Finance
Browse the latest news about finance in Southern California from dot.LA.

A London-based marketing agency known for its work with brands like Duolingo and Popchips is launching a $2 million fund for direct-to-consumer ventures and tech startups in Los Angeles. And no, the firm isn't looking to cut you an actual check.

Instead, And Rising is in the business of trading its creative services for stock. Call it what you'd like — sweat equity, services for equity or co-founder Jonathan Trimble's preferred term, creative capital – the model isn't exactly new.

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This week, I sat down with Nick Grouf, founder and managing partner at Alpha Edison, a knowledge-driven venture fund he runs with his partner, Nate Redmond. Grouf is an ardent believer that venture capitalism has become very reactive, and he and his partner aim to take a different approach. Alpha Edison highly values education, diverse opinion and insight, and startups proactively bridging gaps in the market.

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The SPAC, or special purpose acquisition company, is the most recent IPO craze to hit Wall Street. Many reputable companies are going public via this route — over 200 were formed in 2020 alone. SPACs have existed since the early 2000s, but they have recently enjoyed a resurgence in popularity. And with many more slated to take companies public in 2021, the surge shows no signs of slowing down.

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