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Illumina Accelerator Backs Seven Startups

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San Diego-based life sciences giant Illumina says it has made investments in seven startups, as part of its accelerator program, the Illumina Accelerator. The company said that the investments were made as part of two different programs, the Illumina Accelerator Cambridge, UK, and the Illumina Accelerator San Francisco Bay Area. Illumina's startup efforts are led by Amanda Cashin, PhD, co-founder and Global Head of Illumina For Startups.

GreenPower Delivers First Electric Bus

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Los Angeles-based zero-emissions heavy-duty vehicle company GreenPower Motor Company has delivered its first, all-electric school bus to a district in Santa Maria, according to the company. According to the company, its first BEAST school bus was just delivered to the Santa Maria Joint Union High School District. The company said the new school bus is an all-electric, 40-foot battery powered electric school bus with a range of up to 150 miles; the bus can seat up to 90 passengers.

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Omaze Takes $85M For Nonprofit Fundraising

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Culver City-based Omaze, which operates an online platform to help nonprofits raise money, said last week that it raised $85M in a Series C funding round. The company is led by co-founder and CEO Matt Pohlson. Lead investor in the funding round was Moore Strategic Ventures, and the funding also included FirstMark Capital, Wndrco, Telstra Ventures, Causeway Media Partners, Mockingbird Ventures, BDMI, Pegasus Ventures, plus angel investors Bono, Kerry Washington, Tom Brady and Alexis Ohanian.

ServiceTitan Boosts Board

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Los Angeles-based software developer ServiceTitan, which develops software used by tradespeople to manage their business, has bolstered its board, in a hint of an eye on an exit. The company said it added Diya Jolly, Chief Product Officer at Okta, and Sameer Dholakia, Former CEO of SendGrid to its board of directors, and also said it recently crossed $250M in ARR, with over 1,600 employees and 7,500 customers.

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.

Savyint Snags $130M For Identity Management

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Los Angeles-based Savyint, which develops identity and access management software for the enterprise market, has raised $130M in a new financing, according to the company. The new funding came from HPS Investment Partners and PNC Bank. The company says it has now raised $170M in total capital. The company said it will use the funding to grow its investments in R&D and personnel. Savyint is led by CEO Amit Saha.

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858 Therapeutics Exits Stealth Mode With $60M Funding

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San Diego-based 858 Therapeutics, a biotech startup focused on small molecules, has exited stealth mode and announced a $60M, Series A funding. According to the company, the funding was led by founding investor Versant Ventures, with participation from NEA, Cormorant Asset Management and Logos Capital. The startup said it is developing a portfolio of small molecules directed against novel therapeutic targets in oncology, including proteins that regulate RNA and the innate immune response.

CreatorIQ Acquires Tribe Dynamics

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Los Angeles-based influencer marketing company CreatorIQ announced this morning that it it has acquired Tribe Dynamics, a developer of marketing analytics software. Financial details of the acquisition were not announced. CreatorIQ said the buy will create a company with over 450 customers, 250 employees, and $90 million in funding. Igor Vaks is founder and CEO of CreatorIQ.

BayWa r.e. Supports Hurricane Ida Relief

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Irvine-based renewable energy developer BayWa r.e. said this week that it has donated $20,000 to the Footprint Project, a nonprofit which is deploying solar power trailers and portable charging stations into Louisiana to help with Hurricane Ida relief. According to the renewable energy developer, the donation comes as a result of the cancellation of a big trade industry show, Solar Power International, which was to be held in New Orleans.

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Bird Links With Local Bike Sharing Services In LA, Elsewhere

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Santa Monica-based micro mobility provider Bird announced this morning that it has begun offering up integration between its app and local bikeshare services in Los Angeles, as well as Oslo, Austin, San Antonio, and Milkwaukee. According to Bird, it will feature bicycles available in LA's Metro Bike program directly in its app.

Just Insure Picks Up $8M

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Los Angeles-based Just Insure, which offers up a pay-per-mile auto insurance service that uses telematics to offer lower rates to safe drivers, has raised $8M in a funding round, the company said on Tuesday. The funding came from CrossCut Ventures, ManchesterStory and Western Technology Investments. The company said the new funding round brings its total raised to $15.3M.

Acrew Adds Richard Wolpert As Venture Partner

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Acrew Capital, a Bay Area venture capital investor, said this morning that it has added longtime Los Angeles venture investor Richard Wolpert as a Venture Partner at the firm. Wolpert spent the last 16 years as a venture partner at Accel, has his own seed investment fund, Chance Technologies, and has made investments in such companies as Scopely, Replicated, The Immortals, Snap Credit, SteadyMD, inVia Robotics, Volley, Looped Live, Scener, and Lunar Crush, as well as Bridg (acq.

Interview with Richard Wolpert, Acrew Capital

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Our interview this morning is with Richard Wolpert, a longtime Los Angeles venture and angel investor. Wolpert has been at Accel Partners as a Venture Partner, in addition to being involved with such efforts as Amplify LA, his own startup, HelloTech, and hundreds of angel deals. We spoke to him about his move to Acrew Capital (wwww.acrewcapital.com), and got some of his thoughts on how best to get a funding deal done. Tell us about how you ended up joining this new fund?

EVgo Launches Rewards Program

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Los Angeles-based electric vehicle charging network operator EVgo says it has launched a new, customer loyalty program, called EVgo Rewards. According to the company, its program allows EV drivers to earn points towards free fast charging sessions. Members receive five points for every dollar they spend charging their car with EVgo, and have the opportunity to get extra points for liking and sharing EVgo's social posts, by visiting the EVgo Rewards website, and other activities.

LA Clippers Link With Intuit For Naming Rights On New Intuit Dome

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The LA Clippers said on Friday that they are partnering with software developer Intuit, which develops the popular financial software packages and services TurboTax, QuickBooks, Credit Karma and Mint, on naming rights to its future home. According to the two, they are in a 23-year strategic partnership which will make the Intuit Dome the future home of the Clippers. The new location is expected to open in Inglewood for the 2024-2025 NBA season.

9am.health Snags $3.7M

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San Diego-based 9am.health, a startup that offers up a virtual diabetes clinic, to provide care to those living with diabetes, has raised $3.7M in a seed funding, the company announced this morning. The funding came from Founders Fund, Define Ventures, Speedinvest and iSeed Ventures. 9am.health says it helps provide people prediabetes and type 2 diabetes access to important medication and at-home tests, delivered to their front door.

WurkNow Gets $10M

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Riverside, California-based WurkNow, a developer of a digital staffing and workforce management software product, has raised $10M in a Series A funding, according to the company. The company said the round was led by Newport Hayseed Group, which is based in Newport Beach. WurkNow focuses on managing large, hourly workforces, and says it has clients using its tools to manage over 125,000 active employees.

Inspire Energy Capital Acquired By Shell

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Santa Monica-based Inspire Energy Capital, a provider of renewable energy to the residential market, has been acquired by oil and gas giant Shell, the companies said Tuesday afternoon. According to the companies, Shell New Energies US LLC (Shell), a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell plc, has signed an agreement to buy 100% of the equity interests of Inspire Energy Capital LLC, which is jointly headquartered in Santa Monica and Philadelphia. Financial details of the acquisition were not announced.

MSBAI Snags $1M Contract From USAF

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Los Angeles-based startup MSBAI, which is developing artificial intelligence tools for assisting in engineering reports it has received a $1M US Air Force grant. The company said it was selected for an AFWERX Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase 2 contract, which will go towards adapting its GURU cognitive AI assistant to support the Air Force. MSBAI was part of the Air Force Techstars 2020 program.

MediaKits Aims At Influencers

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A new, Los Angeles-based startup, MediaKits, says it has launched a new platform aimed at helping influencers, musicians, and athletes manage their brands. The company said its platform lets its users create their own custom media kits online. The startup was founded by Kieran O'Brien and Casey Adams.

EVgo Acquires Recargo For $25M

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Los Angeles-based electric vehicle (EV) charging network operator EVgo said this morning that it has acquired Recargo, a developer of e-mobility software. According to EVgo, it paid $25M in an all-cash transaction for Recargo, including a $3M loan repayment. Recargo was founded in 2009, and operates PlugShare, an online community for EV drivers, and also developed PlugShare, a mobile payment platform for EV cahrging networks. Recargo was based in El Segundo.

Truepic Takes $26M For Photo Verification

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San Diego-based Truepic, a startup that provides photo verification technology, said today that it has raised $26M in a Series B funding round. The funding was led by M12, and also included Adobe, Sony Innovation Fund by IGV1, Heart Ventures, and individuals from Stone Point Capital. According to the company, the funds will go to secure its technology.

Ad.net Names Bizdev VP

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Los Angeles-based digital performance advertising company Ad.net announced this week that it has named Brandon Caudill as the company's new Senior Vice PResident of Business Development. The company--which serves brands and agencies--said that Caudill was previously an early employee at ZergNet. Ad.net is led by CEo Jon Waterman and backed by Clarion Capital Partners. adnet executive brandon caudill business development brands marketing

Whatnot Connects With $150M More For Live Shopping

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Los Angeles-based live shopping streaming marketplace operator Whatnot said on Thursday that it has raised $150M in a Series C funding. The funding came from Andreessen Horowitz, YC Continuity, and new investor CapitalG, along with angel investors Andre Iguodala, Logan Paul, Gokul Rajaram, and Nilam Ganenthiran. Whatnot offers up a live stream shopping platform and marketplace aimed at collectors and enthusiasts. The company said it has raised a total of $225M now in funding.

Outer Finds $50M In Funding For Outdoor Living Brand

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Santa Monica-based direct-to-consumer brand Outer, which sells outdoor living furniture and related products, has raised $50M in a Series B funding round, the company said this week. The funding was led by Capital Today, and also included Tribe Capital, C Ventures, TRAC VC, and Upfront Ventures plus Sequoia Capital China, Mucker Capital, Mantis VC, Unpopular Ventures, and Reimagined Ventures. The company said it has now raised a total of $65M in funding.

Tradesy Gets $67M For Secondhand Fashion

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Los Angeles-based secondhand, luxury fashion goods marketplace Tradesy has raised $67M more in a Series D funding round, according to the company. The funding was led by Foris Ventures, the family office of venture capitalist John Doerr. Tradesy is led by founder and CEO Tracy DiNunzio. The company sells pre-owned, luxury fashion products, many of which are worn only a few times. Tradesy's good range from multi-thousand dollar Rolex watches to clothing and shoes.

Transphorm Bolsters Board

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Goleta-based gallium nitride semiconductor products developer Transphorm said last week that it has named a new member of its board of directors. The company said it appointed Ms. Kelly Smales to the board of the gallium nitride (GaN) power conversion device maker. Smales previously was CEO of KnuEdge (formerly Intellisis), company in the machine learning hardware and software area. Smales previously also served at Motorola, Advanced Micro Devices, and GLOBALFOUNDRIES.

CoreLogic Acquires Next Gear Solutions

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Irvine-based property information provider CoreLogic says it has acquired Next Gear Solutions, a provider of a digital workflow platform for the property restoration industry. Financial details of the buy were not announced. Next Gear Solutions was based in Oxford, Miss., and is used by property insurers and restoration contractors trust to manage claims handling workflow. The companies said that Jefferies LLC served as exclusive financial advisor to Next Gear Solutions.

SpaceX Successfully Launches Space Tourism Flight

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Hawthorne-based SpaceX successfully launched four, non-professional astronauts to space on Wednesday, the first time a SpaceX capsule has been used to take private citizens to space. The company's Inspiration4 mission was bankrolled by one of those citizens, billionaire Jared Isaacman, who made his fortune as the founder and CEO of Shift4 Payments. The four are expected to spend three days orbiting the earth before returning to the planet.

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Chargezoom Finds $2M

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Irvine-based billing and payments software startup Chargezoom has raised $2M in a seed funding round, the company said on Wednesday. The funding was led by Okapi Venture Capital and also included Saas Ventures. Chargezoom develops a software platform that helps businesses automate accounts receivable, billing, and payments. The startup is led by CEO Matt Dubois. Chargezoom said the new funding will go to continue scaling its product and team.

Ankona Capital Raises $66M For New Venture Capital Fund

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Newport Beach-based Ankona Capital, a new, venture capital company founded by Josh Harmsen, Brian Mesic, Newth Morris, and Jared Smith, has raised $66M in its first, venture capital fund. The company says it invests between $5M to $10M in early, growth-stage B2B software companies which are already generating $5M to $15M in recurring revenues. Ankona says its portfolio companies already include several companies, including Canopy, Cordial, GoSite, SOCi, VideoAmp, and Zingle.

LiveXLive Plans Rebranding, Spinout

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Los Angeles-based LiveXLive Media, which operates both an online livestreaming and pay-per-view business, says it is going through a major rebranding, and plans to spin out its pay-per-view business as a separate company. According to LiveXLive, it plans to change its name to LiveOne, and will spin out its PPV business as a public company called PPVOne.

Indi Launches Live Events Feature

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Newport Beach-based Indi, which operates an app and platform which helps individuals make money through direct sales to their social connections, says it has added a new "live events" feature for its app. According to the company, the new Live Events feature collaboration, sharing a product or service, hosting a Q&A session or serve as a meetup place for like-minded individuals.

Appetize Acquired By SpotOn

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Los Angeles-based Appetize, the developer of point-of-sale ordering apps serving the restaurant, sports, entertainment, and hospitality business, has been acquired by San Francisco-based SpotOn, the companies said on Tuesday. Financial details of the acquisition were not announced. SpotOn announced the buy along with a $300M, Series E funding round. Appetize was venture backed by such investors as 32equity, the investment arm of the NFL, as well as Oak View Group and Shamrock Capital Advisors.

CreatorIQ Connects With $40M More

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Los Angeles-based influencer marketing startup CreatorIQ has raised $40M more in funding, according to the company. According to CreatorIQ, the new funding round came from existing investors TVC Capital, Kayne Partners Fund, the growth private equity group of Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors, Affinity Group, and Unilever Ventures, plus new investor Silver Lake Waterman. CreatorIQ is led by founder and CEO Igor Vaks. The company says it has now raised over $80M in funding.

SpaceX Space Tourism Launch Set For Today

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Hawthorne, California-based SpaceX is getting set to launch its first ever, space tourism focused mission today from Florida. According to SpaceX, there's a give-hour launch window today opening at 8:02 p.m. for the Inspiration4 mission, which it says will be the world's "first ever all-civilian human spaceflight". The mission is thanks to billionaire Jared Isaacman, founder of Shift4 Payments, who paid for the entire launch.

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Quibi To Give Up Mobile Video Technology After Lawsuit

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Quibi, the short-lived, short-form-mobile-video startup run by Jeffrey Katzenberg, is transferring its mobile video technology to another company, Eko, after Eko filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Quibi. Quibi--which shut down its operations last year--continues to exist as a legal entity, despite no longer operating as a company. According to the two, QBI Holdings, the current owner of Quibi's assets, will transfer the intellectual property behind its mobile video technology to Eko.

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Revolution Prep Gets Growth Funding From Apax

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Santa Monica-based Revolution Prep, an academic testing and tutoring preparation company, has scored private equity funding from Apax Digital Fund. Size of the funding was not announced. According to Apax Digital, the new funding will go to expand Revolution Prep's offering and to increase access to its online tutoring services. The companies said that Revolution Prep has been in the business for over 20 years, and has served more than 1 million families.

Slingshot Aerospace Rolls Out Satellite Collision Avoidance Effort

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El Segundo, California- and Austin, Texas-based Slingshot Aerospace says it is rolling out a new collision avoidance and communications platform for space, which it says will help spacecraft owners and operators communicate and collaborate. According to the company, its new product, Slingshot Beacon, will be piloted by OneWeb, Spire Global Inc., Orbit Fab, and others, which aaccount for 53 percent of the satellite constellations in low earth orbit (LEO).

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.

i2020 Accelerator Launches Two Oncology Startups

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San Diego-based i2020 Acclerator, a startup accelerator company which is backed by Torrey Pines Investment, announced this morning that it has launched two new startups. The company said that it has launched Gwynant Therapeutics and Celyn Therapeutics, both of which will focus on oncology, bringing proprietary small molecule products to the clinic targeting cancer.

symplr Acquires Halo Health

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Symplr, the enterprise healthcare software company owned by Santa Monica-based private equity investor Clearlake Capital Group, said this morning that it has agreed to acquire Halo Health, a provider of clinical communication and collaboration software. Financial details of the transaction were not announced. The deal was backed both by Clearlake and Charlesbank Capital Partners. Clearlake has been rolling up a number of companies underneath the symplr brand.

SpaceX Plans First Billionaire Space Tourism Launch Today

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Hawthorne-based SpaceX is planning its first ever, all-civilian space launch today, saying it is targeting a five hour launch window opening at 8:02 p.m. The company said it the "Inspiration4" mission will launch aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft from Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The mission purports to be focused on the "study of the human body in space", but is one of a series of space tourism efforts by a number of companies.

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