LA Tech Updates: Techstars Music Accelerator Seeks Startups; Wrapbook Gets $3.6M in Seed Funding; PatientPop Raises $50M
Ben Bergman is the newsroom's senior reporter, covering venture capital. 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. Follow him on Twitter.
Sam primarily covers entertainment and media for dot.LA. Previously he was Marjorie Deane Fellow at The Economist, where he wrote for the business and finance sections of the print edition. He has also worked at the XPRIZE Foundation, U.S. Government Accountability Office, KCRW, and MLB Advanced Media (now Disney Streaming Services). He holds an MBA from UCLA Anderson, an MPP from UCLA Luskin and a BA in History from University of Michigan. Email him at samblake@dot.LA and find him on Twitter @hisamblake
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- 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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Minutes into filling out my absentee ballot last week, I was momentarily distracted by my dog Seamus. A moment later, I realized in horror that I was filling in the wrong bubble — accidentally voting "no" on a ballot measure that I meant to vote "yes" on.
It was only a few ink marks, but it was noticeable enough. Trying to fix my mistake, I darkly and fully filled in the correct circle and then, as if testifying to an error on a check, put my initials next to the one I wanted.
Then I worried. As a reporter who has previously covered election security for years, I went on a mini-quest trying to understand how a small mistake can have larger repercussions.
As Los Angeles County's 5.6 million registered voters all receive ballots at home for the first time, I knew my experience could not be unique. But I wondered, would my vote count? Or would my entire ballot now be discarded?
My distractingly sweet dog, Seamus.
Photo by Tami Abdollah
You'll soon be able to take a rapid COVID-19 test before boarding a plane at Los Angeles International Airport.
Two design companies — one known for transforming shipping containers into pop-up businesses and homes, another that focuses on an eco-friendly approach to architecture — will erect modular COVID testing center at LAX by Nov. 1. New Jersey-based Clarity Labs will eventually staff those sites with technicians.
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