The Los Angeles based early-stage fund, LayJax Ventures, has officially announced its investment in Extra (PoweredByExtra.com), the curated marketplace that connects high profile brands with the best hospitality spaces in the market. Extra helps brands seamlessly distribute across thousands of desirable spaces.
“LayJax has been game-changing for Extra. As our lead investor they have provided useful business advice, personal support and valuable guidance for me as a founder throughout the turbulent journey of building a business,” says Extra CEO and Co-Founder Genevieve Liston.
“We found that there are so many impactful ways that brands can utilize places like hotels and Airbnb. We wanted to build something that not only made it incredibly easy for both sides of the market to connect, but also enabled them to do it in a data-driven and customer-centric way.”
“Outside of helping grow with spot-on connections in both brand and hospitality, LayJax was able to help us bring together the ideal strategic round. As our lead they brought in the perfect strategic investors including a major international hotel and restaurant group, Crush Ventures (backed by LiveNation) and incredible brand building experts like Steven Izen from Lokai.”
LayJax Ventures is a unique fund due to the connections and network of its founders. “LayJax offered us introductions to other like-minded investors to fund our seed round. They had great connections within commercial real estate, which helped with our office lease negotiations. They also facilitated introductions to talent managers that they had personal relationships with, allowing us to get influencers to endorse the brand/product for 1/10th of the normal cost,” said Robbie Miller, Co-Founder & CEO of ZitSticka. “We’ve been able to use their investment to hire key talent that has helped build the brand into what it is today. We’ve also used the capital for content production and user acquisition spend, which resulted in high revenue growth and mass exposure to the US market, being noticed and welcomed as the next-gen acne treatment brand.”
LayJax Ventures was co-founded by Phil Haus and actor Zach Avery, who have been a welcomed resource for the founders they work with, particularly when it comes to business development and subsequent fundraising rounds. Haus’s daughter Layla and Avery’s son Jaxon were born 2 days apart, and thus LayJax was born with them.
LayJax Ventures boasts great variety within their portfolio, working with entrepreneurs in the fields of consumer goods, tech, fashion and now hospitality. Recently LJV funded Vizzario, the AI platform for visual evaluation. When asked what is it like working with LayJax, Founder and CEO Khizer Khaderi said, “Aside from being some of the most genuine people I have ever met, what stood out about Phil and Zach is their experience as successful entrepreneurs, their depth of knowledge across a wide variety of technologies and industries, and their commitment to helping their portfolio companies succeed through their actions and availability. A lot of venture funds consider themselves “founder-focused,” but few actually are. With LayJax, you don’t get investors, you get partners and friends that are committed to you and your success.”
“There is no shortage of seemingly promising investment opportunities when it comes to startups these days, but only a very small percentage of them will actually succeed. We understand how difficult it is to build a company and are thoughtful about which ones we get behind. We started LayJax because of a shared passion for the entrepreneurial grind and strive to back ventures, like Extra, that will make a positive impact and change the world for the better,” says Co-Founder Zach Avery.
“Zach and I have been through the emotional roller coaster of starting a business and have profound respect for the founding teams that we decide to partner with. We’ve been lucky to have met inspiring innovators with great ideas and look forward to helping them bring their visions to fruition,” says Co-Founder Phil Haus. “Gen and her team at Extra are building an exceptional platform, which we believe has the potential to transform many components of the hospitality sector that have become stale. The way Extra has combined a tech-first approach with substantive product curation is a story we’re thrilled to be a small part of.”
About LayJax: LayJax Ventures, founded by Phil Haus and Zach Avery, is a Los Angeles based early-stage fund. Prior to the formation of LJV Avery and Haus had been investing via multiple SPVs but decided to start their own fund due to a shared passion for early stage companies in particular. LayJax Ventures are active investors that both lead and follow in early stage rounds and oftentimes take a board seat. Average check size ranges from $100K-$500K; notable portfolio companies include Dream Pops, Bev, Mapify, Once Upon A Farm and more. They have made 15+ investments to-date.