Hard Core Tech in Los Angeles


gravity logoMichael Carney of Pando Daily reports, "The last few years have been good to the Los Angeles tech scene, with more money, more talent, and more recognition coming to the community… After explaining why the critical infrastructure elements and culture of entrepreneurship have reached a critical mass that has never been the case before, the response tends to be one of qualification: “But LA doesn’t build real technology.” I believe this comes partially from the basic human need to categorize and explain things. In LA, that can be difficult, because the market is as diverse as any in the world… It’s a myth that LA doesn’t build hardcore technology, but to set the record straight, below are seven venture-backed LA companies of various sizes and stages with talented engineering teams building 'deep tech'."

Carney points to Gravity: "Gravity is a four-year-old big data startup located in Santa Monica’s Main St. corridor with applications in the personalization of online content. Led by co-founder and CTO Jim Benedetto, who was formerly the SVP of Technology at MySpace, the company has assembled a 27 person team heavily weighted toward engineering and data science. Gravity uses semantic analysis and machine learning to build personalized interest graphs for users across its network of premium publishers, ecommerce retailers, and other consumer facing properties. The technology is used to optimize the delivery of both content and advertising to drive user engagement and user retention."

Another example is Factual: "Founded by former Applied Semantics co-founder Gil Elbaz, Factual has hardcore engineering in its DNA. The six-year-old company based in Century City (but moving to Culver City in 2014) is one of the original 'big data' startups with the mission of structuring the world’s data around places, products, and other categories. Factual relies on its team of more than 70 employees, the bulk of which are engineers and data scientists, to ingest massive amounts of unstructured data and make sense of it for use by clients like Foursquare, Yelp, LivingSocial, SimpleGeo, and Trulia, as well as reportedly but not confirmed, Facebook and Google."

Read more here.

Image: Courtesy Gravity