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Apple Launches Apple Creative Studios In LA

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Apple said on Tuesday afternoon that it is launching a new effort in Los Angeles called Apple Creative Studios, which will help provide career-building mentorship, professional industry skills training, creative resources, and access to Apple's full product lineup of iPhone, iPad, and Macs to underrepresented communities. According to Apple, the new program will include eight to 12 weeks of programming and access to mentors.

Donut Bites Down On $2M In Funding

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A new, Los Angeles-based startup, Donut, said today that it has raised $2M in a funding round. The funding came from Redalpine, Inventures, angel Robert Leshner (Compound), Entrepreneur First, and theowners of the Washington Nationals baseball team. According to the company, the new round brings its total raised to $3.8M. Donut is working on decentralized finance tools, including a set of banking tools built on the Ethereum. The company's founder is Neel Popat.

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Phonexa Debuts New Products

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Glendale-based software company Phonexa said this morning that it has launched a new suite of software which provides click tracking, suppression list management, and cloud phone services. According to the company, the additional software complements its existing call tracking and distribution, lead tracking and distribution, email and SMS marketing, and automated accounting products. Phonexa says it offers up all of its software beginning at $100 a month.

VideoAmp Names Chief Product Officer

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Los Angeles-based VideoAmp, which provides video measurement software for the advertising industry, said today that it has named Cameron Meierhoefer as Chief Product Officer. Meierhoefer was previously CEO of SignalFrame, and also had been COO of Comscore, where he spent more than 17 years.

Can You Ask for Office Rent Relief? How to Manage Your Lease During COVID-19

Office leases are one of companies’ largest expenses, and if your whole team is working from home with no clear end in sight, you may be wondering what to do about your lease.

Elon Musk's Boring Company Looks Towards Freight Tunnels

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Elon Musk and his tunnel drilling company, The Boring Company, appears to be pitching the idea of using its tunnels for freight, according to pitch materials leaked from the company. According to Bloomberg, The Boring Company is now pitching wide tunnels, 21 feet across, which would be able to move two shipping containers side-by-side, with battery-powered freight carriers.

FaceCake Rolls Out Virtual Dream Closets

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Los Angeles-based FaceCake, a developer of augmented reality shopping software, says it has launched a new product which allows its users to create and build a "dream closet" filled with both items they own and aspire to own. According to the company, the software allows consumers to add products from their favorite brands, retailers and influencers, virtually try them on, share them with friends, and buy single pieces or complete looks. FaceCake is led by founder and CEO Linda Smith.

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FitSwoop Launches New Wellness Booking App

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A new, Los Angeles-based startup, FitSwoop announced this morning that it has launched a new, health and wellness experience booking app. According to the company, its new app provides users access to fitness studios and wellness centers. The company says its new app is free to download and use. The startup was founded by Madeline Wolkove, who the company said spent 20 years at such companies as Nestle and Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company, with its CEO being Susie R.

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Interview with Alex Nocifera, Field Day

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How do you reinvent your startup-focused on in-person, grass roots marketing-in the face of a global pandemic? Our interview this morning is with Alex Nocifera of Los Angeles-based Field Day. Alex tells us about how the startup had to reinvent itself during the pandemic, and how it's now taking advantage of the resurgence of the economy to build its business. What is Field Day?

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MuckerLab Opens 2021 Accelerator Program Applications

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Los Angeles-based startup accelerator and investor MuckerLab has opened up programs for its 2021 program, according to the accelerator. According to MuckerLab, applications for its Summer program are due by Tuesday, July 6th at 11:59pm. MuckerLab says it invests between $100,000 and $200,000 in companies in its accelerator program, with follow-on capital available over the lifespan of its investment.

CalAmp Powers Telematics For SERES 3 Electric Car

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Irvine-based asset tracking technology developer CalAmp--which owns the LoJack brand--says it is powering a new mobile telematics feature for the new SERES 3 electric SUV being distributed in Italy by the Koelliker Group. The company said all SERES 3 C-SUV electric vehicles, recently launched by Koelliker, will be pre-installed with LoJack Connect cutting-edge connected car intelligence and services. Financial details of the deal were not announced.

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Songtradr Scores $50M More

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Los Angeles-based Songtradr, an online marketplace for licensed music, has raised $50M in its Series D funding round, the company announced this morning. The funding came from Regal, Aware Super, Perennial, Argo and Greencape. The company says it now has raised more than $100M. Songtradr is led by CEO Paul Wiltshire. songtradr venture capital licensed music marketplace content hollywood

LENZ Therapeutics Takes $47M In Series A For Vision Correcting Eye Drops

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San Diego-based biopharmaceuticals developer LENZ Therapeutics, a biopharmaceuticals firm which is developing an eye drop which helps treat presbyopia, has raised $47M in a Series A funding round. The company said the funding came from Versant Ventures and RA Capital Management. The company said when its eye drops are used, patient show "rapid and long-lasting" improvements in near vision, with 53% of patients showed three lines or more of reading improvement and 81% showed two lines or more.

Formative Finds $70M In Series A

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Santa Monica-based Formative, a developer of software used by K-12 teachers to assign and track homework assignments, has raised $70M in a Series A funding, the company said today. The funding was led by Summit Partners, and also included Emerson Collective, Fika Ventures, Mac Ventures and Rethink Education. The new funding round brings the company's funding up to around $77M. Formative's founders are Craig Jones (CEO) and kevin McFarland (COO).

Cyvatar Takes $9M In Series A For Cybersecurity Efforts

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Irvine-based Cyvatar, a startup which provides cybersecurity-as-a-service, has raised $9M as part of its Series A round, the company said this week. The company said the funding brings its total funding to $12M, all raised in the last eight months. The company said the funding was led by ATX Venture Partners, and also included CORTEC, one of its customers, and Bill Wood Ventures. The company said its service is available for organizations of any size and any level of cybersecurity expertise.

EVCS Signs LA Fitness On EV Fast Charger Deployment, Seeks Funding

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Arcadia-based EVCS, an operator of an electric vehicle (EV) fast charging network, says it has signed a deal with Fitness International, LLC, the owner of LA Fitness, to install EV fast chargers at a number of its fitness centers. Financial details of the deal were not announced, and EVCS did not say how many fitness centers it will be installing its fast chargers at. The deal includes both LA Fitness and Esporta Fitness centers, and includes a revenue sharing deal on charging.

In-Charge Energy Rolls Out Commercial EV Charging System

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Santa Monica-based In-Charge Energy said on Thursday that it has introduced a set of new hardware products for commercial, electric vehicle (EV) charging. According to the company, its In-Charge Energy DC Wall Box Pedestal works with 24kW ABB Terra DC chargers, and offers up a solution for fleet applications where walal mounting is not practical.

Yardi Donates $1.3M To Hospitals In India

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According to Santa Barbara-based Yardi, it is donating $1.3M to hospitals in India, to help them in their battle against the ongoing pandemic. India--which officially has more than 380,000 deaths from COVID-19, with actual deaths potentially several times that--has suffered acute supply shortages in recent months as cases surged in the country. According to Yardi, it has 1700 employees in Pune, India, with many staff personally impacted by the COVID-19 surge in that country.

Former Avast CEO Steckler Dies Unexpectedly In Irvine

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Vince Steckler, the former CEO of cybersecurity software developer Avast, has unexpectedly died in a car accident in Irvine, according to the software developer. According to Avast, Steckler passed away in a tragic car accident in Irvine, California, on June 15, 2021, at the age of 62. Steckler was active in the Orange County community, having recently donated $10.4M

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Snapchat Drops Speed Filter

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Venice-based Snap, the parent company of Snapchat, has pulled a controversial filter, which had been accused of encouraging reckless driving. The "speed filter" had allowed users to capture how fast they were moving. The company has faced a number of lawsuits from families of users who had been injured or killed in car crashes, claiming the filter had resulted in those accidents. snap snapchat filter speed lawsuit accidents

Alliance For SoCal Innovation Aims To Connect Startups, Venture Capital

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The Alliance for Southern California Innovation said on Thursday that it is launching a new program, the SoCal Venture Pipeline. According to the company, the new program will provide companies that have demonstrated clear market traction and provides targeted introductions to venture funds. The program is being funded by Silicon Valley Bank, with additional program support from Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati and KPPB, LP.

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Canoo Plans EV Factory in Oklahoma

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Los Angeles-based Canoo, which is developing electric vehicles, says it plans to build a factory in Oklahoma. The company says it expects to employ up to 2000 workers at the location. The plans were disclosed in a presentation to investors by Canoo CEO Tony Aquila. Canoo--which has yet to deliver any vehicles--recently went public via a merger with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC). The company said the factory is expected to open in 2023.

Tyvak Satellite Starts Delivering Images

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Irvine-based satellite developer Tyvak said this morning tht its Tyvak-0130 satellite has been successfully been delivering thousands of images taken from orbit. According to the company, the satellite--launched as a rideshare on May 15th on a SpaceX Starlink mission--the company has completed in-orbit system checkout and commissioning of its Tyvak-0130 satellite, and has transmitted over 4,000 pictures back to earth.

Viasat Wins Install Deal With Flexjet

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Carlsbad-based satellite communications systems and services provider Viasat has scored a win with fractional private jet travel provider Flexjet. according to the two, Viasat will install its in-flight connectivity systems on Flexjet's Bombardier Global, Gulfstream G450, G650 Fleets and Embraer Praetor 600 Aircraft. Finncial details of the partnership were not announced.

Clearlake Capital Buys Confluence Technologies

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Santa Monica-based private equity investor Clearlake Capital said this morning that it is acquiring Confluence Technologies, a developer of software which is used by the investment industry to automate business processes at asset managers and service providers. Financial details of the acquisition were not announced. Confluence Technologies was owned by another private equity investor, TA Associates.

Hydrosat Scores $5M

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Hydrosat, a space startup which got its start out of the Techstars Starburst Space Accelerator in Los Angeles, has raised $5M in a funding round, the company disclosed this morning. The funding was led by Cultivation Capital's Geospatial Technologies Fund, and also included Freeflow Ventures, the Yield Lab, Expon Capital, Techstars, Industrious Ventures, Synovia Capital, and the University of Michigan.

Lead Edge Capital Raises $150M Fund

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Santa Barbara- and New York-based Lead Edge Capital, a private equity investor which focuses on growth stage investments in technology companies, said on Wednesday that it has raised $150M in a new fund. According to the company, the new fund will be used for public equity investments. Lead Edge Capital said the new fund brings the company's total capital under management to over $3 billion. Lead Edge Capital said the new fund came from both new and existing limited partners.

Romeo Power Sets CFO, Accounting Chiefs

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Los Angeles-based electric powertrain developer Romeo Power announced this moring that it has named two new executives. The company said it has named Kerry A. Shiba as Chief Financial Officer, and appointed Yun Han as Chief Accounting Officer. Current CFO Lauren Webb is shift ing to become Chief Strategy and Commercial Officer. Shiba was previously CFO at Wesco Aircraft Holdings, and also served at similar roles at Superior Industries International, Inc. NYSE: SUP), Remy International, Inc.

RayzeBio Snags $108M for Cancer Drug Efforts

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San Diego-based RayzeBio, a pharmaceuticals company which says it is developing targeted radiopharmaceutical drugs for cancer, has raised $108M in its Series C funding. The company said it has now raised a total of $258M.

Cloudbreak Health Merges With UpHealth, Now On NYSE

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Los Angeles-based telehealth provider Cloudbreak Health has merged with Uphealth, Inc. and UpHealth Holdings, Inc., and is now trading on the NYSE as UPH, the company announced this morning. Financial details of the merger were not announced. According to the companies, Cloudbreak will now be known as Cloudbreak Health, an UpHealth company. Cloudbreak Health was backed by Kayne Partners.

SureCo Buys Tembi Health

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Santa Ana-based SureCo, a provider of healthcare programs, said this morning that it has acquired Tembi Telehealth, a provider of a telemedicine network and platform. Financial details of the acquisition were not announced. Steven Richardson, the CEO of Tembi, joins SureCo as Chief Population Health Officer. Matthew Kim is CEO of SureCo. Tembi Health provides telemedcine services for physicians. sureco tembi health merger acquisition healthcare telehealth

MomentFeed Acquired By Uberall

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Los Angeles-based MomentFeed, which develops location-based services and location marketing software for bricks and mortar retailers to better manage information on their locations, hours, and other information, has been acquired by Uberall, a Berlin-based provider of marketing software. Financial details of the acquisition of MomentFeed were not announced. According to Uberall, the acquisition was made as part of a $115M investment from Bregal Milestone, Level Equity, and United Internet.

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ClickUp Expanding In San Diego

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San Diego-based productivity software developer ClickUp said this week that it is expanding in San Diego. According to the company, it is expanding in DivcoWest's DiamondView Tower. The company said the expansion comes after it doubled its workforce last year and plans to double headcount again over the next year. The company says it will take two full floors in the tower, and also will gain signage over Petco Park.

Heliogen Gets $108M For Concentrated Solar

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Pasadena-based Heliogen, which is deeloping concentrated solar power technology, has raised $108M in two funding rounds, the company said on Tuesday. The company--which already has backing from Bill Gates--said the funding was led by steel producer ArcelorMittal, and also included Edison International, Prime Movers Lab, Ocgrow Ventures, A.T. Gekko, ESG Venture Capital, 8090 Partners, Gordon Crawford, and Rashaun Williams.

IKEA, Sonos Roll Out New Wi-Fi Speaker That Doubles As Wall Art

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IKEA and Goleta-based Sonos have rolled out a new, Wi-Fi speaker collaboration, which turns a Sonos speaker into a piece of wall art. The new SYMFONISK picture frame isa vailable in black or white along with interchangeable fronts from IKEA that offer a variety of artwork options. Consumers are not able to put their own art on the speaker at the moment. symfonisk wifi ikea sonos speaker audio hardware equipment

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Camino Financial Expands Exec Team

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Los Angeles-based fintech startup Camino Financial said today that it is expanding its management team, and has named Aram Gushchyan as Director of Growth and Roxane Herrera as Director of Corporate Development. Camino Financial's biggest backer is Mexican financial services company Credito Real, which led an investment in the company in 2019. Guschchyan previously was Director of Marketing and Analytics at Go.

Triller Eyes Public Markets Via Direct Listing

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Los Angeles-based TrillerNet, the parent company of social media app Triller, is now looking at hitting the public markets via a direct listing, according to Reuters. Reuters, citing "people familiar with the matter" said Triller is looking to line up investors to raise $500M ahead of that direct listing, hoping to value to the company at more than $5 billion. Triller competes directly against TikTok.

Yardi Acquires We Are Forge For Visitor Management

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Santa Barbara-based property management software developer Yardi announced today that it has acquired We Are Forge Ltd., a Bristol, UK-based software company which focuses on vivistor management and smart access control for the real estate market. We Are Forge Ltd. sells its products into the office, retail, industrial, flexible workspace and the education sectors. Financial details of the acquisition were not announced.

Virgin Orbit Plans To Go Public Via SPAC

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Mojave-based Virgin Orbit, which is developing space launch technology which uses a modified 747 to send rockets into space, is planning to go public via a merger with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC). According to UK publication Sky, Sir Richard Branson is in the midst of "advanced talks" to take Virgin Orbit public via a merger with NextGen Acquisition II. The deal would reportedly value Virgin Orbit at approximately $3 billion.

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ecoATM Gazelle Gets $75M In Growth Capital

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San Diego-based ecoATM said on Monday that it has raised $75M in a growth equity round. The funding came from existing investor Cowen Sustainable Advisors. According to the company, the funding will go to accelerate the company's global expansion and support product extensions. The company said the investment includes building and deploying thousands more of its automated retail fulfillment kiosks in the US, Europe, and Asia. ecoATM is led by CEO Dave Maquera.

GAN Names New Board Member

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Irvine-based GAN Limited, a publicly traded company which provides Internet gaming software for the online sports betting and related industries, has named a new board member. The company said it has added Susan Bracey to its board of directors. Bracey was most recently EVP and Chief Financial Officer of Village Roadshow Entertainment Group, and also served as Chief Financial Officer of Youbet.com, before its sale to Churchill Downs.

Yucaipa To Take SIGNA Sports United Public Via SPAC

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Private equity investment company Yucaipa, led by Ron Burkle, is taking a German online bike retailer SIGNA Sports United public via an Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC) acquisition, the two said last week. Yucaipa Acquisition Corporation, which trades on the NYSE as YAC, will acquire SIGNA Sports United in a deal which values SIGNA Sports United at $3.2 billion.

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indie Semiconductor Goes Public Via SPAC

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Aliso Viejo-based Indie Semiconductor, a developer of automotive semiconductors and software focused on edge sensors for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems including LiDAR, connected car, user experience and other areas, has gone public via an acquisition via a special purpose acquisition company( SPAC). According to indie Semiconductor and SPAC Thunder Bridge Acquisition II, Ltd., the two completed their business combination last week. indie started trading on the Nasdaq on June 11th as INDI.