The cannabis industry is rapidly growing and expected to reach $33.6B in sales by 2025 as more states are added to the list where recreational use is permitted. With this growing interest, rich data has been collected and the consumer data reflects that different demographic groups seek specific benefits from their consumption and their preferences on ingestion (vapes, flowers, edibles, etc) also widely vary. Jointly is a platform that serves as a guide and experience tracking mechanism for purposeful cannabis consumption. Users initially select the type of experience they are seeking from a set of choices that vary from enjoying social experiences to enhancing intimacy, then are shown a number of products that meet their criterion based on the company’s proprietary engine, and users track their experience using fifteen factors, creating a dynamic and accurate database of goal-specific product effectiveness. As more and more individuals enter the cannabis consumer lifecycle, the platform hopes to navigate them through the various and growing number of options available, which can be daunting, so that they are able to enhance their personal experience and elevate wellness. The platform has tracked 200K+ experiences since its launch in 2020. LA TechWatch caught up with Jointly CEO and Cofounder David Kooi to learn more about the inspiration for the business, the company’s strategic plans, latest round of funding, which brings the total funding raised to $7.5M, and much, much more…
Launched in LA
Back in 2007, 50,000+ soccer enthusiasts, organized by the startup MyFootballClub, banded together to purchase an English football club, which ended up being Ebbsfleet United FC. The community was responsible for all decisions related to the club. Last fall, an internet collective come together to raise $40M to buy a copy of the US Constitution through a DAO. Advancements in decentralized and streaming technology are fostering a new wave of innovation and engagement based on collective control that was previously not possible. Fan Controlled Football is a professional football league that allows fans to be involved in the gameplay and management of their favorite teams. Fans have a say in branding, personnel decisions, and even play-calling in real-time as if they are playing a real-life video game. The league plays all its games in a state-of-the-art arena based in Atlanta using modified rules that drive interest, excitement, and action with games broadcasted live on Twitch. Fan Controlled Football quickly recognized the concept was ideal for Web3 and blockchain and is now making integrating 4 new NFT-powered teams into the league, doubling the number of teams to eight for the upcoming season (the league’s second) that will start in mid-April. LA TechWatch caught up with Fan Controlled Football Cofounder and Chief Growth Officer Grant Cohen to learn more about how FCF blends technology, sports, gaming, and decentralization into a professional sports league, the company’s strategic plans, upcoming season, latest round of funding from investors that include Animoca Brands and Delphi Digital, Gemini Frontier Fund, 6th Man Ventures, Jump Crypto, Red Beard Ventures, Spartan Capital, NGC Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Talis Capital, Verizon Ventures, Correlation Ventures, and Basecamp Fund.
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.
Everything you need to need to know about the largest Los Angeles startup funding rounds of March 2021; broken down by industry, stage, investors, and more…
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.
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.
Raising capital for a startup is hard and can be grueling. Drawing inspiration from MailChimp and Airbnb, two companies that took an unconventional approach to initial funding, Michael Fisher, CEO and Cofounder of HireHuman, a video recruitment platform for customer service, launched Ballot Bevs, a collection of limited-edition, election-themed coffee and tea boxes to drive revenue to bootstrap HireHuman. Fisher shares more about the imminent launch of HireHuman, Ballot Bev’s impressive traction heading into the election, and the motivation behind delaying institutional funding.
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.