LA Venture: Serial Entrepreneur Spencer Rascoff on the Future of Social Media and His Investing Strategy

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+, 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.
Spencer Rascoff

Former Zillow executive and serial entrepreneur Spencer Rascoff loves Los Angeles.

So much that he named his venture capital fund, 75 & Sunny, as an ode to L.A.'s yearlong balmy weather. This week, he joins the LA Venture podcast to talk about what helped him grow personally and professionally into one of the most revered investors in Southern California.

"I'm at the stage of my career where I'm trying to be a coach and a mentor and an advisor," said Rascoff.

Rascoff is best known as the former co-founders of successful startups including Zillow and Hotwire. He has since built other companies including the news site you're currently reading (dot.LA) and Pacaso — a platform that helps people co-own a home. Rascoff said he's now looking for new partners to work with to start more companies.

An avid Twitter and Instagram user, Rascoff said he's not pleased with the social media world and the misinformation it has propagated in the last few years.

"The horizontal social networks have become kind of cesspools of humanity, where everyone's yelling and screaming about everything," Rascoff said. "There's all this misinformation. The algorithms are sending us down these black holes."

But he said he sees hope for vertical-specific social networks, and is personally investing in several. Rascoff said 75 & Sunny has made over 42 investments this year across the worlds of proptech, consumer and fintech.

Along the way, Rascoff said he's been fortunate to surround himself with smart and supportive co-workers and friends.

"That's the most important thing is surrounding yourself with people that you learn from, that you are motivated by, that bring out the best in you, that complement your skills. That's everything," he added.

Hear the full episode by clicking on the playhead above, and listen to LA Venture on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotifyor wherever you get your podcasts.

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

Subscribe to our newsletter to catch every headline.


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.

Read moreShow less

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.

Read moreShow less

Behind Her Empire: AAVRANI Co-Founder Rooshy Roy On Redefining Success and Embracing Identity

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.

AAVRANI Co-Founder Rooshy Roy
Photo courtesy of AAVRANI

Growing up in the suburbs of Detroit, Rooshy Roy said, as the only Indian girl in school, she spent a lot of time feeling like an outsider and like she wasn’t meeting others’ expectations of “how an Indian girl should behave.”

Flash forward 20 years, and the differences Roy was once ashamed of are now the inspiration for her skincare company.

Read moreShow less