Andreessen Horowitz Injects Millions Into Gaming Startup Led by Riot Alums

Harri Weber

Harri is dot.LA's senior finance reporter. She previously worked for Gizmodo, Fast Company, VentureBeat and Flipboard. Find her on Twitter and send tips on L.A. startups and venture capital to harrison@dot.la.

Andreessen Horowitz Injects Millions Into Gaming Startup Led by Riot Alums
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Secretive games studio Elodie stepped out of the shadows in early 2020 to knock down the barriers that stand in the way of gaming with friends across platforms. The Venice-based developer announced Thursday a $32.5 million Series A led by Andreessen Horowitz and Galaxy Interactive, while teasing scarce details about its first game.


Founded by Riot Games veterans Christina Norman and David Banks, the startup's upcoming title will be a co-op action RPG with cross-platform play. "We've been hard at work on our first game," said Banks in a blog post on the raise. "We aren't quite ready to share any details about it yet other than it's in pre-alpha and getting a seat in our daily playtests is always a race," he added.

Major gaming platforms and studios have worked to bridge the gaps that exist between their ecosystems in recent years, however these integrations are often complex and incomplete. Elodie says its games won't suffer that fate because they'll be "purpose-built for cross-play, empowering gamers everywhere to play with their friends across any platform, without ever compromising the player experience."

Brian Cho — another Riot veteran — and Chris Ovitz of Electric Ant, an L.A.-based fund, also participated in Elodie's latest funding round. Andreessen partner Jonathan Lai, a former Riot project manager, joined Elodie's board as part of the deal.

Both Banks and Norman previously worked on League of Legends, Riot's multiplayer battle arena game that was inspired in part by a mod of an earlier Warcraft title. The co-founders now lead a team of 30 and say they'll use the new funds to "sustainably accelerate development within a healthy and inclusive work environment," a nod to the many reports of widespread sexism and "bro culture" inside Riot.

Asked how Elodie intends to establish an in-house culture of inclusivity, Banks said the company is committed to doing so but offered few specifics.

"Simply put, we believe [inclusivity] is fundamental to building a modern studio that produces amazing games. This is certainly easier said than done, and we acknowledge there is no silver bullet solution," Banks said, while pointing to the startup's "thoughtful hiring practices."

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Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

When avatar startup Genies raised $150 million in April, the company released an unusual message to the public: “Farewell.”

The Marina del Rey-based unicorn, which makes cartoon-like avatars for celebrities and aims to “build an avatar for every single person on Earth,” didn’t go under. Rather, Genies announced it would stay quiet for a while to focus on building avatar-creation products.

Genies representatives told dot.LA that the firm is now seeking more creators to try its creation tools for 3D avatars, digital fashion items and virtual experiences. On Thursday, the startup launched a three-week program called DIY Collective, which will mentor and financially support up-and-coming creatives.

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Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

LA Tech Week—a weeklong showcase of the region’s growing startup ecosystem—is coming this August.

The seven-day series of events, from Aug. 15 through Aug. 21, is a chance for the Los Angeles startup community to network, share insights and pitch themselves to investors. It comes a year after hundreds of people gathered for a similar event that allowed the L.A. tech community—often in the shadow of Silicon Valley—to flex its muscles.

From fireside chats with prominent founders to a panel on aerospace, here are some highlights from the roughly 30 events happening during LA Tech Week, including one hosted by dot.LA.

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LA Tech ‘Moves’: HyperDraft Taps LegalZoom Exec

Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is a reporter at dot.LA. Prior to that, she was an editorial fellow at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

LA Tech ‘Moves’: HyperDraft Taps LegalZoom Exec
Photo by James Opas | Modified by Joshua Letona

“Moves,” our roundup of job changes in L.A. tech, is presented by Interchange.LA, dot.LA's recruiting and career platform connecting Southern California's most exciting companies with top tech talent. Create a free Interchange.LA profile here—and if you're looking for ways to supercharge your recruiting efforts, find out more about Interchange.LA's white-glove recruiting service by emailing Sharmineh O’Farrill Lewis (sharmineh@dot.la). Please send job changes and personnel moves to moves@dot.la.

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