Launch House Raises $12 Million to Expand into the Metaverse

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.

Launch House Raises $12 Million to Expand into the Metaverse

Live-in startup accelerator Launch House has unveiled a $12 million Series A funding round as it looks to expand to more cities and launch a new “metaverse location.”

After expanding to New York last fall, the accelerator—which started out of a Beverly Hills mansion in 2020 and helped spawn a wave of trendy live-in incubators—plans to take its residency program to additional cities and also launch “the first space for the startup world in the metaverse,” it said Tuesday. It also plans to roll out new verticals like Hack House, which it bills as a Launch House for engineers.


Andreessen Horowitz general partner Andrew Chen led the Series A and was joined by Creative Artists Agency co-founder Michael Ovitz, Electric Ant (led by Ovitz’s son Chris), 6th Man Ventures and Bankless co-founder Ryan Sean Adams. News of the funding comes after a January regulatory filing indicated that Launch House was looking to raise $10 million in capital.

Launch House members pay up to $5,500 for a spot in the live-in accelerator program, which is usually limited to around 25 individuals. The virtual “metaverse” program is meant to alleviate those constraints by accepting anywhere from 50 to 100 applicants for a smaller fee.

“The point is to make Launch House more accessible to folks that can't come in, give up their lives and live in a house for a month,” Launch House co-founder Brett Goldstein told dot.LA.

While the accelerator has earned a reputation for catering to young, Gen Z and millennial founders, Goldstein noted that Launch House will accept applicants from any age group. “We have people in their 40s joining,” he said.

After receiving criticism last year for throwing parties that flouted COVID-19 safety protocols, Goldstein said Launch House has made efforts to ensure that it abides by public health guidelines—with members joining the program needing to be fully vaccinated and boosted.

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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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VinFast Cuts Through Rebate Confusion With Cold, Hard Cash

David Shultz

David Shultz is a freelance writer who lives in Santa Barbara, California. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Outside and Nautilus, among other publications.

The Vinfast VF9 in the company's Santa Monica showroom
Coutrsy of VinFast

With the Inflation Reduction Act well on its way to being written into law, the calculus of which vehicles from which manufacturers will be eligible for the $7,500 rebates is pretty confusing. dot.LA has previously covered how the new law is set to upend the status quo, but the short version is the car and its battery need to be assembled in the United States and the rebates only apply to vehicles below certain price points. Individuals who make more than $150,000/yr or to households making more than $300,000/yr are also no longer eligible for the rebate. This has led to a flurry of customers trying to lock in buyers’ agreements with companies like Rivian and Fisker before the law becomes official.

Vinfast, the Vietnamese automaker that is trying to establish itself on US soil here in Los Angeles, has taken a different approach: Just give people the money.

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