Whatnot App Raises $150 Million to Go Beyond Rare Pokemon Cards, Funko Pops

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.

Whatnot is growing up beyond Pokemon Cards and Funko Pops

Whatnot, an app for buying, selling and livestreaming collectables such as rare Pokémon cards pulled in $150 million from top Silicon Valley venture firms and fetched a $1.5 billion valuation.

Less than two years old, the company founded by a former product manager at sneaker reseller GOAT Logan Head and Google alumni Grant LaFontaine has become a darling among venture investors, last year reportedly sparking a bidding war.


In March, the live-shopping service raised $20 million led by Andreessen Horowitz's Connie Chan. A couple months later, it announced a $50 million raise led by Y Combinator's Anu Hariharan.

Both firms participated in the new Series B round. Alphabet's late-stage fund CapitalG also participated, joining earlier angel investors including Golden State Warriors' Andre Iguodala and the novelty boxer slash infamous YouTuber Logan Paul.

Whatnot got its start with geeky collectables like Funko Pops, but the company said in an announcement that the new cash will help it "drive growth" in "categories like vintage fashion and sneakers." That puts the startup firmly in competition with GOAT, the high-flying Los Angeles-based sneaker shop recently valued at $3.7 billion.

Based out of Los Angeles' Marina Arts District, Whatnot is one of the many startups betting on the live-shopping trend.

Like a modern-day spin on QVC, other companies in the space include Popshop Live, which collaborated with Los Angeles boutiques when the pandemic shuttered physical storefronts.

There's also Talkshoplive, which inked deals with mega stars such as Paul McCartney and Dolly Parton to peddle everything from celebrity-penned books to perfumes.

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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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