Nomad Homes Announces $4M Seed Round
Nomad Homes, which is building a managed marketplace to allow users to not just search but also finance and complete the paperwork for residential real estate, announced Wednesday it has raised a $4 million seed round led by Comcast Ventures with participation from Abstract Ventures, Partech, Precursor Ventures, WndrCo, and Class 5 Global.
The company was started in Palo Alto by Helen Chen, a former Blackstone private equity investor who dropped out of the Stanford Graduate School of Business to start the company after she discovered how outdated property technology was in the Middle East and Europe. Nomad is now headquartered in Dubai but the engineering team is based in Los Angeles, led by Yury Velikanau, who was formerly the lead engineer at PeerStreet. The seed round will be used to grow Nomad's engineering team as well as grow its marketplace and services.
"L.A. has a deep pool of engineering talent across all verticals, but especially in fintech (e.g., PeerStreet, Open Listings now Opendoor, and Tala)," Chen wrote in an e-mail. "What really stood out to us is that many of the engineers we spoke to also have a passion for real estate, which aligns well with Nomad's mission."
Other co-founders include Chief Product Officer Dan Piehler, previously a senior product manager at Addepar, and Chief Operating Officer Damien Drap, an early employee at Uber who launched and lead Uber Eats across the Middle East.
"Helen and the team bring a unique blend of Silicon Valley DNA, real estate insights and on-the-ground operating experience," said Daniel Gulati, a Managing Director at Comcast Ventures. "We are excited to support Nomad's quest to deliver a superior experience for all market participants with a technology-first approach."
Nomad is focusing on Dubai and eventually other Middle Eastern and European cities because shopping for real estate is much more difficult without the MLS listings that Zillow and Redfin use to create a more user friendly experience in the United States.
Subscribe to our newsletter to catch every headline.
Loom started off in a Los Angeles storefront along Pico Boulevard offering education and events around women's health issues like fertility, periods, menopause, sex and postpartum depression.
Created by Erica Chidi and Quin Lundberg in 2016, the wellbeing startup moved online a few months ago as the pandemic shut down business and this week announced a $3 million raise led by Slow Ventures to roll out its digital health education platform.
- Trump could order ByteDance to divest of TikTok today, Bloomberg reports
- HBCUvc and PledgeLA offer $5,000 grants to founders from HBCUs
HBCUvc and PledgeLA offer $5,000 grants to founders from HBCUs<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzQ1OTg0Mi9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0Nzk2NDIxM30.USZ0uaglvnNlRachpixeUdJ2El5XbF51jkqBoAEyUpo/img.png?width=980" id="2e0e1" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="669fea31b69e26838e22a13d9e6a2288" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p>HBCUvu, a non-profit increasing racial diversity in venture capital, has partnered with PledgeLA to provide $5,000 grants to startup founders from historically Black colleges and universities. The program, dubbed the The Summer Lab Fund, is now accepting applications through August 6.</p><p>Supported by Crosscut Ventures, the <a href="https://blog.hbcu.vc/pledgela-announces-fund-for-hbcu-entrepreneurs-d688eeda3681" target="_blank">fund</a> will award equity-free grants to technology and tech-enabled startups founded by HBCU students and alumni. Selected startups will also receive mentorship and support from participating sponsors as well as access to HBCUvc and PlegeLA networks. </p><p>The funding opportunity, launched last week, is managed and operated by the current cohort of PledgeLA VC interns who were matched at firms across Los Angeles in a 10-week program.</p><p>PledgeLA is a cohort of tech companies and VC firms created by the Annenberg Foundation and the mayor of Los Angeles. Last week, the organization <a href="https://dot.la/pledgelas-2nd-annual-survey-finds-women-non-whites-still-lack-equity-representation-2646415502.html" target="_self">released</a> results from its annual survey on diversity in tech companies across the city. </p><p>Current intern Evan Hamilton told dot.LA the plan is to establish the Lab Fund as an annual project. Although it only has three spots now, he said, if demand is high enough they will look to raise more funds. </p><p>"What I really hope for, as a result of this, is to encourage that pipeline of investors to go to HBCUs to find interesting entrepreneurial talents because as we've seen many times, most folks are in hoodies coming from Stanford," Hamilton said. </p><p>"Five thousand dollars is a nominal amount of money, but what it does is give someone that ability to say, 'I am an entrepreneur, I have been funded,'" Hamilton said. "It really doesn't take a lot to validate a lot of the thoughts, feelings and opinions that people have. If we're doing this correctly, we're going to help these companies grow, even the ones that aren't able to receive funding."</p><p>He said it hopes to dispel preconceived notions and encourage investors to look toward HBCUs for talent.</p><p>After applications close on August 6, interns will form an investment committee to present and review the interested companies, which come from industries including entertainment tech, retail, education services and sports. Winners of the fund will be announced August 14.</p><p>PledgeLA intern Liza Katsman hopes the thinking behind this initiative will one day extend beyond the HBCU ecosystem. She pointed out that entrepreneurs of different backgrounds - that had largely been excluded from tech companies - bring new perspectives and ideas that can turn into successful products or services.</p><p>"Diversity and inclusion is not just the right thing to do," Katsman said. "It's the smart thing to do." </p><p><em>dot.LA is a member of PledgeLA.</em></p>
Trump and Microsoft Are Looking at TikTok<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzQ0ODQ3Mi9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYwMzI2Nzc5OH0.nqOLhJhVWxeEzL1-Bs6w7LNxiiNnnx0-o7rlFhF1f1w/img.jpg?width=980" id="b7b3a" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="7ac4ba0a2e1685d81d3a3c2cedb4b6b8" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />Amazon Tells Employees to Delete TikTok, Then Claims Directive Was Sent in Error<p>Microsoft is in talks to buy TikTok as President Donald Trump plans to ban it, <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-to-sign-order-demanding-chinas-bytedance-to-divest-tiktok-11596219920?mod=hp_lead_pos1" target="_blank">various</a> <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-to-sign-order-demanding-chinas-bytedance-to-divest-tiktok-11596219920?mod=hp_lead_pos1" target="_blank">media</a> reported Friday. </p><p>TikTok has come under increasing pressure from the administration that Chinese Internet company ByteDance is sharing data with Beijing and has threatened to ban it. <br></p><p><a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-07-31/trump-to-order-china-s-bytedance-to-sell-tiktok-u-s-operations-kdaib6eb" target="_blank">Bloomberg</a><em> </em>reported the Trump administration had planned to order ByteDance to divest of the Culver City-based company as early as Friday. </p><p> Microsoft could alter the question of ownership. It's unclear how advanced the talks are.<br></p><p>The White House could immediately be reached for comment. </p><p>But in an emailed statement a spokeswoman for TikTok said, "While we do not comment on rumors or speculation, we are confident in the long-term success of TikTok." </p><p>Trump's move would not come as a surprise. He told reporters on Friday: "We're looking at TikTok, we may be banning TikTok. We may be doing some other things. There's a couple of options."</p><p>Earlier this month, Trump suggested he would ban the app as punishment over China's handling of the coronavirus. Those comments came after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo <a href="https://dot.la/could-u-s-ban-chinese-owned-tiktok-2646359784/could-the-u-s-ban-chinese-owned-tiktok" target="_blank">told Fox News </a>that the United States is considering whether to restrict TikTok and other social media apps amid concerns that information was being shared with China's communist government. </p><p>"We are taking this very seriously and we are certainly looking at it," Pompeo <a href="https://www.foxnews.com/media/mike-pompeo-tik-tok-china-communist-social-media-spying-fox-ingraham" target="_blank">said</a>. </p><p>In March, another Chinese company, Beijing Kunlun Tech sold the West Hollywood-based gay dating app Grindr for more than $600 million after the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States forced it to divest. </p><p>Two months later, Beijing-based parent company ByteDance appointed Kevin Mayer, once widely considered Bob Iger's heir apparent at The Walt Disney company, to head TikTok in a move that would help distance itself from its Beijing parent company. </p><p><span></span>TikTok, has around 30 million active users and has increasingly become a favorite of advertisers to sell their products among the youth-oriented social media app. <br></p>
- Could the U.S. Ban Chinese-Owned TikTok? - dot.LA ›
- TikTok's $2 Billion Creator Fund Goes After Instagram - dot.LA ›
- TikTok CEO Promises More Transparency, Jabs Facebook for ... ›
- TikTok Says it Will Pay Creators— and Universal Music Group - dot.LA ›
- TikTok addresses 'tough but fair questions' about opportunities for ... ›
- Snap Releases Dismal Diversity Report - dot.LA ›
The L.A. tech and startup community was active as ever this week. dot.LA chief host and correspondent Kelly O'Grady takes you through the key stories:
- You Can Now Order Dodger Stadium Food Straight to Your Couch
- Vehicle Maker Karma Seeks to Go Public Amidst Electric Car Frenzy
- Can Niche Streaming Services Survive?
- TikTok Announces Creator Fund & Increased Transparency
- Density Raises $51M to Aid Social Distancing
- Los Angeles' Tech and Startup Scene is Growing. - dot.LA ›
- Catch Up With This Week's Startup News in Our Weekly Video Recap ›
- Catch Up With This Week's Startup News in Our Weekly Video Recap ›