LA Tech Updates: LA's Largest VC is Now a Public Benefit Corp; Treehouse Games Raises $2.6M

Sam Blake

Sam primarily covers entertainment and media for dot.LA. Previously he was Marjorie Deane Fellow at The Economist, where he wrote for the business and finance sections of the print edition. He has also worked at the XPRIZE Foundation, U.S. Government Accountability Office, KCRW, and MLB Advanced Media (now Disney Streaming Services). He holds an MBA from UCLA Anderson, an MPP from UCLA Luskin and a BA in History from University of Michigan. Email him at samblake@dot.LA and find him on Twitter @hisamblake

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Here are the latest updates on news affecting Los Angeles' startup and tech communities. Sign up for our newsletter and follow dot.LA on Twitter for more.

Today:

  • LA's Largest VC is Now a Public Benefit Corp
  • Treehouse Games Raises $2.6M

        'Collaborative' Game-Maker Treehouse Games Raises $2.6M

        Treehouse Games, founded by former Riot Games product lead Michael Chu and indie games studio veteran Ryan Sullivan, has raised $2.6 million in seed funding. The studio will focus on making collaborative games "to serve a growing, global audience of millions of people who use games as their favorite way to hang out," the company said in a statement.

        London Venture Partners (LVP) led the funding round. Bay Area-based Transcend Fund and Super Evil Megacorp CEO Kristian Segestrale also participated.

        Chu and Sullivan told dot.LA that "it's too early to go into specifics about the game, but our team is hard at work building an innovative cooperative game to bring friends and family together."

        "We want to create games that give you that feeling of camaraderie during a road trip, or the sense of generosity you get when buying your friend a cup of coffee," the founders said.

        Fifth Wall Venture Firm Is Now a B Corporation

        fifthwall.com

        Fifth Wall announced this week it is now a Certified B Corporation or "B Corp," which means it is legally required to consider the impact of its decisions on workers, customers, suppliers, community, and the environment.

        Fifth Wall is the largest venture capital firm focused on real estate tech, known as proptech. It announced the close of its second real estate technology fund last year, with $503 million in dry powder, making it the largest VC fund in Los Angeles.

        "It is incumbent upon all of us to take actionable steps towards building a more equitable and sustainable society," said Brendan Wallace, co-founder and managing partner at Fifth Wall. "We're grateful to the resources and community offered by B Lab to help our firm as we continue to educate ourselves and make changes within our own organization."

        Fifth Wall is now part of a cohort of 3,939 other B-Corps that include names like Ben & Jerry's, Allbirds, and Patagonia.

        The real estate industry accounts for 40% of the world's consumption of energy and Fifth Wall says it is ready to help make construction more sustainable. Earlier this year, the firm announced a new carbon impact fund.

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        Cadence

        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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