The 10 L.A. Startups that Raised the Most Money this Spring
July 22, 2014
By Paresh Dave
Beatriz Avecedo and life partner Doug Greiff supervise production for MiTu, one of the startups that announced new funding earlier this year. (MiTu)
Led by Swagbucks’ $60 million round of fund-raising, 35 Los Angeles County startups raised mor than $330 million from April through June in what was a booming second quarter for startup investment nationwide.
The money is flowing to fewer firms, but it’s coming in bigger chunks as investors help successful startups expand operations to new locales.
Nationwide, five of the richest deals came from the Bay Area with ride-sharing company Uber’s eye-popping $1.2 billion round of fundraising leading the way. The next closest amount was Airbnb at $450 million.
Los Angeles attracted about half as much venture capital investment as New York and Boston. The trio of regions together account for about half of what Silicon Valley received, according to the The MoneyTree Report by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association based on data from Thomson Reuters.
Within Los Angeles, nearly half of the venture capital funding raised went to startups in Santa Monica, according to data from CB Insights. City National Bank compiled the data and came up with this list of top 10 local fundraising deals in the last quarter.
- Swagbucks – With $60 million from Technology Crossover Ventures, the El Segundo startup plans to market itself to get more users earning gift cards in exchange for watching videos, playing games or taking part in market research.
- Telesign — With $40 million from Adams Street Partners, Summit Partners and March Capital Partners, the Marina del Rey firm plans to get more websites in Asia and Latin America using its service, which aims to deter online fraudsters and hackers.
- Whisper — The anonymous message board picked up $36 million from Lightspeed Venture Partners, Sequoia Capital, Shasta Ventures, Tencent and Thrive Capital.
- Tastemade — The owner of several food-related YouTube channels raised $25 million from Redpoint Ventures, Liberty Media, Comcast Ventures, Scripps Networks and Raine Ventures. The money should help Tastemade perfect an Android app and get more international users.
- ImaginAb — With $21 million from Novartis Venture Funds, Cycad Group and Merieux, the Inglewood startup will continue work on a new way to image prostate cancer and other diseases in scans.
- Metacloud — With $15 million from Storm Ventures, Silicon Valley Bank, Canaan Partners, UMC Capital, Pelion Venture Partners and AME Cloud Ventures, the Pasadena startup plans to hire more employees to build out its service, which websites can use to manage the hosting of their files and databases.
- Tradesy — With $13 million in new funding, the Santa Monica startup that acts as an eBay for fashion plans to expand its staff. Funding came from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Northgate Capital, Rincon Venture Partners, Riverwood Capital and Richard Branson.
- Washio — The app-based laundry service based out of Santa Monica raised $10.5 million from Canaan Partners, A-Grade, Troy Carter, AME Cloud Ventures, Sherpa Ventures and Pejman Mar Ventures. The money should help it launch in new cities.
- MiTu — With $10 million from Upfront Ventures, the Latino-focused YouTube network based out of Culver City plans to develop an online presence outside of YouTube.com.
- UberMedia — Workers here often have to explain that they are not from that Uber. Instead, this Pasadena company that raised $8 million uses social media posts and other information to provide more relevant advertising on smartphones and tablets. The funding comes from Blue Chip Venture Company and Gordon Crawford.
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