Blind Dating, Creator Accounting and Social Traveling: Meet Snap Yellow’s LA-Based 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.

Blind Dating, Creator Accounting and Social Traveling: Meet Snap Yellow’s LA-Based 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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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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Body Complete Rx Founder Samia Gore On How She Turned Her Fitness Journey Into a Multi-Million Dollar Company

Yasmin Nouri

Yasmin is the host of the "Behind Her Empire" podcast, focused on highlighting self-made women leaders and entrepreneurs and how they tackle their career, money, family and life.

Each episode covers their unique hero's journey and what it really takes to build an empire with key lessons learned along the way. The goal of the series is to empower you to see what's possible & inspire you to create financial freedom in your own life.

Body Complete Rx Founder Samia Gore
Courtesy of Behind Her Empire, Samia Gore

Samia Gore was a mother of four when she decided to take a shot at starting her own business.

On this episode of the Behind Her Empire podcast, the Body Complete Rx founder discusses how her personal journey with health and fitness became the catalyst for a booming business.

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