The Los Angeles startup scene is booming, with venture funding and valuations reaching new heights in 2021. So who are the hottest startups in LA right now?
We asked more than 20 leading investors in the region for their take, and they responded with more than two dozen names. These startups are leading the way in terms of innovation, creativity, and potential for growth. If you’re looking to get into the LA startup scene, these are the companies you need to watch!
There are too many to list them all here, but the following LA startups will be among the most fascinating in 2022. We’ll try our best to address each one based on funding, valuation, and market potential.
Hottest LA Startups To Watch in 2022
Check out our full list of the hottest startups in Los Angeles! (link to list) These companies are changing the game and paving the way for a bright future in the city’s startup scene.
WhatNot – Collectible Marketplace
WhatNot is a marketplace for collectibles that was founded in 2016. The company allows users to buy and sell collectibles, with a focus on pop culture items. On the way to a $1.5 billion valuation, WhatNot was able to attract $220 million in three separate funding rounds in 2021.
Logan Head and ex-Googler Grant LaFontaine launched the Marina del Rey-based live-streaming shopping platform. The company made its name by offering a live auction platform for collecting and selling uncommon Pokémon cards, and it now includes sports memorabilia, shoes, and apparel.
PopShop – Peer-To-Peer Shopping Platform
PopShop is another collectible marketplace competing with WhatNot. The startup, which was co-founded by Danielle Li, allows users to buy and sell collectibles ranging from art to vintage fashion.
The company has raised a Series A of around $20 million (the amount is not being disclosed, but according to sources very close to the transaction, it was about $100 million), putting its value at about $100 million. Reported by TechCrunch in 2021 here.
OpenRaven – Security Platform
OpenRaven is a cloud-based data security platform that aids businesses in protecting their data in the cloud. The Open Raven platform maps all cloud data stores recognizes the data within them identifies significant exposures and allows teams to address them before they become security incidents. It also offers real-time monitoring capabilities.
The startup was founded by Mark Curphey, former chief product officer from CrowdStrike, and it has raised $15 million in Series A funding from investors including Kleiner Perkins and Upfront Ventures.
FourthWall – Web Builder For Content Creators
Fourthwall is a web builder platform for content producers that makes it simple to develop and manage websites. Lightspeed Venture Partners, Initialized Capital, and Alexis Ohanian’s Seven Seven Six joined forces to fund FourthWall, which announced its $17 million debuts to TechCrunch.
Fourthwall’s builder is available as a white-label solution with built-in tools for setting up merchandise stores, membership programs, tipping, and more. There’s an integrated Cameo-like functionality included when fans buy something that allows creators to send customized video and audio thank yous. Fourthwall works with manufacturers to offer more than 200 distinct items that creators may sell on their own websites, which they can manage down to the letter.
Intro – Expert Advice Marketplace
Intro is a software that links people together over a short video chat and provides personalized counsel. Intro makes it simple to book the world’s most sought-after experts and receive one-on-one, live video personalization. Users may engage with renowned consultants such as Rachel Zoe and Nate Berkus in various areas including Fashion & Beauty, Home, Wellness, Career, Astrology, and more.
Intro has raised over $10 million in funding from prominent investors including Andreessen Horowitz, Alexis Ohanian’s Seven Seven Six, Michael Ovitz (co-founder of CAA), David Solomon (Goldman Sachs CEO), Anne Wojcicki (23 & Me CEO), and other high-profile celebrities, athletes, and CEOs.
Unlocked – NFT Platform
Unblocked, a Los Angeles-based startup that runs on the Ethereum platform and offers blockchain-based trading of nonfungible assets has now gathered $15 million in total funds after raising a $5 million pre-seed round last summer.
Tiger Global led the latest investment, which was joined by media investor Jay Penske’s Penske Media Corp., Dapper Labs, Oaktree Capital, BAM Ventures, and M13 among other investors. After closing the seed round at $90 million or more, Unblocked is claiming a $90 million+ valuation.
GOAT – Sneaker Marketplace
GOAT is a popular sneaker brand that has been around for quite some time. The business is revolutionizing the sneaker industry by allowing customers to buy and sell sneakers directly on the platform. In 2020, revenue reached $2 billion for the first time, with apparel and accessories being added to the product line.
Last summer, it raised a $195 million funding round that increased its value tenfold to $3.7 billion, effectively finishing a financing round that had begun in 2015.
Coco – Food Delivery Robot
Coco, a company that makes delivery robots in Los Angeles, secured $36 million in funding. Sam Altman of Silicon Valley Bank and Founders Fund, along with Sam Nazarian, Ellen Chen, and Mario Del Pero, was the Series A’s lead investor. It raises Coco’s overall investment to around $43 million.
Coco is an autonomous food delivery robot that brings restaurant food to your door. Coco uses sensors and cameras to navigate its way through the city, avoiding obstacles along the way. Once it arrives at your doorstep, you can use the app to unlock it and release your food.
For the first time, the LA-based startup expands beyond its base in Los Angeles. Austin is the first city outside of Los Angeles to get the service, which will soon be available in other major cities across the country. In the next few months, Coco plans to bring its robots to Dallas, Houston, and Miami.
Coco is a relatively young company, having launched in February 2020. The startup has 120 employees, with plans to “expand to over 1,000” by the end of the year as the epidemic drives more interest in automated deliveries. The additional finance will also be used to fund hardware development and additional city launches.
Wave – Virtual Concert Platform
Waves is a live, interactive, and immersive event, unlike any previous virtual music concert. The first platform to link musicians, fans, and corporations in one place to produce, share, and enjoy virtual shows, Waves is the first social media platform for artists.
Wave has already hosted shows with some of the biggest names in music, including Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, and Justin Bieber. The company has also partnered with some of the world’s leading brands, such as Coca-Cola, Samsung, and YouTube.
With over 250 million registered users on its platform, Wave is quickly becoming the go-to destination for live music experiences. Fans can join Waves’ global community of music lovers to enjoy exclusive content from their favorite artists, chat with friends during shows, and access merchandise sales directly from within the app.
Wave has experienced a substantial expansion in recent years, especially during the pandemic. Wave recently closed a $30 million funding round, including investments from superstars like The Weeknd, Justin Bieber, and J Balvin alongside music companies such as Top Dawg Entertainment; Chinese music giant Tencent Music Entertainment also invested in the company via a separate round.
VideoAmp – Advertising Platform
VideoAmp, an LA-based Software, and data firm, announced a $275 million Series F funding at a $1.4 billion valuation. The Spruce House Partnership, D1 Capital Partners, Tiger Global, EPIQ Capital Group, and Ankona Capital Partners participated in the latest round of financing. For the previous five years, VideoAmp’s revenue CAGR was over 100%.
VideoAmp is a data-driven advertising platform that redefines how media is valued, bought, and sold by creating a more sophisticated data-driven advertising ecosystem. The platform unifies audiences from traditional TV, streaming video, and digital media with the ability to connect media exposures to advertiser sales.
VideoAmp will put the funding to good use by increasing its platform as a media currency for the broader advertising industry, including conventional TV, video streaming, and digital platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. VideoAmp will employ the new funding to grow sales staff, engineering, data science, and client success teams.
Mythical Games – NFT Gaming Platform
Mythical Games, an NFT game developer based in Los Angeles, has raised $75 million in new and existing capital to fuel the company’s goal of expanding upon its initial game’s scope and finding a large platform opportunity by assisting developers to create blockchain-based gaming experiences.
Blankos Block Party is a game in development from the company, which resembles Fall Guys meets Roblox meets Funko Pop. The PC game capitalizes on a number of major social gaming trends around user-generated content while also including a marketplace where users may buy avatar figures and accessories created by a variety of artists and designers that Mythical has partnered with.
Users can purchase or sell limited edition or open edition goods through their marketplace. The items will not be sold on public marketplaces like OpenSea because they are stored on a private blockchain rather than on a public one.
Boulevard – Business Management Platform
Boulevard is a business management platform for salons and spas. It offers an end-to-end solution that helps businesses streamline operations, manage bookings, process payments, and much more. The platform is designed to be easy to use and requires no technical expertise or knowledge of coding.
Boulevard was founded in 2016 by Matt Danna and Sean Stavropoulos, who was inspired by Stavropoulos’ inability to get a haircut and Danna’s idea that the failure of salons and spas to serve customers like him might be indicative of a larger issue.
To date, the startup has raised $38 million in funding, including a $27 million Series B round in 2020 that was led by Bessemer Venture Partners. Investors include Index Ventures, Toba Capital, VMG Partners, Bonfire Ventures, Ludlow Ventures, and BoxGroup.
These are just a few of the hottest LA startups to watch in 2022! With so much talent and potential in the city, it’s no wonder why LA continues to be a leading hub for startups and tech innovation.