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LA is...


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An Overview of the Los Angeles Tech Space in 2015

Published in: Business

LA is...

  1. 1. LA IS... An Overview of the Los Angeles Tech Space in 2015 Prepared by Scott Perry, LA Tech Digest October 2015 Sunday, October 11, 15
  2. 2. ABOUT LA TECH DIGEST LA IS... With a handful of raises announced every week and over 100 events & meetups every month, the area’s tech scene continues to grow. LA Tech Digest was started by Scott Perry in late 2014 to bring together all of LA’s tech-related news in one place. Website: Twitter: LinkedIn: Sunday, October 11, 15
  3. 3. A REFLECTION OF THE WORLD Los Angeles metro spans a 500-square mile area, made up of 114 neighborhoods. Its 4 million residents are comprised of 37 nationalities. LA IS... Source: Areas like Venice, Playa Vista, Century City, Hollywood, and Los Feliz are part of LA city. Cities like Santa Monica, Culver City, Beverly Hills, Pasadena, and Hawthorne are part of LA metro. LA county spans 4,000-square miles,10 million residents. LA’s 5-county area (Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura, Riverside and San Bernadino) has 18.5 million residents -- nearly half the state (38.8 milllion) Sunday, October 11, 15
  4. 4. THE BIRTHPLACE OF THE INTERNET The world’s first email was sent from UCLA to Stanford on October 29,1969 LA IS... Source: Sunday, October 11, 15
  5. 5. GROWTH Los Angeles is the #3 largest tech ecosystem in the US, and the fastest growing area for startups in America. LA IS... LAEDC reports 368,000 high-tech jobs in LA; this number continues to grow, as established companies and startups flock to the region, attracted to a more affordable, higher quality of life than its big-city peers. More college graduates and tech talent are starting to stay in LA, as the number of job offers grow, and the environment to build their own startups locally becomes more fertile. Source: Sunday, October 11, 15
  6. 6. #1 IN OPEN DATA and CIVIC INNOVATION Mayor Eric Garcetti created the data dashboard for the private sector to create apps and businesses on top of over 300 sets of city data. In doing so, Los Angeles has gone from unranked to #1 in open data in less than three years. LA IS... With the help of CTO Peter Marx, Deputy CDO Lilian Coral, and City Controller Ron Galperin, LA is leading the way in data transparency, innovations, and partnerships. Sources: Sunday, October 11, 15
  7. 7. CIVIC SUPPORT Los Angeles has a number of private / public city- related entities to foster growth, including LAEDC, LA2050, Civic Innovation Lab, Port Tech LA, Bixel Exchange, Innovate Pasadena, and WeHoX. LA IS... Sunday, October 11, 15
  8. 8. EDUCATION Los Angeles is home to 4 of the top engineering schools in the US: CalTech (rated the #1 Research University in the World for the fifth straight year), Harvey Mudd, UCLA, and USC Viterbi. With 113 area colleges and universities, LA graduates nearly 11,000 engineering students each year -- more than any other region in the US. Sources:!/page/0/length/25 LA IS... Sunday, October 11, 15
  9. 9. VCs / FUND RAISING Funding of Los Angeles-based tech companies is on track to hit $4 billion in 2015, which is double from just two years prior. Two-thirds of the deals are at Seed and Series A level, which shows plenty of room for growth. The two biggest fundings in the past 12 months have been for Snapchat ($1.02B), as well as LinkedIn’s acquisition of Lynda ($1.5B). Source: LA IS... Sunday, October 11, 15
  10. 10. VCs / FUNDRAISING Los Angeles is home to a wide array of local VCs (Upfront, Rustic Canyon, Greycroft, Wavemaker, Crosscut, Double M, Baroda, Lowercase, Mucker, MK, Anthem, Arena), celebrity VCs (Sound (Ashton Kutcher), AF Square (Troy Carter), Queensbridge (Nas), Machine Shop (Linkin Park)), as well as notables who have set up shop in LA (Pritzker, 500 Startups, Bessemer, MK Capital, SV Angel), making it easier for local talent to stay local. LA IS... More info: Sunday, October 11, 15
  11. 11. FEMALE FOUNDERS &VCs Los Angeles prides itself on diversity, and has a number of organizations to help female founders build a strong support group. LA’s female tech luminaries include founders Jessica Alba (Honest), Sophia Amoruso (Nasty Gal), Meredith Perry (uBeam), Rachel Payne & Meghana Bhatt (FEM Inc), Leura Fine (Laurel & Wolf), Stephanie Horbaczewski (Stylehaul), Emily Best (Seed & Spark), Phoebe Hayman & Soleil Moon Frye (Seedling), Carolyn Yashari Becher / Joanna McFarland / Janelle McGlothlin (HopSkipDrive), Tracy DiNunzio (Tradesy), as well as VCs Robyn Ward (UTA), Kara Nortman (Upfront), Alyse Killeen (Clearstone), Eva Ho (Susa), Dana Settle (Greycroft). LA IS... (Full apologies for this partial list, since there is a *lot* of strong female talent in this town.) Sunday, October 11, 15
  12. 12. ACCELERATORS / INCUBATORS / STUDIOS Los Angeles is fostering talent via a number of shops, including Disney Accelerator, Dodgers Accelerator, LA CleanTech Incubator, Grid110, Make in LA, Starburst, USC Viterbi Garage, and Startup UCLA. Amplify (RadPad, AlphaDraft, StackCommerce, and HelloTech) and Mucker (Victorious, Chromatik, VidMe) have both been named among the Top 10 Accelerators in America. Science Inc has transformed itself into a studio, helping portfolio companies Dollar Shave Club, MeUndies, and Dog Vacay continue to grow. Pasadena-based Idealab (from CitySearch and eToys to Enplug and Factual) has internally incubated and launched a wide array of businesses for the past 20 years. And soon to come on board are biotech space Lab Launch and entertainment R&D firm Fandango Labs. Source: LA IS... Sunday, October 11, 15
  13. 13. FINTECH / CROWDFUNDING Los Angeles-based companies such as Crowdfunder, Start Engine, Seed & Spark, Realty Mogul, Wallaby, Zest Finance, and Inventure are involved in a number of verticals surrounding funding and other financial services. LA IS... Sunday, October 11, 15
  14. 14. FILM & TV You’re kidding, right? Los Angeles OWNS this space, and continues to innovate as the space evolves with consumer tastes. Every single major film studio, television network, and talent agency in the world is based in LA, or at least has an outpost in LA. LA IS... Sunday, October 11, 15
  15. 15. FUTURE ENTERTAINMENT LA IS... Not only is LA home to first production spaces for both YouTube and Buzzfeed, but LA’s unique role in entertainment has established itself as the home to numerous parts of the ecosystem -- from Maker, Fullscreen, Awesomeness, Machinima, Mitu, Endemol, The Collective, Big Frame, and Funny or Die to Epoxy Labs, ZEFR, Famebit, Jukin, JibJab, and TasteMade; from VidCon, Amazon, Netflix, Hulu, DirectTV, WhipClips, and Pluto TV. Sunday, October 11, 15
  16. 16. VR / AR Los Angeles is the home of Virtual Reality hardware / studio Oculus, as well as the world’s largest gathering of VR specialists VRLA, which includes local developers WEVR, Specular Theory, Fuisz, and Vntana. LA IS... Sunday, October 11, 15
  17. 17. GAMES Los Angeles is home to the world’s top gaming companies, including Electronic Arts and Activision Blizzard, as well as rising stars Scopely, Riot Games, and mobile streaming platform MobCrush. LA IS... Sunday, October 11, 15
  18. 18. AEROSPACE & DEFENSE Los Angeles’s tech ecosystem has deep roots in aerospace & defense, with Raytheon, General Dynamics, and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratories laying down the foundation for newer businesses such as SurfAir, SpaceX, and Virgin Galactic. LA IS... Sunday, October 11, 15
  19. 19. TRANSPORTATION As the hotbed of 20th century American car culture, Los Angeles is transforming the face of 21st century transportation via companies such as Tesla, Hyperloop, TrueCar, Edmunds, Cargomatic, Honk, ParkMe, Waze, Uber and Lyft. Not only is LAX the world’s largest airport that allows for legal rideshare pickups, but the City is also building multi-modal transportation initiatives for Angelenos to make the most of bike lanes, public transport, and driverless vehicles. LA IS... Sunday, October 11, 15
  20. 20. HARDWARE Los Angeles is the home to OG internet hardware company Belkin, which continues to evolve into smart hardware. Smart doorbell Ring just got a huge raise from Richard Branson after being turned away on Shark Tank. LA is taking root in the 3D space via companies like AIO Robotics, Airwolf, New Matter, Deezmaker, Thingify. LA is also fostering tactile experiences for next-generation inventors via Two-Bit Circus and LA Makerspace. LA IS... Sunday, October 11, 15
  21. 21. E-COMMERCE In addition to being home to Honest, Nasty Gal, Soylent, Dollar Shave Club, Lootcrate, MeUndies, The Bouqs, Bloomnation, Vow to be Chic, The Blk Tux, Parachute, JustFab, and Tradesy, Los Angeles is also home to conscious commerce companies such as Tom’s, LSTN, Enrou, and contesting / charity site Omaze. LA IS... Sunday, October 11, 15
  22. 22. SERVICES Los Angeles is home to a number of next-generation service apps, including Heal, Hop Skip Drive, Buddytruk, Curbstand, Zingy, DogVacay, Wag, Soothe, Zeel, Washio, HelloTech and Saucey, and quickly becoming the #1 go-to market for co’s such as Instacart, Shyp, and Luxe Valet. LA IS... Sunday, October 11, 15
  23. 23. SOCIAL MEDIA In addition to being home to Snapchat, Los Angeles is home to Whisper and Flipagram, Evite and Cyberdust, as well as dating sites Grindr, Tinder, eHarmony, Three Day Rule. Facebook and Twitter also have outposts in Playa Vista and Santa Monica, respectively. LA IS... Sunday, October 11, 15
  24. 24. SECURITY Consumer internet security systems Symantec was founded in Culver City. These days, companies like TigerText, Telesign and Burner provide security for future generations of web users. LA IS... Sunday, October 11, 15
  25. 25. AD TECH / DATA Los Angeles is home to some of the world’s leading ad tech companies, including Rubicon Project, OpenX, and UberMedia, as well as Internet Brand, Convertro, and Ad Colony (all three of which had healthy exits in 2014). Applied Semantics / Google AdSense creator Gil Elbaz’s latest company, Factual, supplies location information to titans like Apple and Facebook. And Encino-based Instantly provides insights to companies such as McDonald’s and 3M. LA IS... Source: Sunday, October 11, 15
  26. 26. COWORKING SPACES Los Angeles’s coworking spaces are opening multiple locations across town in anticipation of further growth ahead: Real Office Centers, CTRL Collective, Blank Spaces, Cross Campus, WeWork, Rhubarb, Hatch, NextSpace, DOTS, Coloft, and Opodz. LA IS... Sunday, October 11, 15
  27. 27. SECOND HOMES Hey SF -- your boss owns a second home (or third / fourth / fifth) home in LA. Why? Because LA is frickin’ awesome! I mean, um, for strategic purposes. Among those with property in LA include Reed Hastings (Netflix), Jeff Bezos (Amazon), Minecraft creator Notch (who outbid Jay-Z and Beyonce), Elon Musk, Sean Parker, and Oracle founder Larry Ellison, who owns, like, half of Malibu. LA IS... Sunday, October 11, 15
  28. 28. OPEN FOR BUSINESS. Scott Perry LA IS... Sunday, October 11, 15
  29. 29. I cannot claim to know everything, so apologies for any errors or omissions, such was not done so on purpose. Email me at the address below with any corrections thanks. Mad props to Sam Teller, whose incredible overview of the LA Startup Scene circa 2013 was brought to me towards the completion of this project, and probably would have resulted in me not even making this had I known about it earlier. A few companies listed have come & gone, but it is still an excellent resource for anyone looking to get started in this town: And thanks to Michelle Garakian from the Mayor’s business team for pointing me in the right direction on a few details, she’s a badass. Scott Perry LA IS... Sunday, October 11, 15