Editor's note: This is the second of a two-part series. Yesterday: Why New Yorkers and San Francisco tech workers have been moving to L.A. during the pandemic.

In late February, Aja Signor relocated from San Francisco to Venice Beach to start a new job as design director at an early-stage startup, Robin Games. She rented a one-bedroom apartment for $3,100 a month that was a pleasant 15-minute stroll to the beach one direction and 15 minutes to her office on Abbot Kinney the other way.

Read more Show less

Editor's note: This is the first of a two-part series. Read the second part here: The exodus from L.A. Tech workers who traded cramped one-bedroom apartments by the ocean for 4-bedroom houses in Las Vegas.

Roger DaSilva, who grew up in New Jersey and lived in New York for two decades, long dreamed about trading the honking horns and gridlock of Manhattan for the sand and ocean breezes of Manhattan Beach.

"When I would visit L.A., it just felt like a different country with the people, the easy going nature, and the genuine friendliness of the people," said DaSilva. "It's that laid back vibe, and I love the beach and the sun."

But there was one thing stopping the move. DaSilva is an outsourced chief financial officer so he can work from anywhere, but his wife works at an advertising agency, which required her to be in the New York office full-time. Then COVID-19 hit and the DaSilva's could work from anywhere. In June, they listed their Murray Hill three-bedroom home and rented a house in Venice Beach while they searched for something more permanent.

"If it weren't for COVID, we would still be in New York," DaSilva said.

Read more Show less
  • After WeWork, VC's noticed a major shift in how founders were pitching their companies. Growth and costly customer acquisition strategies are out while profitability is in.
  • Some VC's, scared off by high valuations, are holding back their dry powder waiting for the market to cool. For instance, PLUS Capital's team compiled a list last year of companies it wanted to invest in if only the price was cheaper.
  • VC's are excited about employees leaving SpaceX and starting new companies. "That talent is going to be game changing."

As the new decade begins, Southern California's tech scene continues to sizzle. More than 7,000 investors have poured money into 4,768 startups, ranging from a unicorn that aspires to have scooters whizzing through every city on earth to one that has ambitions to colonize Mars to the thousands of smaller companies just trying to get to their Series A, according to data analyzed by dot.LA.

"No one is doubting L.A.'s place in the tech ecosystem anymore," said Arteen Arabshahi, vice-president at WndrCo. "People realize L.A. is meaningful."

Last year ended with what is arguably the most consequential local acquisition to date when Paypal bought Honey for $4 billion. According to Pitchbook, L.A. VC exit deal flow hit $8.4 billion last year, the second highest amount ever after 2017, when Snap went public.

"I don't think Los Angeles will ever be Silicon Valley," said Brian Lee, co-founder and managing director of BAM Ventures. "We don't have grandparents named Fairchild Semiconductor and we don't have aunts and uncles named Google and Yahoo. But we are growing and we do have some great businesses being started here."

Read more Show less