Digital publication Fast Company revealed its most innovative companies of 2018, and to no one's surprise, LA tech was well represented. In addition to a number of companies who have sizable offices in the LA area, 17 companies headquartered in Los Angeles were honored. Read on to see who made the cut.
Category: Consumer Electronics
Why they made their list: "For securing homes intelligently, from floodlights to doorbells." — Fast Company
Why they’re on our radar: Fresh off a year that saw the company raise $109 million, release a line of new products and embark on a major marketing push, Santa Monica-based Ring was honored in the consumer electronics category. Founded in 2012, the company has raised more than $200 million to date and is hiring aggressively.
Category: Social Media
Why they made their list: "For pushing the state of the art in social interaction features such as [their product] Maps." — Fast Company
Why they’re on our radar: There might not be a company more associated with the LA startup community than Venice's own Snap. After filing an initial public offering last year, the unicorn company had a rough few months, but rebounded after scoring one of the biggest fundings of 2017 in what proved to be the best month for tech fundraising ever. Like Ring, the company is hiring for dozens of positions at the moment.
Category: Social Good
Why they made their list: "For showing customers their sustainability score." — Fast Company
Why they’re on our radar: Headquartered in Marina Del Rey, Aspiration is a fintech startup that develops a number of products designed to help users improve their financial wellness while also making a positive impact on the world. In October, the company closed a $47 million Series B, bringing the total amount raised to $67.5 million.
Why they made their list: "For embracing ethical fashion and opening its Los Angeles manufacturing facility to guided tours." — Fast Company
Why they’re on our radar: One of a growing group of fashion companies using technology to both improve customer experience, Reformation is a company dedicated to offering a line of sustainable fashion products. Recently named as one of Built In LA's 50 Startups to Watch in 2018, the company closed out 2017 with a $25 million Series B. If you're as big of a fan of dogs as we are here at Built In LA, you'll definitely want to check out the pup employees at Reformation.
Why they made their list: "For combining artificial and human assistance to create next-level concierge experiences." — Fast Company
Why they’re on our radar: A prime example of legacy companies embracing technology and thriving as a result of their consistent innovation, Alfred Music is one of the true giants in music education, and they're headquartered right here in LA. In October, sales rep Yousef Alhaddad spoke to Built In LA about the company's music-friendly environment and the impromptu employee-led jam sessions.
Why they made their list: "For designing an e-sports league that incorporates the best of professional sports." — Fast Company
Why they’re on our radar: A true giant in the gaming industry, Activision Blizzard develops some of the most successful video games to have ever been created. Though the two companies merged in 2007, they both operate individually, with Blizzard maintaining its headquarters in Irvine and Activision in Santa Monica.
Why they made their list: "For transforming intellectual property into hit mobile games." — Fast Company
Why they’re on our radar: Headquartered in Culver City's funky Hayden Tract, game publisher Scopely is responsible for developing some of the most addictive mobile games in the App Store. In June 2017, the company raised a $60 million Series C in a round led by Revolution Growth, a fund led by a handful of former AOL executives.
Why they made their list: "For turning punditry into an actionable, entertaining experience." — Fast Company
Why they’re on our radar: Responsible for the wildly entertaining Pod Save America podcast, LA-based Crooked Media was honored as a media company for the first time. Founded by Jon Favreau (the esteemed journalist and speechwriter for President Barack Obama), Jon Lovett (not to be confused with Jon Lovitz, another LA-based podcaster and former speechwriter for both President Obama and Senator Hillary Clinton) and Tommy Vietor, former spokesperson for President Obama, the company is one of a plethora of podcasting companies that call Los Angeles home.
Why they made their list: "For hitting the sweet spot." – Fast Company
Why they’re on our radar: Inglewood-based startup Sugarfina is best known for its luxury candy offerings, but the startup used 2017 to establish itself as one of the big players in LA's e-commerce scene, scoring a $35 million investment back in September.
Why they made their list: "For reducing the cost of reaching orbit." – Fast Company
Why they’re on our radar: No list of prestigious tech companies would be complete without at least one Elon Musk Venture. While The Boring Company captures headlines on a weekly basis, it's SpaceX that Fast Company chose to honor in this report. A three-time first place finisher on Built In LA's Top 100, you might have noticed one of the several SpaceX launches in the past few months, but the company blasted into orbit itself with one of the biggest fundings of 2017 in 2017.
Why they made their list: "For testing a new space-delivery system." — Fast Company
Why they’re on our radar: SpaceX wasn't the only space tech company named to the list. Headquartered in Huntington Beach, Rocket Lab is pushing the envelope in the private space delivery industry with its proprietary rocket systems and technologies, offering fast and low-cost payload deployment to the next frontier.
Why they made their list: “For combining live TV and an on-demand library into a cord cutter’s dream.” — Fast Company
Why they’re on our radar: Hulu joins the list of innovative video companies along with Netflix — which maintains a major presence in Los Angeles but is technically headquartered in Los Gatos. In addition to partnering with producers to stream a library of engaging content via its video platform, Hulu also produces original content. Headquartered in Santa Monica, the company is one of a growing group of local tech unicorns that call Southern California home.
Why they made their list: "For taking the guesswork out of medicating with cannabis." — Fast Company
Why they’re on our radar: Formerly known as hmbldt, dosist produces a line of cannabis vape products that deliver a precise dose of scientifically formulated cannabis to users. Headquartered in Santa Monica, the company famously pulled CEO Gunner Winston — a very successful investor who had retired early and relocated to Los Angeles with his wife and family — out of retirement to head the cannabis tech company. In January, the company was named as one of Built In LA's 50 Startups to watch in 2018.