Seed-stage companies in Los Angeles received a total of $369 million in funding in 2016, according to report from Venice tech accelerator Amplify.LA.
Health and wellness was the most funded sector, with $76.7 million raised across 37 seed deals. Media and entertainment firms raised the second-most amount of money, with $70.2 million from 36 deals.
Eric Pakravan, a senior associate at Amplify.LA, said the strength of the health and wellness category was not expected going into 2016, but the category quickly picked up steam.
“You’ve seen tech tackle so many other industries, and health and wellness is as an area people have been afraid to touch,” Pakravan said. “We’re seeing everything from health care devices, to emotional wellness to vitamins, not just strictly medical or biotech companies.”
The report is Amplify.LA’s first yearly examination of seed-stage funding in Los Angeles. It found that more than 250 unique investors participated in a total of 184 seed deals in L.A last year, said Pakravan. Of these investors, 40 percent were from Los Angeles.
“Ten years ago that wouldn’t have been the case,” Pakravan said. “We are seeing more investment coming from within L.A. and that is good for companies.”
The third quarter had the most seed funding, with about $100 million raised. The second quarter had the least amount of funding, with roughly $88 million raised.
The second and third quarters of the year had the most seed deals, with 49 deals announced in both periods. The fourth quarter had the fewest deals with 32.
Some notable deals included chatbot startup Sensay’s $4.5 million seed funding round. Women’s vitamin startup Ritual also raised $3.5 million.