Proptech startup Pacaso emerged from stealth mode Thursday, aiming to make it easier for a larger swath of the population to own a second home, or at least a portion of one.

The company announced a $17 million seed round led by venture capital firm Maveron, with participation from Global Founders Capital, L.A.'s Crosscut and individual investors such as former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, real estate coach Tom Ferry, former Zillow executive Greg Schwartz, and Amazon CEO of Consumer Worldwide Jeff Wilke. Pacaso also raised $250 million in debt financing to purchase homes.

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There is still considerable confusion about whether venture-backed startups are eligible to apply for the $349 billion in forgivable loans being furiously doled out by the Small Business Administration. But there's also another more complicated ethical question being debated on social media and within the startup community: Should they apply?

"VC backed companies already have so many advantages over bootstrapped [small businesses]...they don't need another one paid for by taxpayers," tweeted David Jackson, founder and CEO of FullStack Labs, a Sacramento-based software consultancy. "VC's own these companies...time for them to put their money into their companies."

As one might imagine, Jackson's company is not venture funded. But it's not just those on the outside that are posing the question.

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COVID-19 created a new normal that has upended work, life and finances and the reality is that everyone is just going to have reshuffle how we live, recalibrating employee expectations and creating more space for family.

That's the takeaway from dot.LA's strategy session on Tuesday with clinical psychologist Crystal Clements, Advekit chief executive and cofounder Alison LaSov and venture capital firm Crosscut Venture's managing director Brian Garrett. The panelists admitted they have all suffered from some anxiety due to the economic downturn and have found themselves reprioritizing their lives and looking for comfort in routines.

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