April may not have brought any major funding shockwaves to Los Angeles, but it did provide a glimpse into the future of shopping.
Some of the top funding rounds this month went to companies transforming the shopping experience both behind the scenes and in storefronts. There were startups making it easier for you to return those ugly shoes, companies enabling two-day shipping across the country and one simplifying ID verification with facial recognition.
In total, tech companies in Los Angeles raised $42.8 million. Here are the top five funding rounds this month:
$12M, April 16
What they do: These days, when you buy something online, you want it now — or, at least in two days. Flowspace provides behind-the-scenes logistics services to digital retailers that keep us last-minute shoppers happy. E-commerce brands can use Flowspace to buy warehouse space, track inventory and fulfill shipments from a single portal to fulfill those two-day shipping demands.
The round: The on-demand logistics startup’s $12 million Series A will help the company accelerate growth and invest in its platform. Canvas Ventures led the round, with participation from 1984 Ventures, Y Combinator and Moment Ventures.
$11M, April 25
What they do: Happy Returns partners with retailers to make the worst part of online shopping — the returns — easier for customers. Founded in 2015, Happy Returns has more than 350 return bars in 63 metro areas and a line of in-store return kiosks where customers can easily return unwanted purchases to be shipped back to participating retailers in bulk.
The round: PayPal led the $11 million financing round. Happy Returns plans to work with the transaction giant to access its large network of merchants and expand its return services.
$8.8M, April 29
What they do: Specright helps companies like Fiji Water, the Wonderful Company and Cal-Organic manage their supply chains and increase efficiency. Through the company’s platform, companies are able to access data about their supply chains so that they can make informed decisions on packaging, raw materials, product volume and more.
The round: Specright plans to use its $8.8 million Series A funding round to grow its team from 30 to about 75 by 2020, and develop new features for its platform. Pritzker Group Venture Capital led the round with participation from previous investors Fika Ventures, Mucker Capital and Okapi Venture Capital.
$6M, April 2
What they do: Founded in 2015, Lucid Sight is an independent gaming studio that combines blockchain with games. The company’s offerings include MLB Champions and Crypto Space Commander, which both use its proprietary scarcity engine to authentically generate digital scarcity within its games.
The round: Lucid Sight’s $6 million funding round will help the company grow its 25-person team and partner with other developers to integrate its scarcity engine into their games. The round included investments from Galaxy EOS VC Fund and Digital Currency Group, along with several existing shareholders.
$5M, April 17
What they do: PopID partners with consumers and retailers to do away with cumbersome keycards, easily stolen passwords and complicated pass codes when it comes to identity verification. Instead, the company’s payment processing portals use facial recognition software to streamline secure transactions.
The round: PopID plans to use its $5 million Series A funding round to bring its platform to some of the largest restaurant brands and franchise operators. Cali Group led the round, along with investments from Stoner’s Pizza Joint, Park Burger and Bird Call, among others.