LA-Based Endgame Aims to Help SaaS Companies Better Utilize Their Data

Caitlin Cook
Caitlin Cook is an editorial intern at dot.LA, currently earning her master's degree in mass communication from California State University, Northridge. A devoted multimedia journalist with an interest in both tech and entertainment, Cook also works as a reporter and production assistant for MUSE TV. She got her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Filmmaking from University of North Carolina School of the Arts.
LA-Based Endgame Aims to Help SaaS Companies Better Utilize Their Data
Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

For software-as-a-service (SaaS) companies, tracking and analyzing consumer data such as signups and support questions is rather simple. It's the valuable information about how the most frequent customers are using the product that can require a team of data scientists and engineers to unravel.

Los Angeles-based Endgame aims to make it easier to get at this crucial data by collecting customer analytics and making it easy to access. The software is currently in beta testing, with customers such as social media app Clubhouse and graphic design software company Figma. These relationships were formed through a combination of the founder's network and word of mouth.

"Customers really felt the pain and were looking for a solution," said Endgame CEO Alex Bilmes.

The software company announced a Series A round of more than $12 million on Tuesday led by Menlo Ventures. This closely follows a seed round of $5 million led by Upfront Ventures, totaling $17 million in funding.

Endgame users have access to data including who is using the product the most, which features are being used and how they are being used.

The objective is to help companies identify their top customers so they may develop better relationships with them and boost sales. For companies that offer free trials, the data collected over time by Endgame could also help companies understand what influences users to buy.

According to Bilmes, there are currently no metrics to show whether or not Endgame is improving sales for its beta customers. However, some senior executives from these companies as well as other SaaS companies such as Zoom and Github have become angel investors.

Endgame aims to help SaaS companies move more towards a product-led approach to sales. In a Medium post, Kara Norton of Upfront Ventures referenced "a year of steak dinners and golf games" to describe the traditional, top-down approach to selling SaaS.

"This kind of product-led growth is great because it starts with one person using and loving the product, then inviting others to use the product to great network effect, long before a sales team ever gets involved," Norton wrote, referring to Zoom's product-led growth between Q2 '20 and Q2 '21.

The customer relationship management (CRM) market is expected to be valued at $114 billion by 2027, according to a 2020 report by Fortune Business Insights.

In addition to the raise, the company now has a new investor board made up entirely of women. The members are Norton, Naomi Ionita of Menlo Ventures and Sandhya Hedge of Unusual Ventures (which participated in both rounds).

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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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Gov. Gavin Newsom Vetoes California ‘BitLicense’ Bill To Regulate Crypto Exchanges

Steve Huff
Steve Huff is an Editor and Reporter at dot.LA. Steve was previously managing editor for The Metaverse Post and before that deputy digital editor for Maxim magazine. He has written for Inside Hook, Observer and New York Mag. Steve is the author of two official tie-ins books for AMC’s hit “Breaking Bad” prequel, “Better Call Saul.” He’s also a classically-trained tenor and has performed with opera companies and orchestras all over the Eastern U.S. He lives in the greater Boston metro area with his wife, educator Dr. Dana Huff.
Gov. Gavin Newsom Vetoes California ‘BitLicense’ Bill To Regulate Crypto Exchanges
State Attorney Alleges Gov. Newsom Interfered in Activision Lawsuit

California isn’t getting its version of the New York BitLicense bill anytime soon after all. Governor Gavin Newsom vetoed the bill Friday.

The bill, sponsored by Democratic Rep. Tim Grayson out of Vallejo, passed by the state assembly in a 71-0 vote at the beginning of September. Like New York State’s 2015 BitLicense legislation, AB 2269 would have set out requirements for the behavior of crypto exchanges such as Coinbase or Binance. Additionally, California crypto exchanges would’ve been prevented from trafficking in stablecoins (cryptocurrencies pegged to the value of an asset like the Yen, dollar, or Euro) without a license to do so.

Gov. Newsom explained his veto in a Sept. 23 message to the Assembly. The governor stated that while he shared “the author's intent to protect Californians from potential financial harm,” his administration “has conducted extensive research and outreach to gather input on approaches that balance the benefits and risk to consumers, harmonize with federal rules, and incorporate California values such as equity, inclusivity, and environmental protection.”

“It is premature to lock a licensing structure in statute,” the statement continued, “without considering both this work and forthcoming federal actions.” Newsom said it’s necessary for the government to be flexible “to ensure regulatory oversight can keep up with rapidly evolving technology and use cases and is tailored with the proper tools to address trends and mitigate consumer harm.”

It’s refreshing that a government official knows how legislation connected to new technology can fall short as the tech evolves. Still, Gov. Newsom also pointed out that AB 2269 would’ve cost “tens of millions of dollars for the first several years” out of the state’s general fund—something unaccounted for in the state’s yearly budget.

Rep. Tim Grayson responded to Newsom’s action via tweet, writing in part that the crypto “market is under-regulated at best and deliberately rigged against everyday consumers at worst. A financial market cannot be considered healthy if there are no guardrails in place to protect consumers from scams & bad actors.”

California’s legislators haven’t been alone in examining ways to bring some discipline into the cryptocurrency wilderness. In 2022 alone, Oklahoma passed HB 3279, and Utah passed (and signed into law) SB 182—both bills intended to create regulatory schemes and give state agencies the power to control any business related to digital currency.

Additionally, the White House released a statement on Sept. 16 outlining a “Comprehensive Framework for Responsible Development of Digital Assets,” which was a follow-up to President Joe Biden’s Executive Order from March 9, which was intended to ensure the responsible use of digital assets.

While Gov. Newsom’s veto means California is avoiding additional and possibly costly crypto regulations, for now, the tide nationwide seems to be turning in favor of putting rules in place to protect crypto investors. Given that in June, the Federal Trade Commission reported over $1 billion in losses to cryptocurrency scams since the beginning of 2021, some might say new regulations protecting consumers are overdue.