Popular finance management app Dave has snagged former Apple executive Jarad Fisher, who conceived and designed the Apple Card. He will join the company as its chief commercial officer and follows a slew of other recent hires as the company tries to raise its profile.

The three-year-old startup run by co-founder Jason Wilk rolled out a digital bank account and debit card last year with no monthly fees. It saw two million user sign-ups for the wait list. Billionaire Mark Cuban was an early investor and board member of the Los Angeles-based company.

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Despite — or in many cases because of — the raging pandemic, 2020 was a great year for many tech startups. It turned out to be an ideal time to be in the video game business, developing a streaming ecommerce platform for Gen Z, or helping restaurants with their online ordering.

But which companies in Southern California had the best year? That is highly subjective of course. But in an attempt to highlight who's hot, we asked dozens of the region's top VCs to weigh in.

We wanted to know what companies they wish they would have invested in if they could go back and do it all over again.

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A water brand that wants to "murder your thirst," a live-streaming app to watch your kid's high school basketball games, and a rocket maker that uses 3D printers to launch astronauts into space all have one thing in common. They are among the top 50 hottest startups in greater L.A. right now in the first edition of our quarterly dot.LA/PitchBook rankings.

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