NEWS: SoCal Funding Roundup, June 8-12, 2020: Tech Coast Angels OC and LA, Headspace, Wave, Riot Games, Grow Credit, Cue Health, Versant Ventures, Lycia Therapeutics

Here are startups throughout SoCal that announced receiving investments this week, June 8-12, 2020. And, those that opened up new rounds or extensions. And, entities that made investments.

The biggest was a $100M investment in an SD startup. See below…

Orange County (agtech): The Tech Coast Angels OC 20 Fund invested an undisclosed amount in Agtools, which created a database and analytics platform for agricultural commodities. This platform was designed to help manage market volatility, increase profitability and reduce food waste.

The Agtools platform handles data mining of more than 500 commodities, with over 100 million-plus records of market data.

This data serves industries like retail/food service buyers, bankers, logistics and insurance so they can forecast more accurately to avoid food waste.

This is the fifth investement by the TCA OC Fund 20. TCA OC is led by David Friedman.

(from LinkedIn)


Los Angeles (new fund): The LA chapter of Tech Coast Angels announced its first members-only fund. The amount of the fund, to start, has not been disclosed.

(from a press release)


Los Angeles (meditation): Meditation app provider Headspace, with HQ in Santa Monica, has raised more than $47 million in an equity funding round, according to a regulatory filing by the company, filed this week. The funding – an extension of its Series C funding – was announced at the Snap Partner Summit. According to the filing, the funding came from 10 different investors.

(from SoCalTech)


Los Angeles (VR concerts): Wave, which develops software and hardware to enable live concerts, that can be viewed via VR, has raised $30 million in a Series B funding round.

The funding was led by Maveron Ventures and Griffin Gaming Partners, and also included angels Alex Rodriguez and Scooter Braun.

(From SoCalTech)


Los Angeles (minorities and civil rights organizations – catalyzed by the death of George Floyd): Riot Games is looking to help patch up rocky race relationships in the U.S., announcing that it will invest $10 million in minority-owned game studios, in addition to providing $1 million to the Innocence Project and the ACLU, via is Social Impact Fund.

The donations are among a number being made by video game companies, including $1 million from Zynga and $1 mlilion from Electronic Arts to a number of organizations supporting minority causes. R

Riot Games’ said “Providing opportunities to those who otherwise may not have access involves ensuring we are supporting and championing the growth of minorities in the gaming and tech industries.”

(From SoCalTech)


Los Angeles (credit): Grow Credit, a Santa Monica startup, which helps people establish credit by paying for subscriptions to services such as Netflix, Disney Plus, and Spotify, has raised $2 million in a seed funding round.

The funding came from Mucker Labs.

The startup, led by Joe Bayen, has a virtual Mastercard which lets users pay for services.

(from SoCalTech)


San Diego (molecular testing): Cue Health, a developer of rapid molecular testing products, has raised $100 million in a Series C funding round.

The funding came from Decheng Capital, Foresite Capital, Madrone Capital Partners, Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, ACME Capital and other investment firms, according to the company.

Cue Health’s testing products are for use in nursing homes, emergency departments and community health clinics.

The company said financing will go towards complete development, validation, and scale-up of manufacturing of the Cue Health Monitoring System and Cue Test Cartridges.

The company’s products include a molecular test for COVID-19, which is currently under review by the FDA for an Emergency Use Authorization.


San Diego (therapeutics): Versant Ventures launched a new company and invested $50 million in it. The startup, Lycia Therapeutics, was hatched out Versant’s Inception Discovery Engine incubator.

According to Versant Ventures, Lycia Therapeutics will use the funding to develop lysosomal targeting chimeras, or LYTACs, as therapeutics for a broad set of currently intractable cell surface targets.

Versant first began work on what evolved into Lycia last year, in collaboration with Carolyn Bertozzi, professor of chemistry and an investigator at Stanford University.

As part of the funding and announcement of the company, Versant said it has named Aetna Wun Trombley as CEO of Lycia Therapeutics, which will have its HQ in San Francisco.

(From SoCalTech)


If I’ve missed anything, please let me know – Thanks!

About The Author

Deirdre Newman is a long-time journalist, who's covered OC startups for a few years.

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