Coronavirus Updates: Trump Jumps Into Musk Tweetstorm; L.A. May Extend Lockdown Until August; UpKeep's $36M Raise
Here are the latest headlines regarding how the novel coronavirus is impacting the Los Angeles startup and tech communities. Sign up for our newsletter and follow dot.LA on Twitter for the latest updates.
- Now Trump weighs in on Elon Musk's defiant move to open a Tesla plant early
- Los Angeles may extend shelter-in-place directives until August, says county health official
- UpKeep raises $36 million Series B as maintenance services startup in demand amid COVID
UpKeep raises $36 million Series B as maintenance services startup in demand amid COVID<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://dot.la/media-library/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzI3MzY0OS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzNzY2MDM1MX0.QEuZGTPO-hQeDjY0DE8YJ2Kej7fFdACnErWzvCpLvOw/image.jpg?width=980" id="8d2c5" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="8c29b58d478d9ef13655e213ffae8a90" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
Ryan Chan, UpKeep founder and CEO, says the pandemic has only made UpKeep more attractive as companies put a greater emphasis on cleaning and maintenance.<p><a href="https://www.onupkeep.com/" target="_blank">UpKeep</a>, a mobile platform that helps companies streamline maintenance requests, announced Tuesday it has raised $36 million in Series B funding. Though it is a difficult time for many companies to fundraise, Ryan Chan, UpKeep founder and CEO, says the pandemic has only made UpKeep more attractive as companies put a greater emphasis on cleaning and maintenance. "I feel fortunate that we are in a space that is growing because of this," Chan told dot.LA. "We were able to raise at very favorable terms, but for a lot of companies it's very difficult to raise right now."</p><p>Chan certainly does not want to be seen as gloating. "We got lucky, but through no fault of our own," he added. Though UpKeep is a Los Angeles company, it turned to New York-based Insight Capital to lead the round. Existing investors Emergence Capital, Battery Ventures, Y Combinator, Mucker Capital, and Fundersclub also participated.</p><p>"COVID-19 is bringing the importance of maintenance into the spotlight, underscoring UpKeep's mission," Deven Parekh, Managing Director at Insight Partners, said in a statement. Upkeep says it saw 206% revenue growth last year and has signed with notable brands including Unilever, Siemens, DHL, Thermo Fisher Scientific, McDonald's and Jet.com.</p>
Los Angeles may extend shelter-in-place directives until August, says county health official<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://dot.la/media-library/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzI3MzYzOS9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1MTE2MDQ3OH0.8SsIb7kUNYHLhSGzsxUiRBMEQd75L0Gnl8bsMRbBJSs/image.png?width=980" id="0fa20" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="b03901f7608a01aea8d5d0f02c3d6392" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
Now Trump weighs in on Elon Musk's defiant move to open a Tesla plant early<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://dot.la/media-library/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzI3MzMyNC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxOTAxOTQ4OX0.KNXEiNukPzNReeVRUf3Ntd-lhTsix_CuVd33Qy4W6gM/image.jpg?width=980" id="b2b27" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="79f2d38d535393cc507416f82c953e35" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
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- 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."
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