While Los Angeles has long been known as a prime locale for seed funding, the latest financial trends reveal that times are changing. Tinseltown is now becoming a place for startups to pursue more expansive venture capital funding, a distinction previously unique to the San Francisco Bay Area.
A look at performance statistics of LA venture capitalists offers some insight. California early-stage funder Amplify notes that within the last decade, LA startups have raised more than $35 billion, ranking second only to their Silicon Valley counterparts in a 10-year U.S. venture capital funding overview. According to Pitchbook, Los Angeles funders have now raised approximately $12 billion in venture capital from 627 funding efforts in 2019, landing fifth place in national ranking. Pitchbook noted one of the reasons for the emerging trend.
“Until recently, the city’s venture capitalists have been best known for seed rounds in a region that is home to only a few large firms. However, the local startup ecosystem has been maturing with the arrival of bigger VC funds and a growing presence of big tech companies seeking to capitalize on the world’s entertainment capital,” Eliza Haverstock said via Pitchbook.
Another reason is that funders with deeper pockets in search of greener pastures are establishing themselves on the LA funding scene. MaC Venture Capital, a firm that supports early-stage tech startups, is located in LA, at the nexus of technology, entertainment, and financial resources. According to Marlon Nichols — the firm’s managing general partner — when New York and San Francisco large-scale venture capitalists witness the success of LA seed funding, it makes them more likely to invest in those tech startups at a later stage.
“LA-based venture funds are now able to raise larger funds because of the success stories that have come out of LA. So, there is more capital to invest in the ecosystem,” Nichols said.
For this reason and for many others, affirmed Nichols, LA is on track to be a hub of venture capital.