LA Seed Deals So Far This Year: More Startups See Millions More Dollars

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.

LA Seed Deals So Far This Year: More Startups See Millions More Dollars

With venture capital pouring record amounts of money into Los Angeles tech, small startups are seeing a boon. Seed deals hit new highs in the first half of this year, topping $330 million across 116 startups, according to data from Amplify's latest LA Seed Report.

This translates to record-setting growth for Southern California's startup scene where companies from delivery software to CBD supplements scored millions of dollars to jump start growth.


For Los Angeles, the pandemic continues to boost both ecommerce and consumer products.

This trend includes a wide variety of services, covering "everything from SaaS companies building tools to streamline ecommerce at scale, to new digitally native brands, and innovative remote marketplace models," Amplify Senior Associate Connor Sundberg wrote in the report.

Still, Los Angeles early-stage companies may be lagging slightly behind the broader fundraising trend.Compared to the first half of 2020, seed deal volume in the city spiked 35% in 2021.

In the same period, worldwide seed funding jumped 40% year over year, per a global venture report released recently by Crunchbase. Despite the ongoing pandemic, "$6 billion was invested in more than 3,500 seed-stage startups in the first half of" 2021, the same report estimates.

LA-based companies secured $139.3 million across 53 seed rounds in the first quarter, and those figures rose the following quarter to $191 million and 63 respectively.

During this time, the average size of seed deals in the city increased by about 20%, up from an average of $2.4 million last year to nearly $2.9 million. According to Amplify, LA saw more $2.5 million to $5 million seed rounds than ever before in 2021.

Ecommerce and consumer-focused raises this year included Cartwheel, which raised $1 million to help restaurants take on delivery apps, and Ready, Set, Food!, which secured a $3.5 million seed round to help parents safely introduce their babies to common allergens.

By sector, SaaS startups continue to absorb the most seed dollars in LA. They raised $121.2 million across 44 companies in the first half of the year.

Recent SaaS raises included Preveta, which raised $2 million to "change the game for early cancer detection," and Wonder Dynamics, which brought in half a million dollars more to develop an AI-powered visual effects tool for low-budget filmmakers.

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Venture Firm Backstage Capital Cuts Three-Quarters of Staff

Kristin Snyder

Kristin Snyder is an editorial intern for dot.la. She previously interned with Tiger Oak Media and led the arts section for UCLA's Daily Bruin.

Venture Firm Backstage Capital Cuts Three-Quarters of Staff
Photo by Jp Valery on Unsplash

Venture firm Backstage Capital laid off nine employees, reducing its staff to just three.

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Keerthi Vedantam

Keerthi Vedantam is a bioscience reporter at dot.LA. She cut her teeth covering everything from cloud computing to 5G in San Francisco and Seattle. Before she covered tech, Keerthi reported on tribal lands and congressional policy in Washington, D.C. Connect with her on Twitter, Clubhouse (@keerthivedantam) or Signal at 408-470-0776.

A New Tide of LA Startups Is Tackling the National Childcare Crisis
Courtesy of Brella

The pandemic exacerbated a problem that has been long bubbling in the U.S.: the childcare crisis.

According to a survey of people in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers conducted by the city’s WiSTEM Los Angeles program and shared exclusively with dot.LA, the pandemic exposed a slew of challenges across STEM fields. The survey—which consisted of 181 respondents from L.A.County and was conducted between March 2021 and 2022— involved respondents across medical fields, technical professions and science industries who shared the pandemic’s effects on their professional or education careers.

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MaC Venture Capital Raises $203M for Its Second Fund

Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is dot.LA's Editorial Fellow. Prior to that, she was an editorial intern 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.

MaC Venture Capital Raises $203M for Its Second Fund
Courtesy of MaC Venture Capital

While venture capital funding has taken a hit this year, that hasn’t stopped MaC Venture Capital from raising $203 million for its second fund.

The Los Angeles-based, Black-led VC firm said Monday that it had surpassed its initial $200 million goal for the fund, which dot.LA reported in January, over the span of seven months. MaC said it expects to invest the capital in up to 50 mostly seed-stage startups while remaining “sector-agnostic.”

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