They Launched a Social Media App for NFTs. Now They’ve Raised $15 Million for a New Fund

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.

They Launched a Social Media App for NFTs. Now They’ve Raised $15 Million for a New Fund
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JPEG Fund, an investment fund from the creators of NFT-focused social media app Context, has secured $15 million for its first fund, according to a new SEC filing.


The South Pasadena-based fund—whose name seemingly references the widespread, derisive joke about non-fungible tokens being little more than overpriced JPEG images—raised the $15 million from a solitary investor, per the regulatory filing.

The fund co-managers, Adam Ludwin and Luke Miles, unveiled Context in October, pitching it as a service for discovering new NFTs and following NFT artists and collectors. (Crypto industry publication Decrypt compared the app to Instagram for NFTs.) Later that month, the pair incorporated a limited liability company named JPEG Fund I GP.

Its ties to blockchain technology aside, it’s unclear what the fund will focus on. Ludwin and Miles did not respond to requests for comment.

Ludwin previously co-founded the blockchain startup Chain, which was acquired by blockchain network Stellar in 2018, while Miles co-founded Restocks, a Y Combinator-backed streetwear app that no longer exists.

The pair also previously worked at Byte, which was Vine co-founder Dom Hofmann’s attempt to recapture the magic of the shuttered short-form video-sharing app. Byte was acquired last year by Los Angeles-based, TikTok-esque startup Clash, while much of its staff was reportedly snapped up by Discord.

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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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