LA Venture: Shawn Colo on Ecommerce Trends and How 3L Makes Investment Decisions

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.
3L Capital Managing Partner Shawn Colo

Shawn Colo's rise as an investor has tracked the rise of the internet, from the early days when Google began to index websites and radically change how media was created and distributed, to the present day, as ecommerce has surged.

Colo joined the LA Venture podcast to talk about being a founder of Demand Media and 3L Capital, his investments in L.A.-based AvantStay and Relativity Space and what he sees ahead in local delivery and logistics.


Colo started his career as a private equity investor in the late 90s in Silicon Valley. There, saw the media industry changing as radio, cable and satellite-based companies went through a period of consolidation as the telecom industry began to deregulate. At the same time, internet companies were building themselves off the back of Google.

"It sort of dawned on me that there was going to be another opportunity to aggregate media. And this new form of media was basically in the form of websites. So that was really the original idea. And we ended up putting together a couple of assets to start the company," said Colo.

That concept became Demand Media -- now known as Leaf Group -- a company designed to operate online brands.

Now a partner at 3L Capital, Colo uses some of that experience to write checks for $10 to 30 million for raises at around the Series B level. The L.A. and New York-based fund invests in a wide variety of companies, including The RealReal, Relativity Space and AvantStay, among many others.

Right now, Colo says he sees an opportunity in delivery and logistics that's as transformative as what he was seeing in the media space during the Demand Media days. 3L has invested in Goja and goPuff, two startups that he sees redefining the shopping experience and delivery infrastructure.

"We haven't seen this caliber of management matched with the size of this opportunity ever. So, it's probably one of the best times to be investing in technology right now," Colo said.

Hear his thoughts on the future of local retail, as well as his strategy behind investing in L.A. companies including AvantStay and Relativity Space in the rest of the episode.

Want to hear more of L.A. Venture? Listen on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.

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

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Los Angeles’ Wage Growth Outpaced Inflation. Here’s What That Means for Tech Jobs

Samson Amore

Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He holds a degree in journalism from Emerson College and 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 @Samsonamore.

Los Angeles’ Wage Growth Outpaced Inflation. Here’s What That Means for Tech Jobs

Inflation hit cities with tech-heavy workforces hard last year. Tech workers fortunate enough to avoid layoffs still found themselves confronting rising costs with little change in their pay.

Those national trends certainly touched down in Los Angeles, but new data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) show that the city of angels was the only major metro area that saw its wage growth grow by nearly 6% while also outpacing the consumer price index, which was around 5%. Basically, LA was the only area where adjusted pay actually came out on a net positive.

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samsonamore@dot.la

Energy Shares Gears Up To Bring Equity Crowdfunding to Retail Investors

David Shultz

David Shultz reports on clean technology and electric vehicles, among other industries, for dot.LA. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Outside, Nautilus and many other publications.

Energy Shares Gears Up To Bring Equity Crowdfunding to Retail Investors
Photo by Red Zeppelin on Unsplash

The Inflation Reduction Act contains almost $400 billion in funding for clean energy initiatives. There’s $250 billion for energy projects. $23 billion for transportation and EVs. $46 billion for environment. $21 billion for agriculture, and so on. With so much cash flowing into the sector, the possibilities for investment and growth are gigantic.

These investment opportunities, however, have typically been inaccessible for everyday retail investors until much later in a company’s development–after an IPO, usually. Meaning that the best returns are likely to be captured by banks and other institutions who have the capital and financing to invest large sums of money earlier in the process.

That’s where Pasadena-based Energy Shares comes in. The company wants to help democratize access to these investment opportunities and simultaneously give early-stage utility-scale energy projects another revenue stream.

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Why These Ukrainian Entrepreneurs Are Making LA Their Home

Aisha Counts
Aisha Counts is a business reporter covering the technology industry. She has written extensively about tech giants, emerging technologies, startups and venture capital. Before becoming a journalist she spent several years as a management consultant at Ernst & Young.
Why These Ukrainian Entrepreneurs Are Making LA Their Home
Joey Mota

Fleeing war and chasing new opportunities, more than a dozen Ukrainian entrepreneurs have landed in Los Angeles, finding an unexpected community in the city of dreams. These entrepreneurs have started companies that are collectively worth more than $300 million, in industries ranging from electric vehicle charging stations to audience monetization platforms to social networks.

Dot.LA spent an evening with this group of Ukrainian citizens, learning what it was like to build startups in Ukraine, to cope with the unimaginable fear of fleeing war, and to garner the resilience to rebuild.

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