LA Tech Updates: Techstars Music Accelerator Seeks Startups; Wrapbook Gets $3.6M in Seed Funding; PatientPop Raises $50M

Ben Bergman

Ben Bergman is the newsroom's senior finance reporter. Previously he was a senior business reporter and host at KPCC, a senior producer at Gimlet Media, a producer at NPR's Morning Edition, and produced two investigative documentaries for KCET. He has been a frequent on-air contributor to business coverage on NPR and Marketplace and has written for The New York Times and Columbia Journalism Review. Ben was a 2017-2018 Knight-Bagehot Fellow in Economic and Business Journalism at Columbia Business School. In his free time, he enjoys skiing, playing poker, and cheering on The Seattle Seahawks.

LA Tech Updates: Techstars Music Accelerator Seeks Startups; Wrapbook Gets $3.6M in Seed Funding; PatientPop Raises $50M
Wrapbook is seeking to be the leading payroll processing platform for the entertainment industry.

Here are the latest updates on news affecting Los Angeles' startup and tech communities. Sign up for our newsletter and follow dot.LA on Twitter for more.

Today:

  • Applications Are Open for Techstars Music Accelerator Program
  • Wrapbook, Provider of Payroll for Productions, Unwraps $3.6 million in Seed Funding
  • PatientPop, a Digital Health Marketing Firm, Raises $50 million

    PatientPop Raises $50M as Demand for Online Healthcare Rises   

    As doctors and hospitals are scrambling to get their services online, PatientPop, a company that does just that has raised $50 million as investors bet heavily on new forms of delivering healthcare.

    The Series C funding is led by HLM Venture Partners with participation from previous investors Toba Capital, Transformation Capital and Silicon Valley Bank. And it includes new investors like Commonfund and Vivo Capital.

    "This is more important than ever as providers quickly adapt their digital strategy and presence to attract and retain patients, and seek the technology and tools they need to successfully operate their practice throughout the COVID-19 pandemic," said co-founder and co-CEO of the Santa Monica-based company, Luke Kervin.

    PatientPop works with the patient's electronic medical record and electronic health record to connect them to doctors that best fit their needs. It also allows patients to track and book their appointments.

    According to FairHealth's monthly telehealth tracker in May calls went up 9.19% compared to last year.

    The platform also works with doctors to use SEO in order to have them grow their online presence and increase bookings. It also offers PatientPop Pro to make it easier for doctors to manage their marketing efforts.

    "PatientPop will no doubt continue to help doctors adopt new technologies that are critical to practice success," said principal of Vivo Capital, Nathan Dau in announcing the raise.

    Techstars Music Accelerator Aims for Diversity in 2021

    By Nadya C/ Shutterstock

    Applications for the 2021 Techstars Music Accelerator open today.

    The L.A.-based program will begin on February 16th, 2021 and culminate in a demo day in mid-May. It will accept applications until November 13th.

    "Now, more than ever, we need to do our part to support incredible entrepreneurs, regardless of their cultural background, economic status or physical location," wrote program director Bob Moczydlowsky in a blog post.

    Techstars Music 2021 will be virtual, meaning participating startups don't have to relocate to L.A. The entire selection process will be conducted by video conference.

    "As investors," Moczydlowsky's post continues, "we think this is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to build a gigantic business in music and live events. We also think it is the perfect opportunity to build a more equitable and diverse music business."

    To that end, the program is committing to having 50% of its CEOs be "diverse," with a focus on Black, LGBTQ+ and female founders. This benchmark will remain in place for future cohorts as well.

    The Techstars Music program is a collaboration between Techstars and several groups in the music business. This year, partner companies include Warner Music Group, Sony, Peloton and Amazon Music. Such members provide capital to the program and also help run it. Participants also get access to many other mentors from the music, tech and venture capital worlds.

    Prior program participants have collectively raised over $90 million after the program, Moczydlowsky wrote.

    The application portal can be found here.

    Wrapbook, Provider of Payroll for Productions, Unwraps $3.6 million in Seed Funding 

    Wrapbook is seeking to be the leading payroll processing platform for the entertainment industry.

    Wrapbook, which is seeking to be the leading payroll processing platform for the entertainment industry, announced Tuesday it has raised $3.6 million in seed funding. Equal Ventures led the round with participation from Uncork Capital and 4S Bay Partners.

    "Wrapbook is the easiest way for employers to compliantly pay employees for a week of work," Wrapbook co-founder and CEO Ali Javid said in a written statement. "We are here to help employers and employees be paperless to assist with COVID-19 and be compliant [with] AB5 in entertainment and across project based industries."

    The company previously raised from One Planet Ops and NYU Innovation Venture Fund in March on a SAFE (simple agreement for future equity) at a $5.5 million valuation that converted during this seed round, according to Pitchbook.

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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.

    Read moreShow less

    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.

    Read moreShow less

    Liquid Death May Just Be The 'Fastest Growing Non-Alcoholic Beverage Of All Time'

    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.

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    When Santa Monica-based Liquid Death launched with funding from neighboring venture capital firm Science Inc. in 2018, the Los Angeles startup world – and everyone else – had nothing but jokes. But with the company’s latest $700 million valuation, it appears the joke is on the rest of us.

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