13.09.2019

15 Startup Companies That Rose to Tech Stardom in Los Angeles

Article by
author
Michał Rejman
7 min read

Los Angeles is a cultural mecca billed as “the entertainment capital of the world.” The city boasts the highest share of creative talent per square mile in the entire U.S. 

While aspiring actors trudge through countless casting calls and auditions, innovators are knocking on the L.A. doors, making it one of the fastest-growing startup ecosystems in the country. 

Do you know which top tech companies are making waves in the La-La Land right now? Let’s find out.

1. UpKeep

The first Los Angeles startup on our list is making life easier for maintenance teams and technicians with mobile-first maintenance management software. Using a beautiful, lean interface, the iOS and Android apps allow maintenance staff to create new projects, keep track of work orders and assets, and become more productive. The service is also available in a web version on Windows, Mac OS, Linux, and other operating systems.

Round of funding: Series A

Founder/ CEO: Ryan Chan

Funding: $12.8

Follow on: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter

2. Blavity

Started in 2014, Blavity is a media company and website serving black millennials. By now, it has become the main social media voice of this community, targeting and empowering the underrepresented generation with unique content, videos, and local events. 

Last year, this L.A. startup raised over $6 million in funding to expand its engineering and content teams. It has also created two iOS apps supporting conferences launched to empower black female professionals and unite black people in technology.

Round of funding: Series A

Founder/ CEO: Aaron Samuels, Jeff Nelson, Morgan DeBaun

Funding: $9.4

Follow on: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter

3. SoLo Funds

This L.A. startup’s offering is not only an innovative product but one that also aims to resolve a major social issue. As 4 in 5 American workers live paycheck to paycheck, the SoLo Funds app brings them an affordable alternative to the exorbitant rates charged by payday loaners. It’s a peer-to-peer mobile marketplace connecting lenders and borrowers for access to short-term micro-loans. 

SoLo has a friendly interface that allows borrowers to declare how much they want to borrow and set the date by which they will repay the loan; lenders use it to review available requests and provide the funds, sometimes receiving a voluntary ‘tip’ from the borrowers as an acknowledgment of their support.

Round of funding: Seed

Founder/ CEO: Jarrel Carter, Rodney Williams, Taylor Bruno, Travis Holoway

Funding: $3.8

Follow on: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter

4. Oro, Inc.

We’re drifting away from the fintech world toward e-commerce with our next startup. Oro Inc. delivers a range of software products for mid-market and enterprise businesses. The company’s portfolio features a B2B e-commerce platform, a CRM, and a rapid application development platform, all of them open-sourced. While the core applications offer a set of basic out-of-the-box functionalities, customization of each is required to develop a fully-functional product tailored to the needs of every business.

Round of funding: Series A

Founder/ CEO: Dima Soroka, Jary Carter, Yoav Kutner

Funding: $12

Follow on: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter

5. BloomNation

Can flower delivery and technology have anything in common? They can, providing that we’re not talking about a traditional brick-and-mortar shop but an innovative commerce platform for florists who would like to bolster their sales and reach out to a wider group of buyers. 

BloomNation comes to the florists’ rescue with a beautifully designed platform where they can design virtual stores with a custom look and real-life photos. The software also supports them with order management, delivery tracking, customer account profiles, and other activities. BloomNation comes with a mobile app and integration with various third-party apps for payments processing and invoicing.

Round of funding: Series A

Founder/ CEO: David Daneshgar, Farbod Shoraka, Gregg Weisstein

Funding: $7.2

Follow on: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter

6. Mira Labs

From flowers, we get straight into mobile augmented reality headsets. Mira Labs is a Los Angeles AI startup that came in the public eye a few years ago when they released an affordable AR headset that would work with an iOS app. Their smartphone-powered product serves a range of use cases across a spectrum of industries, including telecoms, constructions, manufacturing, healthcare, and utilities.

Round of funding: Seed

Founder/ CEO: Benjamin Taft, Matt Stern, Montana Reed

Funding: $6.5

Follow on: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter

7. SFOX

SFOX Inc. may be a nimble L.A. startup, but it has some big names standing behind it, such as Airbnb’s co-founder Nathan Blecharczyk, who participated in the last round of funding for the company. Apparently, he saw vast potential in cryptocurrency trading.

SFOX operates as a cryptocurrency dealer, helping crypto traders get the best price on deals through access to over 20 exchanges and OTC providers from a single. To achieve that, the company employs a comprehensive suite of specialized algorithms for the financial markets and extends its API to enable access to third-party apps.

Round of funding: Series A

Founder/ CEO: Akbar Thobhani, George Melika

Funding: $23.1

Follow on: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter

8. TutorMe

There are almost 7 million students in California. That’s a few million people who at some point in their education might use some help with home assignments, exam preparations, or improving scores. 

TutorMe responds to their needs with an online instant tutoring platform, which is available on all devices. Students can use it to get on-demand one-to-one tutor help with virtual whiteboard, video chat, and screen sharing or to sign up for predefined test preparation courses.

Round of funding: Seed

Founder/ CEO: Myles Hunter, Victor Kotseruba

Funding: $1.3

Follow on: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter

9. Stem Disintermedia

In today’s music-making business model, most artists join countless subscription services such as Spotify to earn royalties from as many sources as possible. Stem allows them to keep control of the profusion of digital distribution platforms, and collect their earnings easier and without any hassle.

Using the web or mobile Stem app, artists can submit music to all major platforms like Apple Music, Spotify, YouTube, and Amazon at once. The platform also supports them with streamlined royalties collection and distribution among collaborating artists.

Round of funding: Series A

Founder/ CEO: Jovin Cronin-Wilesmith, Milana Lewis

Funding: $12.5

Follow on: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter

10. FabFitFun

We’re in L.A. (well, figuratively), so it’s only natural that we are featuring a lifestyle company that’s as bold, bright, and buoyant as its brand statement (‘FabFitFun. It’s self-explanatory’). 

FabFitFun is a subscription-based business delivering a curated collection of quality products across beauty, fashion, wellness, home, and technology to a community of over million members. To further enhance its highly engaging shopping experience and tap more users, the company developed an AR-powered iOS app. With $80 million raised earlier this year, this L.A. startup is definitely flying high.

Round of funding: Series A

Founder/ CEO: Daniel Broukhim, Katie Echevarria Rosen Kitchens, Michael Broukhim, Funding: $83.5

Follow on: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter

11. Joymode

The next L.A. startup operates in a similar niche as number 10. It’s a subscription-based service that offers bundled equipment rentals. Imagine you’re throwing a B-day party and you’re really keen on impressing the crowd. What will you do with that 30-piece fondue set, outdoor karaoke system, and a bunch of giant inflatable flamingos when the party’s over? 

As a Joymode member, you can design any experience, be it a party, date, camping trip, or anything else, and rent curated bundled equipment to make it flawless. When you’re done, you send the gear back. The app is a simple way to enjoy your life to the fullest for less.

Round of funding: Series A

Founder/ CEO: Joe Fernandez, Keith Walker, Waynn Lue

Funding: $16.7

Follow on: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter

12. Fernish

Fernish is another trending subscription-based rental services provider from L.A. that specializes in furniture-as-a-service offering. Their business model is quite similar to that of Joymode; members subscribe to Fernish and choose furniture and home decor accessories for their place. They keep it for as long as the subscription runs, and can swap, buy-out or return selected items before it ends. In our short-term let, highly mobile reality, the company’s value proposition proves highly successful.

Round of funding: Series A

Founder/ CEO: Lucas Dickey, Michael Barlow

Funding: $30

Follow on: LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram

13. Lumi

Log onto your portal, take any box, envelope, or packaging, customize it with your branding, and send for printing with a single click. Repeat as needed. That’s basically Lumi’s offering –  simplifying the entire custom packaging process for e-commerce companies. 

While Lumi’s artwork is gorgeous, the real highlight of its services is the web dashboard that gives customer teams full visibility and control over packaging across all stages, from the first design to invoicing. If you’d like to create a similar one for your app, you know where to find us😉

Round of funding: Series A

Founder/ CEO: Jesse Genet, Stephan Ango

Funding: $9.4

Follow on: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter

14. Beautycon

We have quite a few beauty and lifestyle startups on our list today, and here’s another exhilarating example. Beautycon is a massive B2C cosmetics summit that uses the power of social media and own curated media channels to connect thousands of beauty aficionados with their YouTube and Instagram idols. 

Although the startup lives and breathes beauty, it also leverages sophisticated online marketing and analytics tools to build uber-detailed consumer profiles and provide its audience exactly what they need. Beautycon events are accompanied by a mobile app that enhances the real-life festival experience and moves it into the virtual world.

Round of funding: Series A

Founder/ CEO: Jonathon Burford, Marina Curry, Moj Mahdara

Funding: $11

Follow on: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter

15. Wag!

With over $360 million raised over six funding rounds, the last L.A. startup on our list is definitely a record-breaker. Their product is a dog-walking app allowing pet owners to book a dog walk on-demand, at their convenience. 

The app also offers home sitting, boarding, and daycare, but its greatest beauty lies in ancillary services such as pee and poo notifications, live GPS tracking or photo reports cards. Considering that the dog walking services industry revenue in the U.S. is estimated at $1 billion, it seems like Wag’s founders sniffed out a good business opportunity. 

Round of funding: Venture

Founder/ CEO: Brendan Rogers, Jason Meltzer, Jonathan Viner, Joshua Viner

Funding: $361.5M

Follow on: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter

Summary

The above fifteen top tech Los Angeles startups develop different products and services, solving diverse issues, and addressing various audiences. However, there’s one thing they have in common. With multi-million dollar funding, stunning web platforms and mobile apps, and dedicated social media audience, they aren’t afraid to dream big in L.A.

If you’d like to get one step closer to stardom as the above L.A. startup companies, drop us a note. We can create something bold together!

author

Michał Rejman

Digital marketing specialist with a growth hacking mindset and 10+ years of experience. Michał’s goal is building high-quality technological content, with particular emphasis on React and RoR. Traveler, climber, remote work advocate.

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