Los Angeles Business Journal

Latest Class Presents at MuckerLab Demo Day

By Tom Dotan Wednesday, January 22, 2014

MuckerLab stands alone among the top tier accelerators in Los Angeles. While Launchpad and Amplify have done away with their demo days, the Santa Monica outfit co-founded by Erik Rannala is holding fast to the tradition.

But based on the number of people mingling about the Museum of Flying at the Santa Monica Airport you'd have no idea this rite of passage was on its way out.

Eight companies presented at today’s demo day, their official debut (or re-debut, in some cases) as well as public pitch to investors. Accelerators generally pride themselves on having a diverse set of companies, so it’s unfair to pick out a particular a theme across the group.

Broadly, though, this class largely came in the realm of enterprise tech. Of the eight, all but one featured services at least partially aimed at businesses.

Some have theorized that the rise of enterprise tech startups is a result of the so-called “Series A crunch,” a term describing dearth of companies getting funding after their seed rounds. Enterprise companies, the thinking goes, are more likely to produce revenue sooner and be more appealing to investors.

But 2013 was also a year in which consumer-facing businesses gained traction, from the successful public offering from Twitter to the huge valuations for messaging apps such as Snapchat.

Rannala began the day touting MuckerLab’s success since its founding in 2011. Eighteen startups have emerged from the program so far, raising $40 million in follow-up funding and creating 150 jobs.

The companies that presented at the demo day were:

  • BloomNation, a marketplace platform connecting local florists and shoppers.
  • Emailage, a tool that helps identify fraud risk associated with an email address.
  • LeaseLock, a rent guarantor that helps tenants sign leases without need for a co-signer.
  • ServiceTitan, a software that helps service providers (electricians, plumbers) manage and track customer requests.
  • ShopParity, a big data service that partners with e-commerce companies to boost customer retention and increase individual spends.
  • Spout, which has a technology that helps standardize communication among financial software programs.
  • Tapatalk, a social network connecting people based on similar interests and passions.
  • Verifico, a platform the connects individual and businesses and financial service providers.