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A Los Angeles-based food service startup raised fresh funding to expand its subscription delivery service, while a San Diego-based firm closed its second fund to invest into Latino entrepreneurs in the U.S.
Everytable, a Los Angeles-based casual restaurant startup, raised a $55 million Series C funding round led by Creadiv.
West Hollywood-based AI-powered intellectual property (IP) protection platform MarqVision, raised a $20 million Series A funding round co-led by DST Global Partners and Atinum Investment.
Locket, a Los Angeles-based photo-sharing app, raised $12.5 million in fresh funding led by Sam Altman.
Santa Monica-based VR basketball app Gym Class, raised an $8 million seed round led by Andreessen Horowitz.
Bounty, a Los Angeles-based Shopify app that pays creators for engaging with TikTok, raised a $5 million seed round led by M13.
Encino-based NFT communications platform Based, raised a $3.5 million pre-seed funding round led by Progression Fund.
Niche, a Los Angeles and New York-based Web3 social platform, raised $1.8 million in a pre-seed round led by MetaWeb.
L’Attitude Ventures, a San Diego and San Francisco-based venture capital and private equity firm, closed $100 million for its second fund to invest in Latino seed stage to Series A startups.
Raises is dot.LA’s weekly feature highlighting venture capital funding news across Southern California’s tech and startup ecosystem. Please send fundraising news to Decerry Donato (email@example.com).
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Fewer than 1% of Latino-owned businesses received funding from the top 500 venture capital and private equity firms in 2020, according to a report by the Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative, even though 19% of Latino-owned businesses in the U.S. were tech-related.
L’Attitude Ventures co-founders Kennie Blanco and Sol Trujillo noticed the huge gap and made investing in underfunded U.S. Latino entrepreneurs the basis for their San Diego and San Francisco-based private equity and venture capital company. The firm invests solely in U.S. Latino founders in seed to Series A stage funding rounds.
On Wednesday, the firm announced it closed $100 million for its second fund from top financial services companies including JPMorgan Chase and initial investments from Trujillo Group and Bank of America. Other investors that participated in this round include UC Investments, MassMutual, Barclays, Royal Bank of Canada, Polaris Limited Partners (Oscar Munoz), Cisco Investments through its Aspire Fund, Churchill, an affiliate of Nuveen and Morgan Stanley*.
The pair saw that Latino founders in the U.S. are massively underfunded. The total economic output of Latinos in 2019 in the U.S. totaled to $2.7 trillion.
On average, L’Attitude will write checks for up to $1 million, Blanco said, adding that the firm seeks anywhere from 10% to 20% ownership and requires that the Latino founder have a minimum of 25% ownership of the company.
“We’re trying to open the floodgates of capital into this very important growth cohort,” Blanco told dot.LA.”
He added that he wants L’Attitude to act as a model for other investors. He hopes it will motivate more investors to participate and become a resource for Latino-owned businesses.
Left to right: Gary Acosta, Kennie Blanco, Laura Moreno Lucas, Oscar Munoz and Sol TrujilloCourtesy of L'Attitude Ventures
Former Nasdaq managing director Laura Moreno Lucas joined L’Attitude as partner earlier this year, bringing her experience as a founder of fashion tech startup Ladada to the team. She confirmed that the firm’s requirement is relatively easy to meet, as its portfolio is already diverse, with 40% identifying as Latina.
So far, the firm has already invested $21 million in 22 companies, including Camino Financial, a Los Angeles-based AI-powered lending platform; Reel, a Santa Monica-based debt-free shopping platform and Encantos Media, a Culver City-based Web3 learning platform for kids.
L’Attitude has plans to invest in another 20 startups, which will round out its portfolio to 40 to 50 companies. While a majority of the investments have gone into fintech startups, the firm is not limiting its assets into one industry.
“I'm excited about having this platform where founders can come and truly feel comfortable about learning and understanding what it takes to have a venture backed business,” Lucas told dot.LA. “Even if we think we might not invest, we're here as a resource to help Latino founders really understand what it takes to grow, scale and receive venture capital.”
The creator economy is the bedrock of this week’s VidCon convention, which is drawing creators, companies, investors and fans alike to Anaheim to discuss the rapidly growing realm of digital content and entertainment.
To discuss how investors, in particular, are viewing the booming creator landscape, Thursday’s “Betting Big on the Creator Economy” panel featured the likes of MaC Venture Capital partner Zhenni Liu, Investcorp managing director Anand Radhakrishnan, Team8 Fintech managing partner Yuval Tal and Paladin co-founder and CEO James Creech.
Liu said that her Los Angeles-based VC firm is paying closer attention to the influence that creators are having on how consumers spend their time and money. She cited the recent “healthy Coke” viral trend, in which people mix balsamic vinegar and seltzer water as a soda alternative, as an example—citing how the number of people who have viewed the original TikTok video that set off the craze surpasses the Coca-Cola TikTok account’s number of followers.
This growing influence stems from the surging number of creators, Radhakrishnan said. With the pandemic forcing many to reconsider their career paths, he said people now view content creation as a legitimate professional route—quipping that these days, more children want to be YouTube stars than astronauts.
“As an older person, I thought this was the downfall of Western civilization,” the Investcorp managing director said. “At the end of the day, I think it reflects that this is real—and as an investor, we’re looking at ways to invest in the next great economies.”
Creech said that the growing creator sector rests on three main pillars: content creation, audience growth and monetization. The constant evolution of creator platforms does present a challenge for investors, however, with Liu noting that more creators are looking to Web3 as an alternative to traditional outlets often offering a smaller slice of revenues.
“As a result, we’re seeing creators who can’t figure out how to build their audience, monetize and distribute,” Liu said. “With Web3, this opens up a new opportunity. There's a lot of chaos, but chaos provides the opportunity for creators to rise up.”
Additionally, the shift toward short-form content means that more investment dollars will be redirected away from longer-form shows and films, Tal observed. And even with an increasingly likely recession on the horizon—one that already appears to be hitting the creator economy, as well as the wider tech, startup and venture capital sectors—Tal and the other panelists remained optimistic about the creator economy’s prospects moving forward.
“It is almost winter-agnostic,” Tal said. “The shift [toward the creator economy] is so massive that no [economic] winter can slow it down.”
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