Unlock Venture Partners Launches $62 Million Seed Fund Focused on LA Startups

Harri Weber

Harri is dot.LA's senior finance reporter. She previously worked for Gizmodo, Fast Company, VentureBeat and Flipboard. Find her on Twitter and send tips on L.A. startups and venture capital to harrison@dot.la.

Unlock Venture Partners Launches $62 Million Seed Fund Focused on LA Startups
Photo by Olenka Kotyk on Unsplash

Unlock Venture Partners, a Seattle- and Los Angeles-focused venture capital firm investing in seed-stage startups, unveiled a new $60 million-plus fund on Monday.

Unlock has closed on roughly $62 million for its second fund and is aiming to raise more with a target of $75 million, co-founding partner Sanjay Reddy told dot.LA. In addition to startups in its hometown of Seattle, the firm is eyeing ventures in the L.A. region, its second core market.


While just announced, the fund isn’t brand new; Unlock has been “deploying [the fund] for close to a year,” Reddy said, citing 16 investments to date out of the vehicle. Those deals include L.A.-based “meta-fashion” company DressX, Seoul- and Santa Monica-based esports group Gen.G and Pasadena-based Continuum Space Systems, which sells software for space missions.

The investments speak to Unlock’s specific interest in metaverse, Web3 and gaming companies within the L.A. and Seattle markets. (The firm is also an active investor in fintech startups like North Hollywood-based UNest.) When asked about the ever-growing backlash to the metaverse, Reddy said Unlock is unfazed by doubters and remains bullish on the emerging space.

“The problem with capitalism is you require continued growth, but our environment has finite resources,” he noted. “If you look at the metaverse, theoretically you can accommodate infinite growth… Where does it go? We don’t know. But the metaverse is real, as an opportunity.”

Including its first $22 million fund, which launched in 2018, Unlock has raised over $85 million in capital to date.

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Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

When avatar startup Genies raised $150 million in April, the company released an unusual message to the public: “Farewell.”

The Marina del Rey-based unicorn, which makes cartoon-like avatars for celebrities and aims to “build an avatar for every single person on Earth,” didn’t go under. Rather, Genies announced it would stay quiet for a while to focus on building avatar-creation products.

Genies representatives told dot.LA that the firm is now seeking more creators to try its creation tools for 3D avatars, digital fashion items and virtual experiences. On Thursday, the startup launched a three-week program called DIY Collective, which will mentor and financially support up-and-coming creatives.

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Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

LA Tech Week—a weeklong showcase of the region’s growing startup ecosystem—is coming this August.

The seven-day series of events, from Aug. 15 through Aug. 21, is a chance for the Los Angeles startup community to network, share insights and pitch themselves to investors. It comes a year after hundreds of people gathered for a similar event that allowed the L.A. tech community—often in the shadow of Silicon Valley—to flex its muscles.

From fireside chats with prominent founders to a panel on aerospace, here are some highlights from the roughly 30 events happening during LA Tech Week, including one hosted by dot.LA.

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EV Startup INDIEV Links With Foxconn To Produce SUVs

Samson Amore

Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He holds a degree in journalism from Emerson College and previously covered technology and entertainment for TheWrap and reported on the SoCal startup scene for the Los Angeles Business Journal. Send tips or pitches to samsonamore@dot.la and find him on Twitter @Samsonamore.

EV Startup INDIEV Links With Foxconn To Produce SUVs
Photo Courtesy of IndiEV

INDIEV, a startup based in Vernon, announced this week it will partner with Taiwanese tech conglomerate Foxconn to build its first prototypes of its upcoming electric SUV, nicknamed the INDI One.

The debut makes it the seventh consumer electric vehicle company to enter Los Angeles’s crowded cohort of green carmakers.

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