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Samsung To Open First Retail Stores, Including One In LA

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Smartphone maker Samsung is making its first foray into the retail environment, saying on Thursday that it is opening up three new retail stores, including one in Los Angeles. According to Samsung, the new Samsung Experience Stores will open on February 20th, with a store at The Americana at Brand in Los Angeles, plus stores in Garden City New York, and Houston, Texas.

Pulse Electronics Acquired By Yageo

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San Diego-based Pulse Electronics , a provider of electronic components, said Thursday afternoon that it is now 100 percent owned by Taiwanese company Yago Corporation. Financial details of the deal were not announced. The deal to acquire Pulse occurred in May of 2018, and completed in December, according to the companies.

Netflix LA Locked Down After Disgruntled Employee Makes Threat

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The Los Angeles offices of online movie streaming service Netflix were briefly locked down late Thursday afternoon, after a disgruntled, recently fired employee allegedly said he had a gun and was in the company's parking lot. The lockdown was later lifted, after the disgruntled former-employee was taken into custody. No gun was found, and according to KTLA the man was ultimately released. The man apparently had been fired on Wednesday from Netflix. READ MORE>>.

REX Expands AI Powered Real Estate Brokerage To Orlando, Florida

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Woodland Hills-based REX , an online real estate brokerage, says it has opened up for business in Orlando, Florida, and hopes to expand to additional Florida cities over the next few months. According to REX recently raised a big $45M Series C funding round, and has raised $75M in total for its real estate brokerage efforts. The company now has operations in California, Colorado, Florida, New Jersey, New York, Oregon and Texas. READ MORE>>.

Interview with Skyler Lucci, HeyTutor

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Skyler Lucci is co-founder and CEO of Los Angeles-based HeyTutor (www.heytutor.com), a startup which has created an online platform which connects and matches students with in-person tutors. The company recently raised a round of funding from Santa Barbara-based ScOps Venture Capital. We caught up with Skyler to hear about HeyTutor, which already has 25 employees and is growing rapidly.

TuSimple Takes $95M For Autonomous Trucking Technology

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TuSimple , a developer of autonomous trucking technology which has offices in San Diego and in China, said on Wednesday that it has raised $95M in a Series D funding round. The funding came from Chinese investors SINA Corp. and Composite Capital. TuSimple says it has now raised a total of $178M. The new funding values the company at $1 billion. The company was founded in 2015.

Amazon Lockers Head To Coachella

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Need something for the annual music festival at Coachella ? Amazon is looking to cater to the crowd of tech-savvy visitors to the popular festival, and said on Tuesday that it will be offering up its Lockers at on-site locations at Coachella during the two weekends of the festival in April.

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Interview With Jamie Montgomery, March Capital Partners On The Firm's New Fund

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Santa Monica-based venture investor March Capital Partners (www.marchcp.com) announced last week that it has raised a second fund, worth $300M. To learn about the new fund, we sat down with Jamie Montgomery , one of the fund's co-founders, to hear about March Capital's strategy and the new fund. Tell us a little bit about the new fund? Jamie Montgomery: It's interesting, as you grow, you get bigger and more focused. We found out what we're really good at, and we're drilling into those areas.

Skylar Finds $8M For Perfume Startup

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Los Angeles-based perfume startup Skylar has raised $8M in a Series A funding round, for a "natural" beauty and perfume brand, the company said this week. The funding was led by FirstMark Capital, and also included Upfront Ventures, Amplify LA, and Gingerbread Capital. Skylar is led by CEO Cat Chen, a veteran of the Honest Company. As part of the funding, FirstMark's Beth Ferreira will join the company's board of directors. READ MORE>>. honestco chen brand beauty capital venture perfume skylar

Tech Coast Angels Hails Exit At CaseStack

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The Tech Coast Angels said this morning that its members said a 16x return from their investment in CaseStack , the logistics and supply chain company led by Dan Sanker, after its acquisition last year for $255M. CaseStack as acquired by Hub Group, Inc. in November of 2018. According to the Tech Coast Angels, this is the company's sixth highest ever. The Tech Coast Angels were investors in CaseStackf or nearly 15 years.

HauteLook Hacked, Millions Of Account Details Leaked By Hackers

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The personal account details of nearly 28 million users of HauteLook , the private sales site founded in Los Angeles and now owned by Nordstrom , have been hacked and have just shown up for sale on the "dark web" , according to security researchers. According to a report from The Register, HauteLook's data--along with that from Dubsmash, Myfitnesspal, MyHeritage, and many others--just went up for sale on the "dark web" for less than $20,000 in Bitcoin.

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Veritone Deploys At College Football Playoffs

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Costa Mesa-based Veritone says its artificial intelligence software was deployed for the 2019 College Football Playoff (CFP) National Championship, and was used to produce transcriptions, automated facial recognition of players and coaches, logo identification, and other tasks for the CFP's Media Day. Financial details of the deployment were not announced.

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Ixia Selected By Telefonica

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Calabasas-based network testing equipment and software provider Ixia has been selected by Telefonica , to help monitor Telefonica's physical and virtual networks, according to Ixia's parent company, Keysight Technologies. Financial details of the win were not announced. Keysight said that Telefonica is using Ixia's Network Packet Brokers (NPB), network tap, and Ixia Fabric Controller (IFC) products for dealing with increasing monitoring requirements it has for 5G and VoLTE.

Loop Media Unveils Streaming Media Service, Backed By $10M In Funding

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A new, Burbank-based startup, Loop Media , said on Thursday afternoon that it has launched a new "short-form" streaming media service, which it says will feature music videos, film trailers, game trailers and TV clips. The startup--which says it has been in "stealth" mode for over two years--says it is backed by $10M in seed funding. That funding came from angel investor Dianne Berry plus other private investors from California, Tennessee and Florida.

Greylock-backed Robotics Startup Nuro Snags Big $940M Funding Round

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Nuro , a self-driving, delivery robot developer backed by Los Angeles-based venture investor Greylock Partners, has raised a huge, $940M funding round from SoftBank Vision Fund, the company said on Monday. Nuro said the new funding brings its total raised to more than $1 billion. Other investors in Nuro include Greylock Partners and Gaorong Capital.

HyperX Signs Pittsburgh Knights

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Fountain Valley-based gaming accessories maker HyperX said this morning that it has become an official sponsor of the Pittsburgh Knights , the esports team that is associated with the Pitssburgh Steelers. According to HyperX, which is the gaming division of Kingston Technology, it will become the "Exclusive Peripherals Sponsors" of the Knights, providing gaming headsets, keyboards, mice, mousepads and internal memory products to the team. Financial details of the arrangement were not announced.

Virgin Galactic Donates Rocket Motor To Smithsonian

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Virgin Galactic and its sister company, The Spaceship Company (TSC), said last week that it has donated a rocket motor to the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum , for the Smithsonian's efforts to create a new gallery focused on commercial space flight. The hybrid rocket motor was used on SpaceShipTwo, VSS Unity last year. The rocket motor was designed and built by TSC. The 3,000 pound motor is what is used to send Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo spacecraft into space.

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Insights and Opinions: Everything's On Fire.Every Day!

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For our Insights and Opinions section today, we have a contribution from entrepreneur Braven Greenelsh , who talks about how--if you're an entrepreneur--you have to realize that sometimes, everything is on fire, every day. If this title scares you, then you shouldn't launch a startup. The main difference between a startup and a small business is the former has professionals funding it and is concerned with long-term growth and viability. It's the quest to go big or go home.

Forge Platform Finds $1M For Ethereum SDK

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Santa Monica-based Forge Platform , which is developing software development kits used for Ethereum, has raised $1M in a seed funding, the company disclosed on Wednesday. The funding came from Manta Ray Ventures and Upfront Ventures. The company was founded by Chris Lorenz, Geoffrey Anderson, and James Borow. CEO Lorenz was previously in Product and Monetization at Snap, and prior to that was SVP of Product at Brand Networks, in addition to serving at a VP at SHIFT.

TigerConnect Teams With OpenTempo

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Santa Monica-based healthcare communications software developer TigerConnect has inked a partnership with physician scheduling and labor analytics software developer OpenTempo , the two announced today in a deal which will provide closer integration between their tools. Financial details of the deal were not announced.

Activision Blizzard To Slash Almost 800 Employees

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Santa Monica-based game developer Activision Blizzard says it is slashing 8 percent of its staff, or nearly 800 employees, as a part of a restructuring effort at the company. The move comes even as Activions Blizzard reported record net revenues in 2018 of $7.50 bllion, up from the $7.02 billion it had in revenues for 2017.

mTAB Buys Slideworx

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Anaheim-based mTAB , a developer of data analysis and visualization software, has acquired German company Slideworx GmbH , the company said on Tuesday. Financial terms of the acquisition were not announced. Slideworx develops visual analytics software. mTAB is led by CEO Alex Gelman, and is owned by private equity investor Milestone Partners. Hugo Ehrnreich the CEO of Slideworx, has become President Europe and Global CMO.

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Cornerstone OnDemand Opens New Office In Utah

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Santa Monica-based cloud-based human capital and resources management software developer Cornerstone OnDemand announced this morning that it has opened up a new office in Utah, where it expects to hire up to 350 people. According to Cornerstone OnDemand, the new, 26,000 square foot office is in Sandy, Utah, which is a suburb of Salt Lake City in an area where the tech industry refers to itself as the "Silicon Slopes".

Startup Boost Los Angeles Opens Apps For Spring Program

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Startup Boost Los Angeles , the early stage startup program which is led in LA by Matt Stoddard, says it has opened up applications for its Spring 2019 program. According to Stoddard, it is looking for nine early stage startups to participate in its eight-week program. The program includes six weekly workshop sessions and one demo night hosted by Google in Venice. Applications for the program will close on March 15th.

Scopely Says it Now Has $400M Run Rate

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Los Angeles-based mobile game developer Scopely says it now has a $400M annual revenue run rate, which it attributes to its recent foray into Star Trek-themed mobile games. According to Javier Ferreira, the company's President and COO, its Star Trek title, Star Trek: Fleet Command resulted in an 80 percent jump in its revenues last year. Scopely says it now has 260 employees.

Qualcomm Gets Exit At Eero

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San Diego-based Qualcomm has seen an exit at one of its Qualcomm Ventures portfolio companies, Wi-Fi mesh equipment maker Eero , which was acquired by Amazon on Monday. Financial terms of the acquisition were not announced. Eero had raised around $150M, from such investors as Menlo Ventures, First Round Capital, Shasta Ventures, Redpoint Ventures, Playground Global, Kindling Capital, Grishin Robotics, and others.

TigerConnect Rolls Out New Software Product

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Santa Monica-based TigerConnect , the developer of healthcare communications software, has rolled out a new set of products and product enhancements, all aimed at communications between healthcare providers, patients, and health systems. According to the company, it has rolled out a new product called TigerTouch, which it says allows health systems to communicate directly with patients through video, voice, and text.

Techstars Sets Up Space Accelerator In LA

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Startup accelerator operator Techstars is setting up yet another accelerator program in the Los Angeles area, with a new startup accelerator focused on space ventures. The new Techstars Starburst Space Accelerator is being funded by aerospace investment firm Starburst Aerospace , and will be led by Matt Kozlov, who previously headed the Cedars Sinai Accelerator powered by Techstars.

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Andrew Peterson of Signal Sciences On A New Funding, Growth, And Startup Scaling

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Los Angeles-based Signal Sciences (www.signalsciences.com), which develops web application firewall software, just inked a big, $35M series C funding round a few weeks ago, and now has plans to dramatically expand its hiring in Los Angeles. Andrew Peterson , the companys CEO, says the company is looking to hire up another 80 people here in the LA area. We caught back up with Andrew to hear about the company, its expansion plans, and what hes learned as a startup entrepreneur.

NEXT, Flush With $97M In New Funding, Hires First CFO

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Los Angeles-based shipping and logistics marketplace developer NEXT , fresh off a big, $97M funding round announced last week, said that it has hired Peter Janda as the company's first ever Chief Financial Officer. Janda was most recently CFO at Chef'd, and also has served at such companies as Ingram Micro, Ernst & Young, among other companies. NEXT, which is led by Lydia Yan, raised its latest round of funding from Brookfield Ventures, Sequoia Capital, and GLP.

Ice Energy Completes First Phase Of Big Deployment

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Costa Mesa-based Ice Energy , which develops energy storage technology based on storing energy for air conditioning in the form of ice, has completed the first phase of a big deployment for Southern California Edison (SCE), the company announced on Wednesday. According to Ice Energy, it has installed 100 of its "Ice Bear" units across SCE's service territory, the first stage of a 21.6 MW energy storage contract it has with SCE. The company says the first units have a total capacity of 1.9

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Radicle Growth Puts $250K Into Leaf Agriculture

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San Diego-based Radicle Growth , a new, seed-stage investor focused on the agtech and food technology sector, said this morning that it has invested $250,000 in Leaf Agriculture , a pre-seed company developing application programming interfaces (APIs) between agtech products. Radicle Growth said Leaf Agriculture is developing an API product that facilitates fast, easy and secure data transfer between agtech platform partners through a single point of access.

SpaceX Books Lunar Lander Launch Mission

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Hawthorne-based SpaceX has been booked to launch the first, privately funded lunar lander mission, as a secondary payload on an upcoming launch from Cape Canaveral. According to satellite launch arranger Spaceflight, the first, privately funded and developed lunar lander has been booked on an upcoming ride-sharing mission on a SpaceX Falcon 9. The lunar lander was developed by SpaceIL, an Israeli non-profit.

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CTC Global Names Manufacturing Head

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Irvine-based CTC Global , which is a manufacturer carbon fiber composite cores used in high voltage power lines, said this morning that it has naed Samson Namala as its Director, Global Manufacturing. Namala was previously at Alpha Wire, a subsidiary of Belden Corporation, serving as Plant Manager. Namala also has served at Superior Essex Communications. CTC Global says its carbon fiber composite cores have been deployed for over 65,000 kilometers of overhead conductors so far. READ MORE>>.

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Zynx Health Signs Customer In Philadelphia

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Los Angeles-based clinical health software provider Zynx Health announced this morning that it has been selected by the Einstein Healthcare Network, in Philadelphia and Montgomery County, PA. According to Zynx Health, the academic healthcare system is implementing its products across its enterprise, which includes three hospitals with a total of more than 1,000 beds, 11 outpatient centers, 42 primary care practice locations, and 8,500 employees. Financial details of the win were not announced.

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