As startup activity in Los Angeles heats up, venture capital firms and angel investors from outside the region have begun to take notice.
Some firms have taken to investing heavily in Silicon Beach companies. Subscription e-commerce site ShoeDazzle, for example, boasts Menlo Park investors Lightspeed Venture Partners and Andreessen Horowitz. Downtown L.A.’s Nasty Gal, meanwhile, has raised $49 million from Index Ventures’ San Francisco branch.
Other VC firms have established beachheads in Los Angeles. Chicago’s New World Ventures, for example, opened an L.A. branch a little more than a year ago.
New World Partner Matt McCall, who oversees the firm’s L.A. operations, said the firm had been investing in Los Angeles when, about two years ago, it began to notice a pickup in the number of companies opening in town and decided to establish a permanent presence.
“I’ve been coming out to Los Angeles for the last 10 to 12 years now and have seen the comings and goings of the ecosystem,” he said. “But I started to notice that things were changing. We’re right in the midst of a revolution occurring in new media and e-commerce.”
Joining New World in Los Angeles are some angel investment funds. Chris Sacca, for example, moved to town for personal reasons but has since announced plans for the Lowercase Stampede fund dedicated to L.A. investments.
Another notable Silicon Valley angel to move into town is David Lee, managing partner of SV Angel. Though he relocated to be closer to family and will continue working in San Francisco, it wouldn’t come as a surprise if his L.A. investments increased. Lee told tech blog PandoDaily that his portfolio includes some strong L.A. companies and that he hoped to add more to the list.
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