Despite — or in many cases because of — the raging pandemic, 2020 was a great year for many tech startups. It turned out to be an ideal time to be in the video game business, developing a streaming ecommerce platform for Gen Z, or helping restaurants with their online ordering.

But which companies in Southern California had the best year? That is highly subjective of course. But in an attempt to highlight who's hot, we asked dozens of the region's top VCs to weigh in.

We wanted to know what companies they wish they would have invested in if they could go back and do it all over again.

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The time for online shopping is now.

The pandemic has ushered in the era of ecommerce as Americans embrace curbside pickup, next day deliveries and grocery pick-up services. There's likely no going back as an increasing number of consumers get accustomed to shopping online.

Now, retailers are taking experience to another level with streaming, data personalization, augmented reality and other features that are only likely to grow digital shopping habits.

Here are three trends sweeping ecommerce and the Los Angeles companies that are fueling it:

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Retail is now live streaming.

Popshop Live, which raised $3 million led by Floodgate and Abstract Ventures, wants users to shop on their phones as if they're browsing through products and interacting with clerks in a store. The live-streaming service takes a new twist on home shopping.

Launched last year by CEO and founder Danielle Li, Popshop Live will use the funds to help build out its audience as the company tries to convince shop owners to set up mini-studios inside their businesses. In all the company has raised $4.5 million.

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