21 LA Companies to Watch in 2021
Much to people’s surprise, 2020 proved to be an advantageous year for some businesses — especially in Los Angeles.
In fact, the City of Angels found itself floating on a whole lot of capital toward the year’s end. Funding rounds in October alone brought in a whopping $600 million, due in part to massive investor interest in local companies like TigerConnect, Output and Ordermark.
More recently, LA has also witnessed a rise in IPO activity, notably from actress Jessica Alba, who just announced her plans to make The Honest Company a publicly traded entity.
With so much transformation taking place across the LA tech scene, Built In LA is showcasing 21 local companies that boast immense potential. Keep reading to discover how tech companies throughout the city are sparking innovation across a wide range of sectors.
What they do: Airvet’s telemedicine platform connects pet parents with live and on-demand veterinarians. The company’s network of licensed vets are available 24/7 through the app for a flat $30 fee.
Why we’re watching: The startup, which announced last year it raised $14 million in a Series A round, plans to continue growing its Beverly Hills-based team.
What they do: Camera IQ allows organizations to create and publish augmented reality experiences to Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. Their tools are designed to make it easier for brands to scale their social campaigns, enabling them to choose from a library of customizable templates and shared asset libraries.
Why we’re watching: Last fall, the company announced it raised $5 million in a Series A round led by Shasta Ventures.
What they do: First Resonance’s hardware manufacturing platform is designed to enable engineers and technicians to improve speed, collaboration and visibility. Their software can be used to manage and optimize production workflows, improve design with real-time data, build a robust supply chain and more for air travel, autonomous vehicles, sustainable agriculture and clean energy.
Why we’re watching: Earlier this year, the startup announced it raised a $3.5 million round led by Blue Bear Capital, bringing the company’s total funding raised to $5.3 million. The company also declared its plans to double — or even triple — its headcount this year.
What they do: GreenPark Sports creates digital experiences for sports and esports fans. Their flagship product, a mobile game played in conjunction with sporting events, allows participants to prove themselves to be “the most valuable fans” of their league and season.
Why we’re watching: Last year, the startup announced it had formed a new partnership with the NBA and raised $14 million in a Series A funding round. Leadership said they planned to use the funds to further develop its platform and partner with other sports leagues.
What they do: Honeybee Health aims to bring transparent pricing to the pharmaceuticals industry. The company’s platform can be used to compare prescription drug prices and manufacturers and place an order online for delivery.
Why we’re watching: Since its inception, the Culver City-based startup has raised $10 million in funding. With its anti-middleman, transparent approach, the company has poised itself to become a major player within the retail pharmacy space.
What they do: Linktree aims to help people hold followers within their online ecosystem longer with its link-in-bio tool. The tool lets people point their followers to other social profiles, e-commerce stores or content, ultimately making their online presence more discoverable, easier to manage and more likely to convert.
Why we’re watching: The Melbourne-based startup recently announced it raised $45 million in a Series B round and plans to use the funds to grow its global employee base and technological offerings.
What they do: Maestro Interactive’s video platform enables organizations to deliver personalized livestreaming experiences. The company’s software serves clients in a wide range of industries including education, politics, esports and fashion.
Why we’re watching: Earlier this year, the company announced it raised $15 million in a Series B round, bringing their total funding raised to $22 million. They are also searching for fresh talent to fill open roles in engineering, marketing, project management and more.
What they do: Nok’s invite-only marketplace enables people to try high-end products at home for free. By offering free same-day delivery and return pickups, the company offers brands a simple way to reach consumers and make an impact.
Why we’re watching: The startup has raised $3.8 million in funding to date and is currently growing its team, with open roles in engineering, marketing, operations and more.
What they do: Outer is an outdoor furniture brand that focuses on sustainability and durability. The company boasts a network of neighborhood showrooms, which allow people to receive testimonies from real-life customers before making a purchase.
Why we’re watching: Earlier this year, the startup announced it secured $10.5 million in a Series A round led by Sequoia Capital China. The company is also hiring across the board, offering open roles spanning departments such as finance, HR, marketing and engineering.
What they do: PaymentCloud’s technology helps businesses secure credit card processing. The company aims to help merchants set up credit card processing payment solutions quickly, whether it’s a point-of-sale system or a QR code.
Why we’re watching: Last fall, the company announced its plans to acquire contactless payments startup Paysley, bolstering its status as a true fintech competitor.
What they do: Quantgene’s platform uses deep sequencing and AI to enable early disease detection. The company also offers a same-day COVID-19 testing solution.
Why we’re watching: Last year, the company released an at-home saliva test, which could reach a milestone in early cancer detection, if successful. Earlier this year, they also announced an extra $6 million raise in funding.
What they do: Quilt is an audio-based social network designed to help people support each other. People can use the company’s app to connect over a variety of topics, from relationships to mental health.
Why we’re watching: Earlier this year, the startup raised $3.5 million in funding to broaden its technological reach.
What they do: RepairSmith offers a no-contact delivery solution for car repair and maintenance. The company’s team of technicians are trained to tackle a wide range of common repair issues, from battery replacements to oil changes.
Why we’re watching: The organization, which offers its services across California and several other Western states, recently announced its plans to expand to Portland.
What they do: Roughly 80 percent of Americans live paycheck to paycheck and lack access to small, immediate funds. SoLo Funds wants to change that. The fintech startup allows people to access and supply short-term loans under $1,000, in addition to offering free financial literacy courses related to topics like budgeting and retirement.
Why we’re watching: Earlier this year, the company announced it raised $10 million in a Series A round led by ACME Capital, bringing its total funding raised to $12 million.
What they do: Sketchy’s platform helps medical students recall information through art, storytelling and the ancient Greek method of “loci.” By developing interconnected mental scenes, the company’s technology harnesses the power of visual-spatial learning to make it easier for students to recall complex concepts.
Why we’re watching: The edtech startup, which secured $30 million in funding, plans to build an in-house animation studio and expand its team. The company currently boasts open roles spanning data, engineering and operations.
What they do: Supernatural’s fitness VR app lets people take part in full-body cardio workouts in sync with their favorite music. The app allows users to choose from an array of workouts, music playlists and exotic backdrops.
Why we’re watching: The fitness startup is currently working on expanding its team, searching for new talent to fill a range of roles spanning departments like marketing, engineering and operations.
What they do: Steno provides a streamlined deferred-payment offering solution for deposition financing. In addition to court reporting, the company also offers remote deposition videoconferencing. The company’s platform can be used for remote depositions and bench trials, court reporting, hearings, videography and more.
Why we’re watching: In April, the legal tech startup announced it raised an $8 million Series A to support Steno’s national expansion efforts and meet rising market demand.
What they do: The Flex Company offers a sustainable and more comfortable alternative to mainstream period products. Their menstrual discs and cups are designed to be easy to use, leak-free and body-safe.
Why we’re watching: Since its inception, the femtech startup has raised $7.6 million in funding and acquired menstrual-cup competitor Keela LLC.
What they do: UNest has created a fintech app that helps parents save money for their kids’ futures. Parents can use their app to establish a monthly contribution plan, enable friends and family to contribute to their kids’ accounts and keep track of their savings.
Why we’re watching: Last year, the company announced it raised $9 million to expand its platform offerings and gained investor support from NBA all-star Baron Davis.
What they do: Wellth’s mobile app enables healthcare providers and employers to instill healthy habits in their patients and employees. Their platform is designed to address the obstacles that prevent people with chronic conditions from forming habits necessary for a healthy life.
Why we’re watching: Last year, the healthtech startup announced it secured $10 million in a Series A funding round. So far, the company has helped various network providers nationwide improve medication adherence in patients by up to 95 percent.
What they do: The bankruptcy claims trading market is currently defined by paper documentation, and XCLAIM wants to be the one to digitize it. The company’s platform enables creditors and advisors to settle bankruptcy claims for cash while allowing them to review claims in one place, explore opportunities to settle, compare competing offers and more.
Why we’re watching: Since its launch, the startup has raised $4.82 million in seed funding and is currently growing its team, with open roles related to marketing, operations and product.