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Mictic Sets Up Shop In LA

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Zurich-based Mictic, a Zurich, Switzerland-based startup which is providing wearable, musical wristbands for the "XR" market, says it has opened up a new office in Southern California. According to the company, the startup is opening up a Los Angeles office in order to maximize its relations with the entertainment and tech industry.

The Trade Desk Names COO

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Los Angeles-based advertising software and exchange operator The Trade Desk said this week that it has named Michelle Hulst as the company's Chief Operating Offier. Hulst was previously Executive Vice President, Global Data and Strategy at The Trade Desk, and prior to that was Group Vice President, Marketing and Strategic Partnerships, Oracle Data Cloud. According to The Trade Desk, Hulst will be responsible for global operations, data, commercial enablement, and client services in her new role.

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Dreamhost Links With Lendio On PPP Assistance

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Los Angeles-based web hosting and WordPress services provider DreamHost and small business lending service Lendio said on Thursday that the two are partnered to provide Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) application guidance to Dreamhost customers. According to the companies, Lendio will work to assist DreamHost business customers to apply for funds made available in the latest US government Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) program. Financial details of the partnership were not announced.

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Viant Files For IPO

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Irvine-based Viant Technology, a developer of advertising software, has filed for an IPO, saying in a filing with the SEC that it is looking to raise up to $150M in an IPO on the Nasdaq Global Market as DSP. The IPO is being underwritten by BofA Securities, UBS Investment Bank, Canaccord Genuity, JMP Securities, Needham & Company, and Raymond James. The company is led by CEO Tim Vanderhook.

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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.

ClickUp Connects With $100M

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San Diego-based software developer ClickUp , which develop workplace apps, says it has raised $100M in its Series B funding round. The funding was led by Georgian, and also included Craft Ventures. ClickUp says it has now raised $135M in total. ClikUp offers up a range of corporate apps, including project management, chat, docs, time management, wikis, goal tracking, dashboards, and more. The company says it has seen more than 900 percent revenue growth in the past year.

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Ring Bug Allowed Retrieval Of Locations, Addresses

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A bug in the software of Santa Monica-based Ring exposed the precise locations and home addresses of users, according to a report, a flaw that has now been fixed. According to TechCrunch, a security bug made it possible to retrieve location data on users who posted to the Ring app. Ring said it fixed the issue, and has not identified any evidence of that information being accessed or used maliciously. ring camera doorbell cybersecurity hacking hacker security

Ando Launches Climate Friendly Banking App

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San Diego-based Ando, a new startup offering up mobile banking, says it has launched a free banking service which proactively combats climate change. The startup--led by CEO JP McNeil--says it specifically uses its deposits to support investments in clean energy, sustainable infrastructure, and regenerative agriculture efforts. The company claims it offers up transparency on its efforts, showing how deposits are being used in areas like clean energy and sustainable transportation.

BMW Plugs Into EVgo

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Los Angeles-based electric vehicle charging network operator EVgo says that car manufacturer BMW has tied into its network, and launched a new program called BMW Charging Powered by EVgo. Financial details of the partnership were not announced, however, EVgo said that BMW EV drivers will be able to access public charging through one simple interface, and BMW will provide a $100 EVgo charging credit for new owners/lesees of its all-electric/battery electric vehicle models.

AeroVironment Acquires Arcturus UAV For $405M

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Simi Valley-based unmanned aerial vehicle maker Aerovironment says it is acquiring Arcturus UAV, a developer of unmanned aircraft used by the military, in a deal worth $405M in cash and stock. AeroVironment said it would pay $355M in cash and $50M in stock for Arcturus, which is based in Petaluma, Claifornia. Arcturus has approximately 270 employees, and is one of four companies working on the U.S. Army's FTUAS program, a next generation UAS program which is potentially worth a billion dollars.

Drata Gets $3.2M For Security Compliance

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San Diego-based Drata, a startup developing security automation and compliance software, has raised $3.2M in a seed funding, the company said Wednesday. According to the company, the funding was led by Cowboy Ventures, and also included Leaders Fund and SV Angel, along with angel investors. Drata was founded by Adam Markowitz, Daniel Marashlian, and Troy Markowitz.

Ring Deploys End-To-End Encryption

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Los Angeles-based security camera and doorbell maker Ring, which is part of Amazon, said on Wednesday that it has launched end to end encryption for its products. According to the company, it has started rolling out end-to-end encryption to all eligible Ring devices, first as a "technical preview" that must be turned on by the user. Ring said the new feature comes on top of the encryption the company already uses when videos are uploaded to the cloud.

Longeve Brands Lands $5M For Meat Alternative

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Irvine-based Longeve Brands, which is developing plant-based meat alternatives, said on Wednesday that it has raised $5M in a seed funding round. The funding came from Wavemaker Partners and Springboard Ventures. According to the startup, the funding will go to expand its plant-based protein product line. The company's shelf stable products are based on pea protein, and is aimed at what the company describes as the "flexitarian" market.

Qualcomm Acquires NUVIA

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San Diego-based Qualcomm announced on Wednesday that it has acquired NUVIA, a company that develops next general CPU designs. Qualcomm said it will pay approximately $1.4 billion before working capital and other adjustments. Qualcomm said it will use the acquisition of NUVIA to help bolster its Snapdragon technology. The company said the NUVIA has Systems on a Chip (SoC) expertise, experience in high performance processors, and more. NUVIA is based in Santa Clara, California.

will.i.am, Zynga Partners On $5M Fund For STEAM Education

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Los Angeles-based musician will.i.am, of the Black Eyed Peas, has partnered with mobile gaming developer ,a href="[link] on a new, $5 million effort to fund STEAM education for students. According to the two, Zynga is the launch donor for the American Dream GoFundMe initiative. william zynga steam education nonprofit mobile gaming

Everytable, National Health Foundation Feeding Homeless

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Los Angeles-based meal subscription company Evertable and the National Health Foundation, a nonprofit which operates recuperative health care centers for the homeless population, says they are working together to provide healthy meals to those experiencing homelessness. According to the two, the National health Foundation (NHF) signed a contract to bring Everytable's food to its guests experiencing homeless, at the National Health Foudnation's Pico-Union and Mid-City Recuperative Care sites.

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Virginia Company Expands Data Center In Los Angeles

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INAP, a data center and hybrid computing provider based in Reston, Virginia, says it is expanding its data center in Los Angeles, due to supply constraints in the Los Angeles market. The company said it recently completed 12,000 square feet and 2.5 MW transformer to its data center in Redondo Beach, along Redondo Beach Ave., and is now upgrading the data center's total power capacity to 3.2

CookUnity Picks Up $15.5M, Eyes Los Angeles

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CookUnity, a startup which connects up and coming chefs with consumers with fully cooked and prepared meals delivered via weekly subscription, says it is opening up a new kitchen in Los Angeles, after raising $15.5M in a Series A funding round. The startup--based in New York--said the funding will allow it to open up two new kitchens, including the ones in Los Angeles, and one in Texas. The funding was led by Fuel Venture Capital, and also included IDC Ventures and other existing investors.

Champions Round Finds $1M

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Los Angeles-based Champions Round, a startup which operates a fantasy sports site, recently disclosed that it has raised $1M in a seed funding round. The funding was led by Quest Venture Partners, and had been announced during the holidays. The startup is led by Co-Founder and CEO Carter Russ. The company's fantasy sports app is centered around specific sports events, like playoffs or the NFL draft. The company's app runs both on iOS and Android.

Cardea Bio Takes In $6.5M More In Series A

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San Diego-based Cardea Bio, a startup that is developing molecular biology equipment which uses semiconductors to analyze samples, said on Tuesday that it has raised $6.5M more in its Series A funding. The company said the new funding was led by 3E Bioventures Capital, and also included existing investors. The company has now raised $20M in its Series A. According to the company, it will use the funding to further develop its platform, to expand mass manufacturing, and grow its partnerships.

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New Subscription Box For Divorcees Launched

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A new, rather unique "subscription box" product just launched from Los Angeles, the The Divorce Case, which says it is targeted as a gift for loved ones who are separated, divorced, or in the midst of a divorce. The new subscription box was created by author and relationship expert Lauren Peacock. The new box costs $49.99 per month.

SLD Laser Acquired By KYOCERA

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Goleta-based laser developer SLD Laser said this morning that it has been acquired by KYOCERA Corporation. The company--formerly known as Soraa Laser Diode, Inc.--says says it will oeprate under the new name KYOCERA SLD Laser, and is now 100% owned by KYOCERA. SLD Laser develops laser products used in the mobility, specialty lighting, consumer, and industrial markets. Financial details of the acquisition were not announced.

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Genalyte Finds $50M Funding

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San Diego-based Genalyte, a developer of laboratory diagnostics and analytics products, announced on Monday that it has raised $50M in a funding round. The funding was led by Verily, an Alphabet company, and also included Provenio Capital, Redmile, Khosla Ventures, HBM Partners, Samsara and others. According to the company, it will use the funding to expand its testing menu and deploy its platform.

Vesica Snags $2.1M Seed Funding For Trading Tools

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Los Angeles-based fintech startup Vesica Technologies, a developer of a product which provides information on financial markets, including daily market movements, volatility, and major trades, has raised $2.1M in a seed funding. The funding came from Mercury Digital Assets and Miami International Holdings, Inc. MIH), the parent holding company of the MIAX Exchange Group. Vesica's founder and CEO is Saad Hussain. The company targets financial traders with its software.

Snap Buys StreetCred

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Los Angeles-based Snap has acquired New York City-based StreetCred, a developer of location data and mapping software, according to reports. Financial terms of the acquisition were not announced. Snap appears to be using StreetCred to bolster the development of its Snap Map feature. According to reports, four of StreetCred's employees, including its two founders, are joining Snap as part of the acquisition. Snap is the parent company of Snapchat. snapchat snap streetcred merger acquisition

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Hulu Drops Prices For Students To $1.99 Per Month

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Los Angeles-based streaming video service Hulu said today that it is dropping its price for students to just $1.99 per month, in a bid to attract more students to its services. A price is typically $5.99 per month for the streaming service. According to Hulu, the $1.99 a month offer is available to students over 18, who are attending a U.S. college or university, and gives those students full access to its streaming service.

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AEVEX Aerospace Names Chief Growth Officer

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Solana Beach-based AEVEX Aerospace, a provider of airborne intelligence products, said it named Gretchen Larsen Idsinga as its Chief Growth Officer.

Avidity Biosciences Swizzles Board

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La Jolla-based biopharmaceuticals firm Avidity Biosciences said this morning that it has appointed Tamar Thomson and Jean Kim to its board, replacing existing directors Todd Brady and Michael Martin. In addition to the move, the company said Executive Chairman Troy Wilson is now just Chairman of the company. Thompson is currently Vice President, US Government Affairs and Policy for Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Veritone, Alteryx In Partnership

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Costa Mesa-based artificial intelligence software developer Veritone, and analytics software developer Alteryx said this morning they are in a new, strategic partnership. Veritone said it will provide its AI-powered insights into unstructured data sources, including video, images, audio and text, to Alteryx customers. Financial details of the deal were not announced.

Roku Buys Quibi's Content Distribution Rights

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Roku confirmed on Friday that it has acquired the global content distribution rights from shows from Quibi, the now defunct mobile streaming provider. Financial terms of the deal were not announced. Roku said it will become the exclusive place to stream Quibi's shows, which it will make available for free on an ad-supported basis in 2021. Those shows include such stars as Idris Elba, Kevin Hart, Liam Hemsworth, Anna Kendrick, Nicole Richie, Chrissy Teigen, and Lena Waithe.

SpaceX Dragon Headed Back To Earth Today

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Another, SpaceX Dragon capsule is headed back to earth, and is expected to splash down in the Atlantic at 10PM Eastern time, according to NASA, which is broadcasting the departure of the capsule from the International Space Station (ISS) this morning. The Dragon is loaded with 5,200 pounds of research and other cargo. The Dragon cargo craft is actually one of two, SpaceX Dragon spacecraft currently at the International Space Station--there's also a Crew Dragon attached to the ISS at the moment.

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Metawave Gets USAF Contract For Flying Car Radar

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Carlsbad-based Metawave, a developer of radar equipment, says it has been awarded a contract from the United States Air Force (USAF) to modify its radar systems for next generation, autonomous "flying cars". The company said the Phase One contract goes for the USAF AGILITY PRIME initiative, which seeks to develop human-rated electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft. Size of the contract was not announced by the company.

will.i.am, Zynga Partner On $5M Fund For STEAM Education

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Los Angeles-based musician will.i.am, of the Black Eyed Peas, has partnered with mobile gaming developer ,a href="[link] on a new, $5 million effort to fund STEAM education for students. According to the two, Zynga is the launch donor for the American Dream GoFundMe initiative. gaming mobile nonprofit education steam zynga william

Reflections on 2020: Nick Hedges, MomentFeed

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Every year, we feature the year end reflections of founders, CEOs, investors, and others in Southern California's high tech community. We'll be posting these throughout the next two weeks. Today, we have Nick Hedges, CEO of MomentFeed (www.momentfeed.com). You will be able to get to all of these posts on our 2020 reflections here. Are you a founder, CEO, or investor who would like to participate? Contact our editors for details. What was the biggest news for you/your company this year?

Blacksmith Medicines Gets Seed Funding

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San Diego-based Blacksmith Medicines, a new biotechnology company focused on creating medicines for immuno-oncology and inflammatory diseases by targeting human metalloenzymes, has raised a round of seed funding, and announced a research deal with Lilly. Financial details of that seed funding were not announced. The company--a spin-out of Forge Therapeutics--said the deal with Lilly potentially is worth up to $300M.

Deluxe Buys Sundog Media Toolkit

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Los Angeles-based Deluxe, which provides digital services to the motion picture, television, and digital media industry, said yesterday that it has acquired Sundog Media Toolkit, Ltd., a UK-based provider of a cloud platform for the industry. Financial details of the buy were not announced. UK-based Sundog offers up an automated, cloud-based platform that creates specialized multi format, multi-language files for theatrical distribution and streaming platforms, and was founded in 2013.

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Airgain Buys Nimblelink

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San Diego-based antenna technology provider Airgain said Thursday that it has acquired NimbleLink, a provider of cellular industrial Internet-of-Things (IoT) products and services. Airgain said it acquired all of the outstanding stock of NimbleLink for $15M in cash, subject to adjustments, with $8M in cash earnout based on revenue targets. Airgain financed the deal from its existing cash. NimbleLink was headquartered in Plymouth, MN, and founded in 2013.

Monoprice Debuts New 3D Printer

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Brea-based consumer electronics product company Monoprice--known for its low price but higher quality, generic products--says it has debuted a new, 3D printer, aimed at hobbyists, makers, podcasters, and others. The company said its new desktop Delta Mini V2 3D Printer will cost $199.99.

Belkin's Chet Pipkin Shifts To Board

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Los Angeles-based consumer electronics giant Belkin announced on Thursday that founder and CEO Chet Pipkin is shifting his attention to the board, taking on the role of Executive Chairman. As a part of the move, the company has appointed Steve Malony, the company's former SVP and General Manager, to the CEO position. Pipkin has been CEO of Belkin for thirty seven years. Malony has been at Belkin for fifteen years.

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Reflections on 2020: Olivia (Libby) Duane Adams, co-founder, Alteryx

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Every year, we feature the year end reflections of founders, CEOs, investors, and others in Southern California's high tech community. We'll be posting these throughout the next two weeks. Today, we have Olivia (Libby) Duane Adams, co-founder and chief advocacy officer at Alteryx (www.alteryx.com) who is based in Irvine. You will be able to get to all of these posts on our 2020 reflections here. Are you a founder, CEO, or investor who would like to participate? Contact our editors for details.

Umbra Lab Finds $32.37M

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Santa Barbara-based Umbra Lab, which is developing synthetic aperture radar (SAR) microsatellites, has raised $32.38M in funding, according to a regulatory filing by the company. Details on the funding have not yet been announced by the company. The company's founders include David Langan and Gabe Dominocielo.

Ambrx Names CFO, COO

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San Diego-based biopharmaceuticals developer Ambrx has named a new Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer, the company announced this morning. According to Ambryx, it has appointed Gary Young as CFO and COO, following a recent $200M funding round. Young was previously CFO and COO of Erasca, and also served at Guardant Health and Annexon Biosciences, among other companies. ambryx executive gary young biotech lifescience

Blackline Names Chief Revenue Officer

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Los Angeles-based accounting software developer Blackline has promoted Mark Woodhams to the position of Chief Revenue Officer, the company said on Wednesday. Woodhams was previously Senior Vice President of Global Sales, and has been at BlackLine since 2018; he previously served at such companies as NetSuite, Oracle, Hyperion, Capgemini and Citicorp. BlackLine develops software which automates account reconciliation and other typically manual operations for accounting departments.

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