Despite a Black Swan event enveloping the world and the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, plenty of Los Angeles startups continue to survive and even thrive during the pandemic. Not surprisingly, many of the winners are beneficiaries of the stay-at-home economy, offering consumers entertainment, education, workouts and shopping from the safety of their living rooms.
By now, you are probably familiar with Quibi, which tops our list of the dot.LA/ Pitchbook hottest L.A. startups despite a rocky debut with bad buzz and reports of anemic subscriber numbers. Hollywood veteran Jeffrey Katzenberg and former HP and eBay CEO Meg Whitman raised close to $2 billion in funding to launch a mobile version of Netflix, capital they will surely need now as they regroup and hang on for a day when people are again commuting to work.
Number two on our list is the much lower profile streaming company Generation Genius, which has benefited from students not being able to return to the classroom. The Sherman Oaks startup aims to make learning about science fun by making short and entertaining lessons and quizzes for kindergarteners through fifth graders.
For adults missing the gym, FitOn was number three. Backed by Crosscut Ventures, the two-year-old app provides free on-demand group fitness classes and allows users to socialize with friends during a workout and compete via a live leaderboard.
"FitOn has become the #1 free fitness app and grown rapidly with COVID as people can no longer make it to the gym," wrote Lindsay Cook, co-founder and CEO of FitOn in an e-mail. "Since the start of the pandemic, we've experienced massive increases all around. We have seen over 200% growth in workouts, signups, and friends are working out together."
Verishop Inc., an e-commerce site led by former Snap Inc. executive Imran Khan, is at number four. Already with a hefty pre-money valuation of $87.5 million, the company aims to make online shopping fun through "social commerce." Last month, it launched a social media-like feed of photos and videos on its iPhone app that recommends products based on which content users like.
The smallest of our top five is TopHap. It's still in beta and has raised $675,000 in angel funding. TopHap bills itself as the first AI-powered analytics platform to optimize realtor performance.
Here are the rest of the top 50. (Read about our methodology and how we determine the top startups below)
What gets a company on the list?
First, the company had to be founded between 2015-2020. Then PitchBook data scientists assigned a growth rate and size multiple equally. The growth rate represents the average weekly percentage change in a company's signals. It is calculated by averaging the weekly growth rate over a trailing eight-week period. For example, let's say a company's Web Growth Rate (SimilarWeb Unique Visitors and Majestic Referring Domains) was 10% each week for 4 weeks, and followed by an increase of 30% for the next 4 weeks. During that eight-week period, the combined weekly average growth rate was 20%.
The size multiple is the sum of a company's signals divided by the median company signal size. For example, if a company had 1,000 SimilarWeb Unique Visitors and the universal median for all companies in the platform was 500 SimilarWeb Unique Visitors, then the company's SimilarWeb Size Multiple would be 2x. A company's overall Size Multiple is calculated by averaging the Size Multiples from the following Signals: Social, Web, Employee, and Mobile Size.
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