Lots happened in the L.A. tech and startup community this week. dot.LA chief host and correspondent Kelly O'Grady takes you through the key stories:

  • COVID: Jukin Media Takes $2.2M in PPP Funds, SBA Claims Bird Took Funds - Bird Says It's a Mistake
  • Startups: Q&A with Sweetgreen CEO on Their Growth Plan, Get Help Platform Tackles Homelessness
  • Investing: Lots of Deals! Popshop Live, Nomad Homes, Karma and Riders Share All Raise Funds


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Nomad Homes, which is building a managed marketplace to allow users to not just search but also finance and complete the paperwork for residential real estate, announced Wednesday it has raised a $4 million seed round led by Comcast Ventures with participation from Abstract Ventures, Partech, Precursor Ventures, WndrCo, and Class 5 Global.

The company was started in Palo Alto by Helen Chen, a former Blackstone private equity investor who dropped out of the Stanford Graduate School of Business to start the company after she discovered how outdated property technology was in the Middle East and Europe. Nomad is now headquartered in Dubai but the engineering team is based in Los Angeles, led by Yury Velikanau, who was formerly the lead engineer at PeerStreet. The seed round will be used to grow Nomad's engineering team as well as grow its marketplace and services.

"L.A. has a deep pool of engineering talent across all verticals, but especially in fintech (e.g., PeerStreet, Open Listings now Opendoor, and Tala)," Chen wrote in an e-mail. "What really stood out to us is that many of the engineers we spoke to also have a passion for real estate, which aligns well with Nomad's mission."

Other co-founders include Chief Product Officer Dan Piehler, previously a senior product manager at Addepar, and Chief Operating Officer Damien Drap, an early employee at Uber who launched and lead Uber Eats across the Middle East.

"Helen and the team bring a unique blend of Silicon Valley DNA, real estate insights and on-the-ground operating experience," said Daniel Gulati, a Managing Director at Comcast Ventures. "We are excited to support Nomad's quest to deliver a superior experience for all market participants with a technology-first approach."

Nomad is focusing on Dubai and eventually other Middle Eastern and European cities because shopping for real estate is much more difficult without the MLS listings that Zillow and Redfin use to create a more user friendly experience in the United States.

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