Launch House raises $12 million in Series A funding
Launch House, which runs mostly in-person month-long programs for entrepreneurs and other techies, has raised $12 million in Series A funding led by Andreessen Horowitz, with several angel investors also participating.
Why it matters: Launch House is betting that the pandemic driven dispersion of techies across the country has created opportunities to create local communities for entrepreneurs and others looking for peers.
The big picture: Since the firm's founders rented a house in Tulum, Mexico, during the pandemic to fight off social isolation, Launch House has formally become a company, raised $3 million in seed funding last summer, and expanded from Los Angeles to New York.
- Now it's also gearing up to debut a "metaverse" program, which will be entirely set in a virtual world.
- The company has been experimenting with Gather, a virtual workplace tool where the online program will take place. It also plans to eventually add all its members to it and also test other virtual spaces (after the in-person program, participants join its community social network and pay a monthly fee).
Between the lines: "The internet ... the metaverse is becoming a very tangible place where people are congregating," co-founder Brett Goldstein told Axios of the company's decision to go beyond its roots in group living.
- The founders also say that it's a way to make Launch House accessible to folks who may not be able (or want) to move to one of its houses.
- Still, Launch House is remains committed to its in-person programs and their rewards, even with the potential problems with managing group living situations.
Of note: While Launch House doesn't invest in companies as part of accepting founders into its programs, it does appear to be raising a venture capital fund to make some investments, per an SEC filing. (Goldstein and co-founder Michael Houck declined to comment on the document.)
- It also circulates weekly emails with dealflow to its own investors and others that are part of its network as one perk to its backers and participating entrepreneurs. The company says it also helps participants with other startup needs like hiring.