The old adage is “you are what you eat”. But also important is how what you eat, affects your body. The human gastrointestinal tract contains trillions of bacteria and there is growing interest in understanding how the microbiome impacts health. BelliWelli is a snack brand that’s launching this month and is focused on gut-friendly, plant-based bars. The company’s products are all gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, contain probiotics, and are also low-FODMAP – a short-chain carb that is not easily absorbed by the body. Currently available in four flavors – Minty Chocolate, Cinnamon Swirl, Lemon White Chocolate, Fudge Brownie, BelliWeather bars are available for pre-order from the website with a box of 8 costing $26.96. LA TechWatch caught up with CEO Katie Wilson to learn more about how her own personal journey to find snacks that her body could tolerate led to the founding of the company, the company’s future plans, and recent round of funding.
Made in LA
The pandemic has propelled the adoption of NFC-powered contactless technologies for retailers and restaurants with everyone focusing on public safety. With the public now familiar with these technologies, new use cases will emerge post-COVID. Popl brings the benefits of NFC technologies to the general public. The product lineup of stickers keychains, and bands all enable the seamless sharing of information. The company focuses on making it easier for people to exchange contact information wirelessly, reducing the need for business cards in a contactless world. The software allows you to include social media profiles, payment info, links, etc., making the use-cases versatile.. LA TechWatch caught up with CEO and Cofounder Jason Alvarez-Cohen and COO and Cofounder Nick Eischens to learn more about the company’s offering, traction, and future plans.
Customer lifetime value (CLV) is the single most important metric for understanding your customers and their behavior. Without a solid understanding of it, it becomes nearly impossible to understand your marketing efforts and predict profitability. Retina is leveraging AI and data analytics to understand CLV before a customer makes a purchase for high-growth consumer companies. According to its data, the customer intelligence platform is able to lift CLV by 44%, generating 8x more return on ad spend while improving marketing efficiency by 30%. Presently, the platform is focused on companies that are doing ~$10M in revenue but plans to roll out its offering to mid-sized businesses is in the works. The level of specialized data that Retina is able to provide has traditionally been reserved for large companies with entire in-house data teams. LA TechWatch caught up with Cofounder and CEO Emad Hasan to learn more about the company’s mission to democratize the access to data that drives high-value sales, future plans, the LA Tech ecosystem, and much, much more.
4,500+ merchants have already signed up to use Sunbit, the omnichannel financial solution helping local businesses generate revenue while giving consumers flexible payment plans for everyday essentials. In 30 seconds, consumers can sign up for a 3, 6, or 12-month payment plan that will finance total purchases ranging anywhere from $60 – $8K. Merchants such as auto shops, eye doctors, dentists, and veterinary clinics can provide omnichannel payment experiences to make payment as seamless as possible. LA TechWatch caught up with Cofounder and CTO Ornit Maizel to learn more about Sunbit’s plan to Buy Now Pay Later solutions more accessible and applicable to everyday purchases
For independent musicians, finding and securing a venue for your next performance is difficult and time-consuming, and there is no guarantee that you’ll leave at the end of the night with a pocket of cash. FanFlex is the do-it-yourself booking platform that allows venues to list their space and availability dates, allowing musicians to easily book venues and sell tickets directly to fans through the FanFlex platform. The two-sided marketplace lets venues shift their focus from selling tickets to maximizing food and beverage revenue, while the musician controls the ticket sales. LA TechWatch caught up with Cofounder Erik Nelson to learn more about FanFlex and how his background in the entertainment industry served as the genesis for the platform.
Latinos are one of the fastest-growing demographic groups in the United States, representing approximately 20% of the US population. However, 50% of Latinos are underbanked. SUMA Wealth is the fintech platform designed specifically for the Latino community to engage, educate, and empower young millennial/ Gen Z Latinos to manage their finances and take control of their financial futures. LA TechWatch caught up with CEO and Cofounder Beatríz Acevedo to learn more about the importance of financial inclusion for Latinos, the company’s goal to help create generational wealth, and future plans.
“Teachers who build math and language games are our best experts in curriculum, but they don’t fully understand how children play. Developers who build games don’t understand how children learn. We wanted to combine these worlds of learning and play in a powerful new way that can transform the learning experience for kids around the world.” LA TechWatch caught up with CEO and Cofounder Bill Kara to learn more about Math Games, how the shift to online learning has impacted demand, and the company’s future plans.
Jason Cohen, an ex-New Yorker sold his previous business, a performance-based marketing agency, and linked up with his cofounder, who had also recently sold his business. The duo launched Centerfield to bring technology-focused solutions to performance-based marketing. The company now automates end-to-end customer acquisition for brands, powering over 2M individual sales per year. Cohen shares some more insight into the state of acquisition and marketing, the company’s future plans, and impressive traction.
The aerospace, defense, and automobile industries have long been reliant on obsolete processes for hardware design and manufacturing that do not harness technology. First Resonance, launched by former SpaceX engineers, is the modern manufacturing intelligence platform that allows next-gen hardware companies to innovate, iterate, and get products to market faster with unprecedented real-time visibility into production status. Replacing spreadsheets, documents, and costly legacy manufacturing processes, First Resonance’s ion Factory Operating System leverages data science, API integration, and machine learning to provides flexibility and collaboration between knowledge teams in established manufacturing workflows. LA TechWatch caught up with CEO and Cofounder Karan Talati to learn more about First Resonance, its impact on manufacturing, how its platform built with engineers and technicians in mind, and the company’s future plans as its emerges out of stealth.
Most have fallen into the trap of endlessly scrolling through Netflix’s immense library to find something to watch. The disproportionate time that people spend finding a series versus actually viewing has given rise to a new category of watchlist apps. Bingie is the entertainment recommendation app that taps into personal networks to help find relevant content. Bingie puts an emphasis on content suggestions from friends and family to create a highly-personalized interface where users can discuss, discover, and debate the merits of shows and movies. The platform works across the major streaming services including Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu. Cofounder Matt Knox shares more about launching the company during the pandemic, the company’s future plans, and differentiators.
The world’s first drop-in meditation studio, Unplug Meditation, is on a mission to create a global movement to de-stress people’s lives. Unplug Meditation has two locations in Santa Monica and another West Hollywood. In response to the pandemic, the company went digital seemingly overnight. Founder and CEO Suze Yalof Schwartz walks us through what inspired her to transition from a successful career in fashion as the Executive Fashion Editor At Large for Glamour to founding Unplug in 2014, the company’s future plans, and response to COVID.