Office Hours Podcast: Greycroft’s Dana Settle on LA's Booming Tech Scene

Spencer Rascoff

Spencer Rascoff serves as executive chairman of dot.LA. He is an entrepreneur and company leader who co-founded Zillow, Hotwire, dot.LA, Pacaso and Supernova, and who served as Zillow's CEO for a decade. During Spencer's time as CEO, Zillow won dozens of "best places to work" awards as it grew to over 4,500 employees, $3 billion in revenue, and $10 billion in market capitalization. Prior to Zillow, Spencer co-founded and was VP Corporate Development of Hotwire, which was sold to Expedia for $685 million in 2003. Through his startup studio and venture capital firm, 75 & Sunny, Spencer is an active angel investor in over 100 companies and is incubating several more.

Dana Settle

It was once a contrarian perspective to think a venture capital firm could survive outside of Silicon Valley. But Dana Settle moved to Los Angeles and tried it anyway.

On this episode of Office Hours, co-founder of Zillow and dot.LA Spencer Rascoff talks to Settle about the booming L.A. tech scene and her investment firm Greycroft.


Settle moved to L.A. from Silicon Valley in 2005. The venture community in the area was small then, but she felt the inklings of something promising. Startups like Cornerstone OnDemand and Userplane were growing and so were the kind of industries arriving in L.A.

While her time up north saw a rise in tech companies, Settle saw L.A. disrupting every industry as data and artificial intelligence changed the game.

"This is the second largest city in the country. [It] has every single industry and huge opportunities here across biotech, real estate, mobility, space — every single area that you can imagine," said Settle.

As a founding partner at Greycroft and a member of its management committee, Settle is responsible for the firm's investment strategy and vision. When it comes to looking for startups to invest in, it's really about the founders for Settle.

She's looking for someone not just with a vision, but the ability to attack great talent.

"It doesn't mean you have to be like a total salesy extrovert or whatever. I mean, some of the best founders… are introverted. They have that crazy charisma that's just soft spoken, and everybody just wants to go with them," said Settle.

She also looks forward to seeing track records of success whether it was academic achievements or athletics. Any spark of success is valuable to Settle.

Within the last five years, Settle said that founders have gotten good at asking for higher demands. While they've met founders' needs, the real investment to Settle is seeing Greycroft be referred to other startups.

"Our sort of first principle is that venture capital is a long-term repeat business. And if you believe that, then you know, all of your interactions with founders and everything that you do every day, ultimately should build your brand. It's ultimately a referral business," said Settle.

Want to hear more episodes? Subscribe to Office Hours on Stitcher, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, iHeart Radio or wherever you get your podcasts.

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

https://twitter.com/spencerrascoff
https://www.linkedin.com/in/spencerrascoff/
admin@dot.la

Subscribe to our newsletter to catch every headline.

Cadence

Activision Buys Game Studio Proletariat To Expand ‘World of Warcraft’ Staff

Samson Amore

Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He previously covered technology and entertainment for TheWrap and reported on the SoCal startup scene for the Los Angeles Business Journal. Send tips or pitches to samsonamore@dot.la and find him on Twitter at @Samsonamore. Pronouns: he/him

Xbox\u2019s various game developers it now owns: Activision, Blizzard and King.
Courtesy of Activision Blizzard

Activision Blizzard intends to acquire Proletariat, a Boston-based game studio that developed the wizard-themed battle royale game “Spellbreak.”

Read moreShow less
https://twitter.com/samsonamore
samsonamore@dot.la

Bling Capital’s Kyle Lui On How Small Funds Can Better Support Young Founders

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+ Shift.com, 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.
Bling Capital’s Kyle Lui On How Small Funds Can Better Support Young Founders

On this episode of the LA Venture podcast, Bling Capital’s Kyle Lui talks about why he moved earlier stage in his investing and how investors can best support founders.

Lui joined his friend—and first angel investor—Ben Ling as a general partner at Bling Capital, which focuses on pre-seed and seed-stage funding rounds. The desire to work in earlier funding stages alongside someone he knew well drew him away from his role as a partner at multi-billion-dollar venture firm DCM, where he was part of the team that invested in Musical.ly, now known as TikTok.

Read moreShow less
RELATEDEDITOR'S PICKS
LA TECH JOBS
interchangeLA
Trending