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Not long ago, we asked to a panel of L.A.-area VCs what they thought of NFTs. The response was mixed. This week, we saw several L.A.-based startups move beyond NFTs as a quick way to mint a collectible, and experiment with them as a way to build an audience. L.A.-based Folio launched this week, billing itself as an NFT-enabled social platform for artists and art enthusiasts to connect outside the gallery system. Music-focused NFT startup Unblocked (aka The Non Fungible Token Company) raised an additional $10 million to head in new directions. And we profiled three local beverage startups using tokenization to build a creative community around their subscription brands.
Here’s what else happened in LA’s entertainment tech world this week 🍿
Marina del Rey-based startup Emerge is working on a system to let users interact with a virtual world… and actually feel it.
L.A. Rams star Odell Beckham Jr., like a number of athletes who took their salary in cryptocurrency, is feeling the dip.
A $60 million raise is helping PortalOne expand in Los Angeles as the studio works on its first hybrid video game.
Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision is creating a gaming giant, but will that raise any antitrust concerns?
Labor organizers at the Game Workers Alliance are looking to unionize all of Activision’s 10,000 employees before its deal with Microsoft finalizes. Earlier this week, organizers called on the SEC to investigate the gaming giant for misleading investors.
Snapchat's new AR lensess will allow you to try clothes on virtually and buy them right from the app.
Famous Birthdays’ founder Evan Britton offers four trends in the growing influencer economy to watch out for this year.
Folio hopes to solve the art world’s big problem by creating a social media network just for artists and NFT collectors.
Snoop Dogg isn't interested in THC-infused sweets. His fund invested in TSUMo Snacks, a more savory cannabinoid snack.
🚗 Transportation tech
Superpedestrian is bringing another 1,500 LINK scooters to L.A.'s streets.
Swiss robotics company ABB now has a majority stake in the Santa Monica-based electric vehicle infrastructure startup InCharge Energy.
SoCal electric vehicle companies including Rivian and Fisker saw sharp declines on Wall Street.
If all goes well, an electric train from L.A. to Vegas may soon be back on track.
Raises and $$ 💰
ServiceTitan has reportedly confidentially filed for an IPO at a possible $18 billion valuation.
With a $4.6 million raise, NVISIONx, a Santa Monica-based cybersecurity firm, is helping its clients, most notably Meta, avoid fines and hacks.
Spacecraft operations software startup Epsilon3 raised a $2.8 million seed round from investors including Stage Venture Partners, MaC Venture Capital, Lux Capital and Village Global.
Guest experience platform DACK raised $2.4 million in funding from five investors, according to an SEC filing. The startup is seeking to raise a total of $5 million.
Matters Lab, a web3 social media company, raised $2 million in pre-Series A funding from investors including Longling Capital, Protocol Labs and Mask Network.
Rx Delivered Now, a prescription delivery management platform, raised over $1 million in pre-seed funding via crowdfunding from more than 900 individual investors.
See more at our new weekly recap of funding news, Raises.
🎧 Listen Up
JibJab played a crucial role in the rise of online comedy. CEO Paul Hanges joined this week’s Office Hours to talk about the evolution of the company and its future.
On this episode of the LA Venture podcast, Vertex Ventures US partner Dom Perri talks about the firm's new $200 million fund focused on digital infrastructure.
A group of 250 Latino investors are calling out VC firms for their slow progress including more underrepresented founders after a recent report found just 2% of venture funding went to Latino-led startups.
The FTC is suing Lockheed Martin to stop its recent deal to acquire El Segundo-based Aerojet Rocketdyne.
Fashion Nova was fined $4.2 million for blocking negative reviews of its merchandise.
Once bicoastal competitors, health care payment startups Peachy and Walnut joined forces this week.