It turned out 2020 was the perfect breakout year for Outer, the Santa Monica-based direct-to-consumer outdoor furniture brand that first came to prominence after impressing Shark Tank judges in late 2019.

Consumers – forced to spend practically all their time at home last year – were eager to upgrade their patios, backyards and decks. And they did not want to venture into stores and talk to pushy salespeople when they could just as easily order online.

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Los Angeles is home to around 5,000 startups, the majority of which are in their young, formative years.

Which of those thousands are poised for a breakout in 2021? We asked dozens of L.A.'s top VCs to weigh in. We wanted to know which companies they would have invested in if they could go back and do it all over again.

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I don't quite remember why I passed on investing in Jiake Liu's company, Outer. But I do know why I had him on this week's episode of "Office Hours."

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