No more talk please of Silicon Beach’s burgeoning tech scene.
After all, L.A. tech has been vibrant for quite some time. But perhaps it took some massive deals and high-profile controversies for others to finally acknowledge the region’s place in the tech landscape.
That’s exactly what 2014 brought.
The Los Angeles Business Journal has been the first on the scene to feature emerging entrepreneurs, track startups’ explosive growth and investigate local tech trends. Take a look at some of our favorite stories from this year.
Launchpad LA decided to switch up its incubation model, one that had been dubbed as the best accelerator in Southern California, by not offering free office space for its next batch of startups. The tech accelerator finally closed the doors to its Santa Monica office in December. The space is now occupied by General Assembly.
Silicon Valley VC firms started to show confidence in Los Angeles and move more money south. The first half of 2014 saw a number of firms go public or get acquired, a trend that culminated in Beats Electronics’ $3 billion exit to Apple. L.A. tech also saw bigger funding rounds driven by Bay Area money.
UberFacts founder Kris Sanchez joined Twitter five years ago to follow pop star Britney Spears. The now 23-year-old turned his account into a multi-million dollar business by tweeting interesting facts to millions of followers. His app, which launched this year, was projected to generate $3 million in annual ad revenue.
Walt Disney Co. announced the first graduating class of its Disney Accelerator, marking Hollywood’s willingness to invest in entertainment and media startups. An in-house accelerator also gave the Burbank studio first pick on emerging tech. In the end, all 10 graduates scored deals with a Disney division.
Los Angeles became the country’s capital for content creation after big multichannel networks Maker Studios and Fullscreen saw huge exits. We reported that fashion and beauty network StyleHaul would be the next smart buy given its potential for easy e-commerce collaborations with brands. A week later, StyleHaul was acquired by investor RTL Group.
Los Angeles saw a trend of foreign-born entrepreneurs setting up shop due to its relaxed startup culture and vast media network and resources. An increased number of networking events, accelerator programs and funding rounds also helped make Los Angeles the number one destination for entertainment and media startups.
2014’s Biggest Headlines
Walt Disney Co. buys Maker Studios for upward of $950 million.
Rubicon Project goes public.
TrueCar goes public.
Apple acquires Beats Electronics for $3 billion.
Internet Brands is picked up for $1.1 billion.
Tinder is hit with a sexual harassment and discrimination suit.
Conversant is acquired for $2.3 billion.
Fullscreen sells a majority stake to AT&T and Chernin Group’s joint venture Otter Media.
L.A. County is declared to have the most high-tech jobs in the country.
Whisper is accused of tracking users’ locations.
StyleHaul is acquired for $107 million.
Tinder's chief executive Sean Rad is out.
Viddy shuts down.
Snapchat launches Snapcash.
Upfront Ventures raises $280 million fund.
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