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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Snap Mandates Employees Work From the Office Four Days a Week

Nat Rubio-Licht
Nat Rubio-Licht is a freelance reporter with dot.LA. They previously worked at Protocol writing the Source Code newsletter and at the L.A. Business Journal covering tech and aerospace. They can be reached at nat@dot.la.
Snap logo and hq
Photo by rblfmr/ Shutterstock

Snap is the latest major tech company to bring the hammer down on remote work: CEO Evan Spiegel told employees this week that they will be expected to work from the office 80% of the time starting in February.

Per the announcement, the Santa Monica-based company’s full-time workers will be required to work from the office four or more days per week, though off-site client meetings would count towards their in-office time. This policy, which Spiegel dubbed “default together,” applies to employees in all 30 of the company's global offices, and the company is working on an exceptions process for those that wish to continue working remotely. Snap’s abrupt change follows other major tech firms, including Apple, which began its hybrid policy requiring employees to be in the office at least three days per week in September, and Twitter, which axed remote work completely after Elon Musk’s takeover (though he did temporarily close offices amid a slew of resignations in mid-November).

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nat@dot.la

'The Writing's on the Wall': Electric Batteries' Rapid Progress May Have Just Doomed Natural Gas Trucks

David Shultz

David Shultz reports on clean technology and electric vehicles, among other industries, for dot.LA. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Outside, Nautilus and many other publications.

'The Writing's on the Wall': Electric Batteries' Rapid Progress May Have Just Doomed Natural Gas Trucks
Image from Tesla

Last month, when dot.LA toured the Hexagon Purus facility in Ontario, California, multiple employees bemoaned the California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) ruling on renewable natural gas (RNG) as a hindrance to decarbonizing trucking-haul trucking. They argued that keeping RNG classified as a “near-zero emission” fuel prevented companies using financial incentives like the Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project, which, as the name suggests, is only available to true zero-emission trucks. The effect, they said, was that the agency was missing an opportunity to accelerate the state’s transition away from diesel.

But over the weekend, Tesla CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter to announce that the EV company’s battery powered class 8 semi-truck had completed a 500-mile trip fully loaded (to the tune of 81,000 lbs). It now appears CARB’s refusal to classify renewable natural gas (RNG) as a zero-emission fuel source was ultimately the right decision.

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