Swoop is bringing SaaS to a historical paper and pencil industry, the company’s future plans, and recent funding round.
Investors love SaaS companies because of the recurring revenue. But SaaS companies often have to give up growth when faced with monthly and quarterly subscriptions that cause less signup friction versus annual upfront fees. Pipe is the non-dilutive financing solution for these to normalize their cash flows. Pipe is a marketplace that connects SaaS companies to investors that are looking to invest in these types of factoring arrangements. Investors receive reliable cash flows and companies receive the cash they need quickly to fuel their growth. Win/Win. We caught up with CEO and Cofounder Harry Hurst to learn more about Pipe, the Saas landscape, and the company’s recent Seed extension round.