Shipment Tracking Startup Route Claims Unicorn Status After $200 Million Funding Round

Harri Weber

Harri is dot.LA's senior finance reporter. She previously worked for Gizmodo, Fast Company, VentureBeat and Flipboard. Find her on Twitter and send tips on L.A. startups and venture capital to harrison@dot.la.

Shipment Tracking Startup Route Claims Unicorn Status After $200 Million Funding Round

Ecommerce shipment tracking startup Route—which is based in the “Silicon Slopes” hotbed surrounding Salt Lake City but has a growing presence in Los Angeles—is now claiming unicorn status after raising $200 million in new funding at a $1.25 billion valuation.


Route co-founder and CEO Evan Walker told Forbes that a “London-based investment firm” led its latest funding round, while declining to name the firm due to a nondisclosure agreement. Other investors in the round included L.A.-based Riot Ventures, Madrona Venture Group and Eldridge. The new funding takes Route’s total capital raised to $291 million, Forbes reported, with Walker noting that he remains “by far the biggest majority stockholder” in the company. (Disclosure: dot.LA co-founder and chairman Spencer Rascoff is an investor in Route.)

Though online sales aren’t growing like they were at the height of coronavirus lockdown restrictions, Route has continued to benefit from the overall trend towards ecommerce. According to Forbes, its annual revenues more than doubled in 2021, to around $80 million.

Though Route’s package-tracking app is free for consumers, the startup makes money by selling shipping, insurance and marketing software to online retailers. Founded in 2018, the company has attracted more than 11,000 merchant clients and tracked more than 175 million packages.

Of Route’s roughly 450-person staff, approximately 40 are based out of its Santa Monica office. Walker said the firm is looking to ramp up its recruiting of tech talent on the West Coast, while a Route spokesperson told dot.LA that it “plans to grow pretty rapidly throughout this year across all departments.”

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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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