LA Tech Updates: MuckerLab Looking for Startups, Omaze Raises $30M

Francesca Billington

Francesca Billington is a freelance reporter. Prior to that, she was a general assignment reporter for dot.LA and has also reported for KCRW, the Santa Monica Daily Press and local publications in New Jersey. She graduated from Princeton in 2019 with a degree in anthropology.

LA Tech Updates: MuckerLab Looking for Startups, Omaze Raises $30M

Here are the latest updates on news affecting Los Angeles' startup and tech communities. Sign up for our newsletter and follow dot.LA on Twitter for more.

Today:

  • Omaze Raised $30M to Expand its Celebrity-Driven Charity Fundraising Platform
  • MuckerLab Accelerator Application is Live

MuckerLab Accelerator Application is Live

Santa Monica's Mucker Capital, which focuses on investing in high-growth startups based outside of Silicon Valley, is looking for startups to join its MuckerLab accelerator.

The program partners with 12 to 15 companies each year, working one-on-one with founders on a weekly basis providing hands-on support. Mucker invests between $100k to $200k with follow-on capital available. Founders do not have to be in Los Angeles and can work remotely.

Since its inception a decade ago, MuckerLab portfolio companies have gone on to raise more than $5 billion in outside funding since graduating. Standouts include Honey (raised $39M and later acquired by PayPal for $4B), ServiceTitan (raised a total $400M to date), and Emailage (raised $15M and later acquired by LexisNexis for $500M).

Applications are reviewed year-round, but the next set of applications is due September 25 and applicants are encouraged to apply early.

Omaze Sells Celebrity Meet-and-Greets for Charity. It Raised $30M

Omaze Logo

Omaze, the online platform selling celebrity meet-and-greets, trips and prizes for charity, closed a $30 million Series B round by FirstMark Capital.

Founded in 2012, Omaze allows users to enter to win experiences with celebrities like Michelle Obama and Oprah, and prizes like a custom tiny home or a Lamborghini blessed and signed by Pope Francis.

The Culver City-based company works with the Charities Aid Foundation America to distribute funds and says it's raised over $130 million for over 350 charities. In two years, the company says, it has grown its revenue by 500%.

"We're grateful to close this round during a challenging year and fundraising environment," co-founder and CEO Matt Pohlson said in announcing the news Thursday. "These funds come at a critical inflection point for the company."

The raise follows a $12 million Series A round in 2018. With the funding, Omaze will continue to invest and scale its home and car categories. It'll also accelerate plans to expand internationally, beginning in Western Europe and Asia.

The announcement also includes two new board members, Celtics lead owner and co-founder of Causeway Media Partners Wyc Grousbeck and Penni Thow, former executive VP at SB Projects and the founder and CEO of Copper.

Additional investors of the funding round include Causeway Media Partners, BDMI, Tusk Ventures, Inherent Group, Gaingels, Penni Thow's Copper and talent manager Guy Oseary.

https://twitter.com/frosebillington
francesca@dot.la

Subscribe to our newsletter to catch every headline.

Cadence

Marijuana and the Metaverse: How LA Cannabis Startups Are Lighting Up the Virtual Realm

Nick Kazden
Nick Kazden is a freelance writer who lives and writes in Los Angeles.
Marijuana and the Metaverse: How LA Cannabis Startups Are Lighting Up the Virtual Realm
Image courtesy of Crypto Cannabis Club

With West Hollywood becoming a hub for cannabis consumption lounges and many Silicon Beach companies embracing virtual reality, it was only a matter of time before two of Los Angeles’ two burgeoning industries started mingling.

Read more Show less

Tech Is Upsetting the Table at This Year's Upfronts

Keerthi Vedantam

Keerthi Vedantam is a bioscience reporter at dot.LA. She cut her teeth covering everything from cloud computing to 5G in San Francisco and Seattle. Before she covered tech, Keerthi reported on tribal lands and congressional policy in Washington, D.C. Connect with her on Twitter, Clubhouse (@keerthivedantam) or Signal at 408-470-0776.

Tech Is Upsetting the Table at This Year's Upfronts
Netflix and Google Are Poised to Dominate L.A. After the Pandemic

Are the upfronts turning into TV execs’ personal “Black Mirror'' episode?

The annual feeding frenzy—in which C-suite television executives auction off highly-viewed (and costly) advertising time slots— is changing as new streaming behemoths shake up the market. The event often gives viewers and industry watchers insight on what shows are poised to become cultural phenomena, but that too seems to be disrupted at this year’s proceedings.

It’s been two years since major networks and television players convened in New York for a week, and it’s clear that technology is going to change a lot about how the process works.

Read more Show less

Atlas Obscura, L.A. Tourism Dept. Partner on Explorer’s Guide to LA

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. Samson is also a proud member of the Transgender Journalists Association. Send tips or pitches to samsonamore@dot.la and find him on Twitter at @Samsonamore. Pronouns: he/him

Atlas Obscura, L.A. Tourism Dept. Partner on Explorer’s Guide to LA
Photo by Venti Views on Unsplash

The Los Angeles Tourism Department partnered with curiosities and travel website Atlas Obscura for a first of its kind digital interactive map of L.A. County’s top attractions, just in time for the summer influx of tourists.

Read more Show less
RELATEDEDITOR'S PICKS
LA TECH JOBS
interchangeLA
Trending