Fresh off raising a $7 million seed round in February, Jill Wilson took the first step any founder traditionally takes when launching a new startup: She called up a real estate broker and leased an office.
"I would not have ever considered a remote workplace before," said Wilson, co-founder and CEO of mobile game maker Robin Games. "I was very squarely in the camp that you need to be in the same room to create a great creative product."
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'In a World Where We're All Scared It's Easy to Forget There are Opportunities': L.A.'s Glitziest Venture Capital Team is Still Hunting for Deals
M13, named after one of the brightest star clusters in the Northern Sky, has considerable star wattage of its own and is decidedly the most L.A. of all the L.A venture capital firms.
Co-founders Carter and Courtney Reum together boast around 170,000 Instagram followers and in more normal times frequently post pictures with celebrities at parties or from their travels around the world. Carter has been linked to dating Paris Hilton, who was interviewed by Courtney onstage at the Upfront Summit in January. Sir Richard Branson is a limited partner in the firm as is Arianna Huffington.
But, now that glitz appears on hold as the brothers grapple with a pandemic that hit right as the Santa Monica early-stage consumer technology firm was in the midst of deploying the $175 million in its second fund. COVID-19 has hurt consumer companies especially hard, including once high-flying brands in M13's portfolio like Bird, FabFitFun, and ClassPass (M13 is also an investor in dot.LA.)
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Peloton may not have killed spin classes, but there's a wave of tech-powered fitness companies trying to lure Americans away from the gym.
One of the latest, Century City-based FitOn, is betting that making sought-after celebrity trainers accessible through an at-home fitness program can convince the time-stretched and coach potatoes to sweat.