Meet LA's most active seed- to late-stage VCs

Steven Loeb · September 30, 2014 · Short URL:

At Splash LA, meet founders of Greycroft, Wavemaker Partners, Mucker Capital and Anthem

Vator's fourth annual Splash LA event is just two days away now (buy your tickets here!).

And as always, with every Splash event, we work very hard to bring together the most prolific investors who are shaping the ecosystem. In this case, we've done that again with Dana Settle, who co-founded Greycroft about a decade ago. Settle is also an early investor in Maker Studios, which was bought by Disney, for about $1 billion earlier this year. We also have Eric Manlunas (Founding Partner, Wavemaker Partners, formerly Siemer Ventures - one of the most active early-stage VCs in LA), and Erik Rannala (Founder, Mucker Capital), also one of the most prolific investors putting money to work in the pre-seed and seed-stages, as well as Paige Craig, a serial entrepreneur and prolific angel. On hand to moderate and direct the conversation is: Bill Woodward, founder of Anthem Venture Partners, a longstanding LA-based VC firm, which is counted as one of the most active late-stage VCs in La.  

These investors will be on hand to discuss how the LA tech scene is shaping up, and what they're looking to invest in. 

As a bit of background, here's what we've learned about the LA tech scene.  

Among those companies with the biggest funding rounds in the last year include: NantHealth, which raised $135 million; Snapchat, which raised $60 million and $50 million; JustFab, which rased $40 million; Whisper, which raised $36 million; TrueCar, which raised $30 million; and The Honest Company, which raised $25 million. Also, among those companies with the biggest exits in the past five years include Oculus VR, which sold to Facebook; Demand Media, which went public in 2011; Maker Studios, which was bought by Disney; and Riot Games, which was acquired by Tencent. 

We also learned that companies are doing well by taking advantage of one of LA's biggest resources: celebrities, with stars like Ashton Kutcher, Jessica Alba, Kim Kardashian and Justin Timberlake lending their names and talents to startups and, in Kutcher's case, angel funding.

But things are not all rosy. The amount of VC dollars in LA is not expanding very quickly: it had 2.7% of all VC dollars invested in 2004, and now is still 2.5% of all VC dollars. Meanwhile, San Franciso was 5% of all VC dollars in 2004, and now it's 56%. In 2004, there were 149 VC investments in Los Angeles tech companies, with a little over $1 billion invested total. In 2009, it was only 176 investments and $900 million. 2013 saw 259 investments, with a total of $1.7 billion invested.

The lack of big VC funding growth is likely because of the lack of late stage investments. In total, 79 of the VC investments this year were seed and early stage; only 55 were expansion or later stages.

Some things are definitely evolving, though, especially with the arrival of new hubs and workspaces that are attempting to create a more cohesive ecosystem.

Attendees can watch our panel, entitled "The rise of the LA tech ecosystem," which will feature a chat with active accelerators, angel investors, and pioneering VCs who are shaping the tech scene through the investments they make. 

Don't forget to REGISTER before prices jump at the door.

Read more from our "LA Tech Series" series

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Whisper is an anonymous social network that is revolutionizing the way millions are interacting and expressing themselves online. At Whisper, they believe you can only truly be yourself when no one else is watching, so they've built a cloaking device for your thoughts. Untraceable, invisible, no restrictions.



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Dana Settle

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Erik Rannala

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Co-Founder & Managing Partner, Mucker Capital

Eric Manlunas

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Paige Craig

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