Wavemaker 360 Health Announces $100 Million Fund Aimed at Health Care Amid COVID-19

Rachel Uranga

Rachel Uranga is dot.LA's Managing Editor, News. She is a former Mexico-based market correspondent at Reuters and has worked for several Southern California news outlets, including the Los Angeles Business Journal and the Los Angeles Daily News. She has covered everything from IPOs to immigration. Uranga is a graduate of the Columbia School of Journalism and California State University Northridge. A Los Angeles native, she lives with her husband, son and their felines.

Wavemaker 360 Health Announces $100 Million Fund Aimed at Health Care Amid COVID-19

Pasadena-based venture capital firm Wavemaker 360 Health announced a $100 million fund aimed at digital health and health tech startups — double what it had been planning prior to the global pandemic.

The attention COVID-19 brought to the health care industry has heightened investor interest and pushed the two-year old firm to accelerate fundraising efforts.


"The world has become so much more infatuated — and with good reasons — in health care because of the crisis," said Jay Goss, general partner at Wavemaker 360. The firm is affiliated with Santa Monica-based Wavemaker Capital but operates independently.

Jay Goss is a general partner at Wavemaker 360.

Despite the deep toll the virus is having across the economy, health care is better positioned than other industries like retail and consumer goods.

The novel coronavirus — which has claimed more than 150,000 lives globally — continues to spread and in doing so has reshaped how health care is delivered including a surge in telemedicine. The changes are likely to have long term impacts, experts say.

Wavemaker 360 invests in seed and early stage companies. About a third of their current portfolio hails from Southern California, in part because the firm has benefitted from partnerships or affiliations it has with Southern California's largest medical research institutions including City of Hope, Cedar-Sinai Medical Center, USC Keck School of Medicine and UCLA Biodesign, Goss said.

The local investment is likely to continue in the coming fund. "We naturally hunt for good companies in our backyard," he said.

This fund will be five times the size of its current fund, which covers more than two dozen companies. Wavemaker's operating thesis is that health care is transitioning away from fee-for-service to value-based care, disrupting the old system. About 70% of its investors hail from the health care industry with ties to insurance companies and hospital systems such as Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Mission Community Hospital and UnitedHealth Group.

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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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Motional Links With Uber to Make Robotaxis a Reality

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.

Motional
Image courtesy of Motional

Motional, a self-driving taxi startup backed by Hyundai, will partner with Uber to bring its robotic taxis to cities throughout the United States within the next decade as part of its push to get people more comfortable with the concept of taking a ride in a driverless electric vehicle.

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