LA Venture: M13’s Carter Reum On His New $400 Million Fund and How Web3 Will Change Business

Minnie Ingersoll
Minnie Ingersoll is a partner at TenOneTen and host of the LA Venture podcast. Prior to TenOneTen, Minnie was the COO and co-founder of $100M+, an online marketplace for used cars. Minnie started her career as an early product manager at Google. Minnie studied Computer Science at Stanford and has an MBA from HBS. She recently moved back to L.A. after 20+ years in the Bay Area and is excited to be a part of the growing tech ecosystem of Southern California. In her space time, Minnie surfs baby waves and raises baby people.
Carter Reum
Photo courtesy of Carter Reum.

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On this episode of the LA Venture podcast, M13 co-founder Carter Reum talks about the firm's new $400 million fund and how he aimed to create a different kind of venture firm.

With Fund III, Reum said M13 is writing $8 to $15 million checks across fintech, healthcare, food and real estate. But another market Reum has his eye on is the evolving creator economy and the ways that the next iteration of the web is changing businesses’ relationships with consumers.

“You think about collective ownership. You think about democratization, both on the creator side and the investing side. And so there's a lot of great companies and we say ‘just be thinking about how those things are going to affect your business’.”

Reum said that things like Web3, crypto and NFTs have exploded and are already affecting companies. Being a firm in L.A. has positioned them right at the forefront of these changes.

“Whether they're in fintech or healthcare, or food or real estate, they need to understand media and content and brand and influence. Those things are indigenous to L.A. They grow like palm trees here, right?”

Reum and his brother Courtney started off as investment bankers at Goldman Sachs, and eventually left to start a consumer company together. That experience put the pair in touch with many entrepreneurs. Inspired by some of their new contacts, the two decided to sell their company and strike out as angel investors.

"We really just kind of looked around and said, 'you know, the whole world's being disrupted and evolving. We think venture needs to revolve as well'," said Reum.

The brothers began M13 with a different approach from other VCs, Reum said. Instead of trying to pick winners, they decided to focus on making them.

To Reum, that means making sure companies succeed not based off one single decision, but an amalgamation of choices. A key hire or a big PR moment can be signs of step-change growth, but he said it’s more important to help founders make better day-to-day decisions.

"We help them avoid bad decisions, because the definition of entrepreneurship is being asked every single day to do something you've never done before," said Reum.

Out of its first fund, M13 helped bring about 11 companies now valued at over $1 billion each.

Reum credited the success to his luck in coming across talented founders and gut instinct.

"We live by this mantra that ‘if it's not a hell yeah, it's a hell no’," said Reum. "Our biggest winners were always the ones that we just had a meeting [with]. We just saw the pattern. There was something about that meeting, we just said, 'Hell yeah, let's do this’."

After proving itself with its first fund, M13 was then able to repeat its success with its Fund II. At the time, Reum was planning his wedding with celebrity Paris Hilton and fundraising simultaneously.

"Maybe I should have changed the timing of those two things a little bit,” he said. “Maybe not the wedding–at least the fundraising?"

dot.LA Engagement Fellow Joshua Letona contributed to this post.

Hear the full episode by clicking on the playhead above, and listen to LA Venture on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.

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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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PCH Driven: Director Jason Wise Talks Wine, Documentaries, and His New Indie Streaming Service SOMMTV

Jamie Williams
­Jamie Williams is the host of the “PCH Driven” podcast, a show about Southern California entrepreneurs, innovators and its driven leaders on their road to success. The series celebrates and reveals the wonders of the human spirit and explores the motivations behind what drives us.
Jason Wise holding wine glass
Image courtesy of Jason Wise

Jason Wise may still consider himself a little kid, but the 33-year-old filmmaker is building an IMDB page that rivals colleagues twice his age.

As the director behind SOMM, SOMM2, SOMM3, and the upcoming SOMM4, Wise has made a career producing award-winning documentary films that peer deep into the wine industry in Southern California and around the world.

On this episode of the PCH Driven podcast, he talks about life growing up in Cleveland as a horrible student, filmmaking, Los Angeles and his latest entrepreneurial endeavor: A streaming service called SOMMTV that features–what else?–documentaries about wine.

The conversation covers some serious ground, but the themes of wine and film work to anchor the discussion, and Wise dispenses bits of sage filmmaking advice.

“With a documentary you can just start filming right now,” he says. “That’s how SOMM came about. I got tossed into that world during the frustration of trying to make a different film, and I just started filming it, because no one could stop me because I was paying for it myself. That’s the thing with docs,” or “The good thing about SOMM is that you can explain it in one sentence: ‘The hardest test in the world is about wine, and you’ve never heard about it.’”

…Or at least maybe you hadn’t before he made his first film. Now with three SOMM documentaries under his belt, Wise is nearing completion of “SOMM4: Cup of Salvation,” which examines the history of wine’s relationship with religion. Wise says it’s “a wild film,” that spans multiple countries, the Vatican and even an active warzone. As he puts it, the idea is to show that “wine is about every subject,” rather than “every subject is about wine.”

For Wise, the transition to launching his own streaming service came out of his frustration with existing platforms holding too much power over the value of the content he produces.

“Do we want Netflix to tell us what our projects are worth or do we want the audience to do that?” he asks.

But unlike giants in the space, SOMMTV has adopted a gradual approach of just adding small bits of content as they develop. Without the need to license 500 or 1,000 hours of programming, Wise has been able to basically bootstrap SOMMTV and provide short form content and other more experimental offerings that typically get passed over by the Hulus and Disneys of the world.

So far, he says, the experiment is working, and now Wise is looking to raise some serious capital to keep up with the voracious appetites of his subscribers.

“Send those VCs my way,” Wise jokes.

Subscribe to PCH Driven on Apple, Stitcher, Spotify, iHeart, Google or wherever you get your podcasts.

dot.LA reporter David Shultz contributed to this report.