Struck Capital Launches a $15M Fund To Create In-House Startups

Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is dot.LA's Editorial Fellow. Prior to that, she was an editorial intern 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.

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Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Santa Monica-based venture capital firm Struck Capital is “flipping the traditional venture model” on its head with the launch of Struck Studio. The new company will develop startup concepts from scratch and recruit founders to lead them.

On Tuesday, Struck Capital announced the closing of a $15 million funding round to fuel 15 startup concepts over the next three years. The round was backed by investors like AOL founder Steve Case’s Revolution Ventures, US Venture Partners, Joe Montana’s Fund Liquid2, Synergis, and venture capitalists including Forever 21 founder Alex Oak and Mike Hurst.

“We fundamentally believe right now that just the way the market is, it’s harder than ever to start companies,” CEO Adam Struck said. “VCs are generally flocking to what they consider very high-quality opportunities, and the bar is much higher than it was last year to raise a seed round.”

Struck and his colleagues–CTO and co-founder of Resy Michael Montero and Tom Ryan, CEO of streaming at Paramount–wanted to create a company for risk-averse executives. In Struck’s view, these executives present the profiles they are looking for in a founder. In return, his company will offer them 50% of the startup.

Struck Studio's executive team, from left to right: CEO and co-founder Adam B. Struck, CTO and co-founder Michael Montero,, ChairmanTom Ryan, COO Andrew Green, and CDO (Chief Design Officer) Gordon Tindall.Photo courtesy of Struck Studio.

Struck said the Studio currently has five ideas in product development, and the team is constantly brainstorming future concepts. So far, three startup concepts have been green-lit. One is building solutions for home subscription rental services for digital nomads; another allows Web2 developers to interact with Web3 and blockchain technologies; and another will provide vet recommendations for pets.

Once a concept goes through the validation process and enters its product development stage, the time frame takes eight weeks to complete. During this period, Struck and his team will turn to their “founder funnel,” a vetted list of candidates will be added to its network and organized based on what sector they come from.

“You kind of have to be recruiting for founders even before you know which idea is ultimately going to be spun out,” Struck said.

While the company is based in Santa Monica, Struck said they are not limiting their pool of applicants to those that live here.

Struck’s team of 19 is currently distributed across the U.S. He claims they have put together a team like the Avengers because he believes his colleagues' combined experiences are Struck Studio's superpower.

He also added that the Studio’s goal is finding signs of product market fit. Once the ideal customer profile and buyer persona are identified, Struck said there is an excellent opportunity to go to vetted founders and offer to take the reins of the startup.

“We are huge supporters of the L.A. ecosystem. And we have a natural bias for building companies in L.A.,” Struck told dot.LA, “but if we find an incredible founder and they're not in L.A., we're still gonna go with that because we think that gives the company the best chance of success.”

This story has been updated to correct Struck Studio Chairman Tom Ryan's title at Paramount.

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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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Former Amazon and Lyft Execs Launch Incubator and Tech Talent Hybrid Startup

Steve Huff
Steve Huff is an Editor and Reporter at dot.LA. Steve was previously managing editor for The Metaverse Post and before that deputy digital editor for Maxim magazine. He has written for Inside Hook, Observer and New York Mag. Steve is the author of two official tie-ins books for AMC’s hit “Breaking Bad” prequel, “Better Call Saul.” He’s also a classically-trained tenor and has performed with opera companies and orchestras all over the Eastern U.S. He lives in the greater Boston metro area with his wife, educator Dr. Dana Huff.
Former Amazon and Lyft Execs Launch Incubator and Tech Talent Hybrid Startup
Photo by Ryz Labs

RYZ Labs wants to be a one-stop shop for startups looking to scale up and add new talent.

California natives Jordan Metzner and Sam Nadler created RYZ Labs, and their résumés make it clear they’ve got the knowledge and experience necessary to help others hit the ground running. In 2006, the pair launched California Burrito Co., a chain restaurant with international reach; in 2013, they founded the “Uber for Laundry,” Washio. Add in Metzner’s five years at Amazon and Nadler’s time at Lyft, and you have a potent combination of industry savvy and entrepreneurial flair.

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