Snap Picks Up Pixel8earth to Grow Its Map Feature

Sam Blake

Sam primarily covers entertainment and media for dot.LA. Previously he was Marjorie Deane Fellow at The Economist, where he wrote for the business and finance sections of the print edition. He has also worked at the XPRIZE Foundation, U.S. Government Accountability Office, KCRW, and MLB Advanced Media (now Disney Streaming Services). He holds an MBA from UCLA Anderson, an MPP from UCLA Luskin and a BA in History from University of Michigan. Email him at samblake@dot.LA and find him on Twitter @hisamblake

Snap screen

Snap Inc. has acquired Pixel8earth as it pushes to grow and monetize the Map feature on its flagship app, Snapchat.

Based in Boulder, Colorado, Pixel8earth uses crowdsourced data to develop 3D maps.

The acquisition was initially disclosed with few details in Snap's first-quarter filing to the SEC, below the more detailed disclosure of its $124.4 million acquisition of Fit Analytics. Snap said it paid $7.6 million for an unnamed company.

On Monday Snap confirmed that the unnamed company was Pixel8earth.

Snap executives have called the Snap Map a "multibillion-dollar opportunity," frequently noting that over 250 million users engage with the feature every month. The company has continuously pointed to ongoing efforts to add "utility" to the feature, particularly regarding the value it can bring to small businesses searching for local customers.

In its SEC filing, Snap said the acquisition was meant "to enhance our existing platform, technology, and workforce." Based on Pixel8earth's former co-founders' LinkedIn profiles, it appears they have been fully absorbed by Snap. Former CEO Sean Gorman lists his current role as a Boulder, CO-based "Software Engineering Manager" at Snap, while his former co-founder and CTO Pramukta Kumar lists his role as an Austin-based "Computer Vision Engineer" at Snap.

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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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