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Interview with Constance Curtis, The List

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In a world of Tinder, Match, and dozens of other online dating applications, is there room for another approach to dating? Constance Curtis , the Founder and CEO of The List (www.getthelistapp.com), thinks so, and tells us about her startup's efforts to bring the world of matchmaking to the modern worldand how her own frustration with online dating let to her startup. What is The List? Constance Curtis: The list is a modern matchmaking company.

JibJab Dips Back into Politics, Launches Vote Registration Effort

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Los Angeles-based online greeting card provider JibJab --which got its start originally via a viral political video--is dipping back into politics, saying that it has launched a new effort to bring out voters.

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Amazon, Rivian Reveal First Electric Delivery Vehicle

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Amazon and Rivian , the electric vehicle developer with operations in Irvine and Carson, California, have revealed Amazon's first electric delivery vehicle, which Amazon plans to roll out as part of its climate efforts.

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Draper Goren Holm Raises $25M Blockchain Fund

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Los Angeles-based Draper Goren Holm , a new venture capital fund founded by Tim Draper, Alon Goren, and Josef Holm, announced on Tuesday that it has raised $25M in its very first fund. According to the firm, its Fund 1 will make seed and Series A investments in the fintech and blockchain startup world. The fund was announced at the LA Blockchain Summit, which is virtual this year.

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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.

Sonos Connects To General Electric

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Santa Barbara-based Sonos and General Electric have connected GE's appliances with Sonos speakers, through a new integration effort between the two companies. According to the two companies, GE's appliances now allow its users to set up alerts--such that an oven is pre-heated, or a dishwasher cycle is done--through Sonos speakers in their home.

VENN Scores $26M For Game Streaming Network

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Playa Vista-based VENN , which operates a streaming game network, has raised $26M in a Series A funding round, the company said on Tuesday. The funding was co-led by BITKRAFT Ventures and Nexstar Media Group, and also included Eldridge, WISE Ventures, Alumni Ventures Group, as well as the company's seed investors. Nexstar will add a member to VENN's board as part of the funding round. Nexstar is a major owner of U.S. television stations.

ThinkIQ Connects With $11.6M

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Aliso Viejo-based software developer ThinkIQ , which is developing software for the manufacturing industry, said today that it has raised $11.6M in its Series A funding round. The funding was led by Ecosystem Integrity Fund (EIF), and also included Hitachi Ventures and ArcTern Ventures. The company says it is developing a "digital manufacturing platform", which manufacturers use for material traceability and data insights, quality, safety and compliance efforts.

Zest AI Finds $15M More

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Los Angeles-based software developer Zest AI has raised $15M in funding from Insight Partners, to go towards its credit underwriting software, the company announced this morning. According to Zest, the funding will go towards acceleration of adoption of its products, including growth, innovation, and customer success efforts.

Topdser Extends Drop Shipping Platform To Brazil, France

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Los Angeles-based a href="[link] , a startup which operates a platform it says connects product suppliers who dropship with Shopify e-retailers, says it has expanded its platform to provide localized content for sellers in Brazil and France. The company says its now offers country-specific websites in French and Portuguese. Users are automatically geo-located by IP address and directed to the appropriate Topdser landing page.

Happy Returns, FedEx Team Up On Return Locations

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Santa Monica-based Happy Returns , which provides software and reverse logistics services to e-commerce companies, and FedEx are in a new agreement where people can return their items at most FedEx Office locations. According to Happy Returns, the agreement with FedEx is starting in Los Angeles, and will expand nationwide by the end of October, extending its service to more than 2,000 FedEx Office locations.

Good Growth Capital Expands Venture Capital Efforts To SoCal

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Good Growth Capital , a venture capital investment firm focused on complex science and technology start-ups, says it has set up shop in Southern California, and hired a new, West Coast Venture Partner in Los Angeles. Good Growth Capital says it has appointed Krisztina "Z" Holly --well known in the LA startup community--as West Coast Venture partner, as part of its efforts to expand its team.

CoreLogic Wins Liberty Mutual

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Irvine-based property data provider CoreLogic said this morning that it has signed up Liberty Mutual Insurance as a customer. According to CoreLogic, Liberty Mutual has selected the company for a next-generation, cloud-based property estimation platform. Financial impact of the win was not announced. CoreLogic said that Liberty Mutual will migrate to its cloud-based insurance hub, which allows Liberty Mutual adjustors to connect with third-party insurance technology solutions. READ MORE>>.

DxTerity Diagnostics Launches Home COVID-19 Test

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Los Angeles-based DxTerity Diagnostics , a genomics company with a CLIA-license laboratory, announced it has released a new, approved at-home COVID-19 test. According to the company, its new saliva test is designed to detect the virus that causes COVID-19 in both symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals. The company said it has recevied FDA Emergency Use Authorization for its SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR test, which it is offering under the SafeWorkDx name.

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SpaceX Puts Another 60 Satellites Into Space

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Hawthorne-based SpaceX put yet another 60 satellites for its Starlink system into space on Sunday, using a Falcon 9 first stage which was previously used to launch the Crew Dragon to the International Space Station. SpaceX's launch occurred at 8:25 a.m. EDT from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

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IDrive Targets Businesses With New Video Conferencing Tool

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Los Angeles-based online backup and storage provider IDrive Online Backup says it has released a new service, which provides secure video conferencing. According to IDrive, its new tool, EPYC, offers both secure video conferencing and "AR" capability for remote workforces. The company said it launched the new tool as a result of COVID-19 and the current remote work climate.

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Virgin Hyperloop One Sets Location For Certification Center

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Los Angeles-based Virgin Hyperloop One has set the location for a new certification center, which will test, develop, and validate its systems on Thursday. According to the company, it will spend $500M to build a certification center in West Virginia, focused both on validating usage of its technology in Virginia, as well as the United States and the world, with plans to eventually build a full sized, operational hyperloop system at the location.

Seismic Names Chief Product Officer

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San Diego-based sales enablement and marketing software developer Seismic said this week that it has named a new Chief Product Officer. Seismic said it has named Krish Mantipragada as its new Chief Product Officer, joining the company from Medallia, where he also was Chief Product Officer and an Executive Vice President. Mantipragada also previously served at First Data and SAP. Seismic recently raised another $92M in funding, which valued the company at approximately $1.6

Veritone Swizzles CFO

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Costa Mesa-based Veritone has swapped its CFO, saying that it has named local technology industry veteran Michael L. Zemetra as Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, and Treasurer as part of a "planned transition". The company said prior CFO Peter F. Collins will serve in an advisory capacity during a transition period. Veritone did not say where Collins is departing to, but did praise his work in taking the company from a start-up company to its public status.

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Cornerstone OnDemand: Time Off To Study Ballot Popular With Employees

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Santa Monica-based Cornerstone OnDemand , which develops employee development software, says that a survey it has run has found that 50 percent of employees it surveyed desire time off to study their ballot before they vote. Cornerstone OnDemand said it ran a survey with YouGove, which provides public opinion and data, finding 80% of adults typically spend less than two hours to learn about their ballot--and could use additional time off to study their upcoming ballots.

BrainChip Expands In India

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Aliso Viejo-based artificial intelligence software developer BrainChip says it is opening up a new software development center in Hyderabad, India, which it says will provide software and firmware development for its systems-on-a-chip technology. According to BrainChip, the new software development center initially will be staffed by five software engineers and local management.

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ZIPHOMECHEF Aims Efforts At Expanding Local Microkitchens

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Riverside-based ZIPHOMECHEF , a startup which helps enable licensed, microenterprise home kitchen operations (MEHKO), says it is looking to help create jobs and deliver meals to local communities in Riverside County, California. The company--led by CEO Alexia Parks--says it helps people get licensed and to set up their own home kitchens, and hopes to expand from one kitchen in Riverside to 100 kitchens.

Balboa Water Group Acquired For $218.5M

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Costa Mesa-based Balboa Water Group Helios Technologies , in a deal worth $218.5M. According to Helios, it acquired Balboa Water Group from investment funds affiliated with AE Investors LP. Balboa's electronic controls are used for therapy baths and spas. Helios said it will use Balboa to enhance and accelerate its moe into new end markets. The company also said it expects the acquisition to be accretive from day one, with the $218.5M

RebateKey Reports Increase In Growth

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San Diego-based RebateKey , which operates an online website which provides cash back rebates and coupons, reports strong growth for the company as a result of the pandemic. According to the company, it nearly doubled the amount it has paid out in rebates in the last nine months, increasing rebates from $20 million in the first two years to over $43 million paid out to customers by the end of September.

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Headspace Shuffles CEO As Founders Step Back

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Santa Monica-based mindfulness and meditation service Headspace has shuffled its executive team, saying on Monday that it has named CeCe Morken as the CEO of the company. Morken was previously President and COO of the company, having been appointed to that role in April of 2020. The co-founders of Headspace, Rich Pierson and Andy Puddicombe, are transitioning to become co-executive Chairman of the company.

CoreLogic: Mortgage Delinquencies Spike, Despite Strong Housing Demand

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Irvine-based property information provider CoreLogic reports that it is seeing a spike in U.S. serious delinquiencies on mortgages--the highest level since April of 2014--despite strong housing demand. According to the firm, 6.6 percent of mortgages were in some stage of delinquency (30 days or more past due, including those in foreclosure), a 2.8 percent increase over July of 2019, when it was 3.8%.

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Walmart's Shoes.com Acquired By Manhattan Beach Investor

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Online footwear and apparel retailer Shoes.com --which was owned by Walmart--has been acquired by Manhattan Beach-based investment firm CriticalPoint Capital, LLC , CriticalPoint announced this morning. Financial terms of the acquisition were not announced. CriticalPoint Capital, led by President and CEO John Foristall, says it already has transactions it has made in the footwear industry, including JackRabbit, Clever Training and Olympia Sports.

Capillary Biomedical Gets $1.5M For Insulin Infusion

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Irvine-based Capillary Biomedical , a startup focused on develping new insulin pump technology, said on Wednesday afternoon that it has raised $1.5M in loan funding. The company said the funding came in the form of a loan from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust (Helmsley).

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Givsum Gets Funding, Support From Two Accelerators

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Costa Mesa-based Givsum , which develops online software to help charitable organizations with their operations and fundraising, says it has received both new funding, as well as support, from two accelerators. Givsum said that has received capital investments from both SteelBridge Labs and OC4 Venture Studios, but did not say how much it raised from those efforts. Givsum is led by co-founder and CEO Shawn Wehan.

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B. Riley Financial Takes Stake In IQvestment Holdings

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Los Angeles-based business advisory and financial services company B. Riley Financial has made a strategic investment in a developer of software for the financial industry, IQvestment Holdings , the company announced this morning. Size of the investment was not announced. According to B. Riley Financial, Chuck Hastings joins IQvestment Holdings' board of directors, with Jon Merriman joining the company's advisory board.

Newlight Technologies Finds $45M

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Huntington beach-based Newlight Technologies , a developer of an ocean-degradable biopolymer, which can be used like plastic but decays with exposure to seawater, has raised $45M in the company's Series F funding round. The funding came from private equity firm Valedor Partners, as well as GrayArch Partners.

J2 Global Expands Board With Healthcare Exec

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Los Angeles-based J2 Global --which owns a very large number of online publishing and services companies--said today that it has added Pamela M. Sutton-Wallace, MPH, to its board of directors. According to J2 Global, Sutton-Wallace currently serves as Senior Vice President and Regional Chief Operating Officer of New York Presbyterian, and has more than 25 years of healthcare experience.

Triller Seeking To Go Public Via SPAC, Says Report

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Los Angeles-based social application developer Triller , which competes head to head against TikTok , is seeking to reach the public markets through a SPAC (special purpose acquisition company), according to a report. According to Reuters , Triller has hired an investment banking firm, Farvahar Partners, to assist it in the effort, and also appears to be seeking additional funding in parallel. Reuters cited "people familiar with the matter" for the report.

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Matt Knox and Joey Lane, Bingie

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For today's interview, we have Matt Knox and Joey Lane , the co-founders of Bingie , a new app which lets users share recommendations on streaming TV and movies. We chatted with Matt and Joey on what they're up to. Image: Joey Lane on the left, Matt Knox on the right. Describe the app and what it does? Matt Knox: Bingie is a social app that makes recommendations for TV and movies, and lets you share them and watch them with friends.

MediaAlpha Files For IPO

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Los Angeles-based MediaAlpha , which develops a technology platform to help insurance companies acquire customers, has filed for an IPO, saying it is looking to raise up to $100M on the public markets. The company's major backers are White Mountains Insurance Group and Insignia. The IPO is being underwritten by J.P. Morgan, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, RBC Capital Markets, Canaccord Genuity, William Blair, and MUFG.

YouMail Signs Up Republic Wireless

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Irvine-based YouMail , which develops alternative voicemail and robocall blocking software, says it is providing its services to Republic Wireless , with a new, opt-in call blocking service. Financial details on the deal with Republic Wireless were not announced. YouMail's software--which works in conjunction with a user's phone carrier and both Android and iOS applications--has recently focused in on blocking robotcalls, in addition to offering up an enhanced voicemail service. READ MORE>>.

Boring Company's Vegas Loop Won't Meet Passenger Goals, Says Report

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A report, published Friday, says that the Las Vegas hyperloop system being built under the Las Vegas Convention Center by Los Angeles-based The Boring Company will will not meet passenger throughput requirements of the contract. According to documents obtained by TechCrunch, the system built by Elon Musk will only be able to move around 1,200 people an hour--only a quarter of what was specified in the contract for the system.

EDF Renewables North America Acquires 4.5 Gigawatt Solar Portfolio

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San Diego-based solar power developer EDF Renewables North America said on Friday that it is acquiring a 4.5 gigawatt solar portfolio, being developed by Geenex Solar, LLC. Financial details of the acquisition were not announced. According to the companies, Geenex was founded in 2012, and will help bring regional development expertise to EDF Renewables. EDF Renewables transaction will accelerate its growth in the PJM wholesale electricity market.

Cornerstone OnDemand Links Into ServiceNow

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Santa Monica-based Cornerstone OnDemand , which develops cloud-based employee development software, says it has integrated its products with ServiceNow. According to the two, the integration allows organizations that use Cornerstone to train their employees to directly integrate with ServiceNow's HR delivery products.

CoreLogic To Divest Reseller Business

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Irvine-based property information provider CoreLogic said this morning that it will discontinue its reseller business, as part of a previously announced "strategic plan". The company said by divesting the business--which offers up tenant screening, credit, and borrower verification services--it will "signnificantly enhance" its revenue profile and increase its margins. The firm also said the move will reduce its exposure to mortgage volatility. READ MORE>>.

AECOM Sells Power Construction Business To Private Equity Investor

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Los Angeles-based construction giant AECOM announced this morning that it is selling off its Power construction business, to affiliates of CriticalPoint Capital, LLC. Financial details of the deal were not announced. The company said the sale is part of an effort to transform itself into a "higher-margin, lower-risk" professional services business. AECOM said it was advised by Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz along with DBO Partners LLC in the transaction. READ MORE>>.

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Fisker In Manufacturing Deal With Magna

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Los Angeles-based electric vehicle designer Fisker Inc. said on Thursday that it has reached a deal with auto supplier Magna International , where Magna will provide the vehicle platform and build Fisker's upcoming Ocean SUV. According to Fisker, it expects Magna to manufacture the Ocean SUV at its European vehicle assembly facility, starting in Q4 of 2022.

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iHerb To Invest $100M In Russia

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Pasadena-based online vitamin seller iHerb says it plans to invest $100M in Russia, as a part of an effort to serve the Russian community. The company said the investment will include exporting Russian products, partnerships with Russian logistics companies, expansion of our technology development center, and the building of robotic fulfillment centers. The company, which sells vitamins and supplements online, did not say what percentage of its business is in that country.

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