Tech roundup: Lime goes brick and mortar, PayPal pays Tala, and more

by Hannah Levy
October 26, 2018
Tala team at work
photo via mckenzie smith

PayPal invests in Santa Monica-based lending startup Tala

What did one fintech company say to the other? Not sure — but this week they’re trading money over words. Fintech startup Tala, which leverages mobile technology to lend to underserved populations in places like Bangalore and Mexico City, announced a new strategic investment from payment giant PayPal. “Tala shares our vision of reimagining financial services, especially for the unbanked and those underserved by the traditional financial system,” said Mark Britto, who leads the global credit team at PayPal. The new investment builds on Tala’s Series C financing announced back in April. [Press release]

 

Limes scooters in a row
photo via shutterstock

Lime announces plans to open a brick-and-mortar store in Santa Monica

Lime is scooting into the retail market with its flagship lifestyle brand store in Santa Monica — and the rest of the country, too, if all goes to plan. The stores will be used to house and charge rental scooters, host live events, put on safety demos and sell apparel, among other things. Word around the beach is that Lime’s latest move comes thanks to Venice-based investor Fifth Wall Ventures, which specializes in partnerships between real estate developers and tech companies. As it happens, Fifth Wall also led Lime’s $70 million Series B and joined their $335 million Series C back in July — a partnership that’s gliding along like, well, you know. [Tech Crunch]

 

LA VCs team up
photo via shutterstock

VCs pledge to put diversity first

The Los Angeles tech scene is putting diversity first — and they’re putting it in writing. This week, more than 80 venture capitalists and entrepreneurs teamed up with mayor Eric Garcetti’s office to create Pledge LA, an initiative to bolster diversity and inclusion efforts across the bustling tech hub. As part of the agreement, signatories to the pledge (which include Dollar Shave Club, Pritzker Group VC and Boingo Wireless) pledge to report their civic participation and inclusion metrics publicly. “This commitment from LA’s venture capitalists and Mayor Garcetti means that change is happening, and this change is good, as long as we can work to make Los Angeles a more diverse, inclusive and community-focused city that benefits everyone,” a representative from the non-profit Annenberg Foundation, who’s also partnering on the effort, told TechCrunch. [Press release]

 

Dash FM hosts stand in the office
photo via instagram

Dash Radio gets down to $8.8M in new funding

Dash Radio founder Scott Keeney, the disk jockey Mark Cuban once hailed as ‘the Oprah of music,’ announced that his radio service reached a coveted 10 million monthly listeners this month. They also snagged some seed funding — to the tune of $8.8 million. The startup, which boasts station hosts like Snoop Dog and Ice Cube, is making a name for itself in a space dominated by legacy players like iHeartRadio. Not that the airwaves are out of room: According to Keeney, “It’s the wild, wild west.” [Tech Crunch]

 

Employees share coffee
Photo via shutterstock

Reali opens shop in Los Angeles — yes, really

Real estate technology startup Reali moved into Los Angeles this week, rounding off its coverage in major California markets. The company offers a blend of concierge-like services and AI-powered tools to home buyers and sellers, and has seen rapid growth since launching in 2016. Reali’s most recent expansion into the Los Angeles Metropolitan Area is fueled by an infusion of Series B funding ($20 million to be precise) back in July of this year. [Press release]

 

Snapchat makes registration easier
photo via shutterfly

Snapchat reminds users to get out and vote

Tech juggernaut Snap is throwing its weight behind voter registration efforts — and so far, so good. Snap told the New York Times that they helped 418,000 users register to vote in a two week test, most of whom live in battleground states. Snap aims to improve young voter turnout, that trickiest of civic demographics, by providing easy access to online registration sites and encouraging youngin’s to get out to the polls. Whatever happens next, odds are we can all look forward to a new batch of election day Snapchat filters. [The Verge]

 

Next 10's new round of creators
photo via shutterfly

Next 10 Ventures plans to back your kid’s next favorite Youtube star

Next 10 Ventures is launching a new incubator to support emerging video creators. Just one rule — the videos have to be educational. Their EduCreator Incubator will seed between 25 and 40 new artists who specialize in video content for children and young adults. As well as funding, participants will participate in a year-long mentorship program and jointly share in the revenue from their content. The incubator’s leadership team includes Benjamin Grubbs, who spearheaded creator partnerships at Youtube, as well as Paul Condolora, the former co-head of Warner Bros’ Harry Potter franchise. [Tech Crunch]

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