United States

Los Angeles #6

We built a rock hard community, and seeing LA now, as one of the top startup cities in the world, is a testament to the power of community.

Cam Kashani
Cofounder and CEO at COACCEL: The Human Accelerator
#4 Global Ecosystem: Funding
Top 10 Global Ecosystem: Performance
#4 North American Ecosystem: Knowledge

Highlights

Long known more for movie magic than technology and overshadowed as a startup hub by Silicon Valley to the north, Los Angeles has shifted in recent years to become not just one of America’s top startup ecosystems, but a global hotspot as well. That shift has been partially driven by changes in taxation policy. Los Angeles has delivered more than $90 million in tax relief to local businesses since 2013, which has assisted with the growth in startups of all kinds. More than 212,000 new businesses have been licenced in the city over the last 5 years. Despite a tumultuous year Los Angeles companies managed to land $9 billion in VC funding in 2020. What sets the growing startup ecosystem in Los Angeles apart from many established tech hubs is its inclusivity. PledgeLA, an organization that includes more than 80 venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, mayor Eric Garcetti and the non-profit Annenberg Foundation, aims to increase diversity in the city’s tech scene. For instance, recognizing that a “friends and family round,” where wealthy personal contacts fund an entrepreneur’s earliest efforts, is often an impossibility for minority founders, PledgeLA set up a South LA Fund to distribute $25,000 each to 20 companies led by Black or LatinX founders. Los Angeles is also amongst the top 20 cities with the highest number of female-owned businesses, which average a gross annual revenue of between $1 billion to $5 billion.

Ecosystem by the numbers

TOTAL EARLY STAGE FUNDING
$5 bn
GLOBAL AVG.
$431 m
ECOSYSTEM VALUE
$119 bn
GLOBAL AVG.
$10.5 bn
MEDIAN SEED ROUND
$627 k
GLOBAL AVG.
$494 k
MEDIAN SERIES A ROUND
$5.2 m
GLOBAL AVG.
$2.7 m
SOFT. ENGINEER SALARY
$96 k
GLOBAL AVG.
$42.1 k

Sub-sector Strengths

Life Sciences

L.A. County receives more than $1.15 billion in NIH funding, more than any other county in California. Appia Bio, Inc., an early-stage biotechnology company developing engineered allogeneic cell therapies for cancer patients, emerged from stealth made in May 2021 backed by $52 million in Series A funding.

Gaming

Los Angeles based mobile gaming unicorn Scopely raised $340 million in Series E funding in October 2020 at a $3.3 billion valuation, nearly double the company's $1.7 billion valuation from March. Meanwhile, game studio Theorycraft Games raised a $37.5 million Series A round in March 2021, while fractional sports card trading startup Dibbs raised a $2.8 million seed round in October 2020.

Adtech

The pandemic made 2020 a rough year for advertising and Adtech everywhere, but with the end in sight, the sub-sector is now rebounding with 51% of digital advertisers planning to increase their ad budgets in 2021. Popcorn, an L.A.-based platform that connects brands and podcasters, was acquired for $14.6 million by Entercom Communications in March.

Reasons to move your startup to Los Angeles

Startup Ecosystem

Los Angeles boasts a vibrant network of local incubators and accelerators, including Bixel Exchange’s Startup Launch program for emerging startups and the Tech Talent Pipeline Program for underprivileged students. SAP Next-Gen supports startups aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Make in LA (MiLA) targets hardware startups and is housed at Toolbox LA, which boasts both maker spaces and a biotech lab. MuckerLab runs a mentor network and accelerator programme. Starburst is an aerospace accelerator with a branch in L.A.

Startup Community

Startup Genome
Partners

Bixel
Bixel Exchange
Cross Campus
Mucker Capital
WeWork

Get connected

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