Snap’s Yellow Accelerator Cohort Features 3 LA Startups

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.

Snap’s Yellow Accelerator Cohort Features 3 LA Startups

Online dating startup Blink Date is testing the notion that love is truly blind.

Unlike Tinder and Bumble, Los Angeles-based Blink doesn’t show singles any photos of potential matches right away. Instead, the app pairs users in 10-minute, audio-only speed dates. It’s not until after the conversations that singles can see three unidentified pictures and tell Blink what they think of them. The app, still in beta testing, matches users only if there’s mutual interest.


“Through voice dates, we're enabling singles to actually find and build authentic connections,” Blink co-founder and CEO Taly Matiteyahu told potential investors on Wednesday.

Blink was one of eight startups—including three from Los Angeles—to pitch themselves to investors during Snap’s Yellow Accelerator Demo Day. The event is part of a 12-week curriculum run by the social media giant, which mentors early-stage startups on topics ranging from business strategy to fundraising. Snap invests $150,000 in each firm (Disclosure: Snap is an investor in dot.LA).

The accelerator’s fifth cohort covered a wide range of tech, from travel to gaming to online dating. Snap announced Wednesday that its next accelerator class starting this fall will focus exclusively on augmented reality—a strategic priority for the social media company.

Other L.A. startups in the current cohort included Bump, a fintech platform for the creator economy. Founded last year, the company helps creators track revenue from multiple sources, monitor expenses, access credit and manage their crypto and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). The startup has a waitlist of 350 users who’d pay $399 per year once the platform goes live, co-founder and CEO James Jones said.

“The lack of accurate tracking of revenue means that creators are denied access to traditional loans or traditional forms of credit because a creator’s revenue is considered too unstable, too unpredictable, and therefore they're too risky,” Jones said of the problem Bump seeks to solve.

Los Angeles-based Well Traveled is creating a paid membership club for travelers to connect and share recommendations. Founder Samantha Patil said members are using the platform more like a social tool rather than a trip-planning app, so users are logged in even when they aren’t about to book a getaway. The startup’s roughly 1,200 members are paying $150 per year.

“Consumers are craving communities that help connect them to each other and create knowledge sharing amongst their peers,” Patil said.

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MyFitnessPal’s Tricia Han on How Cultural Understanding Strengthens Health Data

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.

Tricia Han
Image courtesy of Tricia Han

On this episode of Office Hours, MyFitnessPal CEO Tricia Han discusses her role revitalizing the company and redefining its mission during a time of uncertainty for the company.

“I love a good reboot,” she said. “Let me just say that. That's how I came to be at the company.”

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LA Tech ‘Moves’: Harbinger Taps Tesla Exec, REAL Messenger Gains Meta Director

Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is a reporter at dot.LA. Prior to that, she was an editorial fellow at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

LA Tech ‘Moves’: Harbinger Taps Tesla Exec, REAL Messenger Gains Meta Director
LA Tech ‘Moves’:

“Moves,” our roundup of job changes in L.A. tech, is presented by Interchange.LA, dot.LA's recruiting and career platform connecting Southern California's most exciting companies with top tech talent. Create a free Interchange.LA profile here—and if you're looking for ways to supercharge your recruiting efforts, find out more about Interchange.LA's white-glove recruiting service by emailing Sharmineh O’Farrill Lewis (sharmineh@dot.la). Please send job changes and personnel moves to moves@dot.la.

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This Week in ‘Raises’: Bionaut Labs Grabs $43M, Embodied Lands $19.2M

Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is a reporter at dot.LA. Prior to that, she was an editorial fellow at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

This Week in ‘Raises’: Bionaut Labs Grabs $43M, Embodied Lands $19.2M
Modified by Joshua Letona

Robotics company Bionaut Labs raised fresh funding to advance its first-in-class micro-robotic technology and remove the barriers to treat rare and debilitating diseases, while digital pathology company PictorLabs launched out of stealth and will use its funding to continue developing an AI-powered virtual staining platform and accelerate clinical research to improve patient outcomes.

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