This Week in ‘Raises’: Battle Motors Grabs $150M, PowerPlant Ventures Land $330M

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.

This Week in ‘Raises’: Battle Motors Grabs $150M, PowerPlant Ventures Land $330M
Modified by Joshua Letona

Romeo Power founder Mike Patterson’s EV trucking company Battle Motors raised a new round of funding to expand production, and PowerPlant Ventures closed its third fund to inject $15 million to $40 million into growth stage companies.

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Venture Capital

Santa Monica-based EV manufacturer Battle Motors raised a $150 million Series B investment round from an unnamed global institutional investor.

Bitwarden, a Santa Barbara-based open-source password manager, raised a $100 million Series B funding round led by growth equity firm PSG.

San Diego-based software as a service (SaaS) transportation company Netradyne raised $65 million in debt financing from Silicon Valley Bank.

Pathway Power, a renewable energy and battery storage developer based in San Diego, raised a $36 million commitment from Forest Road Renewables.

Open Raven, a data security company based in Marina Del Rey, raised a $20 million Series B funding round led by Pelion Ventures.

Irvine-based billing and integrated payments platform Chargezoom raised a $10 million Series A funding round co-led by Panoramic Ventures.

Serial entrepreneur Brian Lee and baseball star Derek Jeter co-founded Arena Club, a Los Angeles-based sports card collecting platform. The startup raised $9 million in funding from Lightspeed Venture Partners, Defy.vc, and BAM Ventures.

D’Amelio Brands, the Los Angeles-based business venture of the D’Amelio family, raised $6 million in seed funding. Investors include Richard Rosenblatt, entrepreneur, and business executive Michael Rubin, Apple's senior vice president of services Eddy Cue, and Lions Gate Entertainment CEO Jon Feltheimer.

Los Angeles-based storytelling app Remento raised $3 million in seed funding led by Upfront Ventures.

Funds

PowerPlant Partners, a Hermosa Beach-based venture capital and private equity firm, closed $330 million for its third fund to invest in consumer-facing brands and focus on growth-stage companies.

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 (decerrydonato@dot.la).

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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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AmazeVR Wants You To Attend K-Pop Concerts Virtually

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.

AmazeVR Wants You To Attend K-Pop Concerts Virtually
Photo courtesy of AmazeVR

Virtual reality startup AmazeVR now has $17 million to further expand its VR concert experience.

The West Hollywood-based company’s latest funding amounts to a bet that virtual shows, a staple of the pandemic, are here to stay. Mirae Asset Capital led the Series B funding round, with Mirae Asset Financial Group subsidiary (Mirae Asset Venture Investment), CJ Investment, Smilegate Investment, GS Futures and LG Technology Ventures investing again. Mobile game maker Krafton joined the group—but South Korean entertainment company CJ ENM’s stake reveals AmazeVR’s plans to expand into K-pop world.

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