TechCrunch LA

Kim Kardashian becomes a private equity dealmaker in collab with ex-Carlyle partner

TechCrunch LA

America’s favorite reality star is leveling up her repertoire and levering up businesses. Kim Kardashian, who passed the “baby bar” exam in preparation to become a lawyer last year, just added another job title to her lineup — private equity investor.

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Down bad

TechCrunch LA

Welcome back to Chain Reaction. Last week, we talked about layoffs and the Winklevoss rock gods. This week, we’re looking at a new layer of crypto doom and gloom. Get this newsletter in your inbox every Thursday by subscribing on TechCrunch’s newsletter page. crash redux.

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Movio wants to make your marketing videos with generative AI

TechCrunch LA

Generative AI is suddenly everywhere. Over the past year, you’ve probably seen people showcasing impressive AI-generated artworks, thanks to progress in text-to-image algorithms introduced by groups like OpenAI and Stability AI.

Why an Atlanta-based Black influencer collective swapped their collab house for a studio

TechCrunch LA

From Los Angeles to Silicon Valley , a trend emerged among social media influencers and startup founders alike: move into a mansion with 10 or so collaborators, work day and night together to build fame and wealth, and hope that your new roommates do their dishes.

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.

A16z-backed Shein challenger Cider is growing rapidly

TechCrunch LA

Shein has shown the world how combining social media marketing, data analytics, and China’s well-oiled supply chain has created a $100 billion fast fashion behemoth. Its success naturally spawns imitators and challengers.

Netflix employees stage a trans solidarity walkout, pose list of demands

TechCrunch LA

Netflix employees staged a walkout yesterday in response to the company’s handling of a Dave Chappelle special that premiered on October 5. At the same time, Los Angeles-based trans activist Ashlee Marie Preston hosted a rally in solidarity with Netflix workers participating in the walkout.

Entity Academy, an edtech startup that trains, mentors and places women in tech roles, secures $100M

TechCrunch LA

Women have made great inroads into the tech world in recent years, but there remains a long way to go before we reach a truly equitable state of affairs in workforce numbers, remuneration and product development.

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Planning 500,000 charging points for EVs by 2025, Shell becomes the latest company swept up in EV charging boom

TechCrunch LA

Shell’s plan to roll out 500,000 electric charging station in just four years is the latest sign of an EV charging infrastructure boom that has prompted investors to pour cash into the industry and inspired a few companies to become public companies in search of the capital needed to meet demand.

Mythical Games raises $75M to build an NFT game engine

TechCrunch LA

Even as NFT sales dip below their most speculative highs, startups aiming to tap into their potential are still scoring big funding rounds from investors who believe there’s much more to crypto collectibles than the past few months of hype.

How long can Zuckerberg afford to bankroll the AR/VR market?

TechCrunch LA

Hello friends, and welcome back to Week in Review ! Last week, we talked about about the “de-stonkifying” of the market. This week, we’re looking at a wounded Facebook/Meta that finds itself backed into a corner.

London and SF have become Impact Tech hubs, with 280% increase in VC in 5 years

TechCrunch LA

New research has found that San Francisco and London have become two of the world’s leading hubs for VC investment into tech solutions that address one or more of the 17 UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), more commonly referred to as “Impact Tech” They are followed by Paris, Berlin, Stockholm, Shanghai and Beijing.

Apple is opening a store in downtown LA’s nearly 100-year-old Tower Theatre

TechCrunch LA

This Thursday, Apple will mark the opening of a new store in downtown Los Angeles. The space occupies the newly renovated Tower Theatre, which opened in DTLA’s Broadway Theater District in 1927.

A security flaw in Grindr let anyone easily hijack user accounts

TechCrunch LA

Grindr, one of the world’s largest dating and social networking apps for gay, bi, trans, and queer people, has fixed a security vulnerability that allowed anyone to hijack and take control of any user’s account using only their email address.

Maestro nets $15 million for its interactive commerce, community and engagement tools for livestreams

TechCrunch LA

Making money on livestreams has never been easier thanks to a suite of tools from the Los Angeles-based startup Maestro , which just nabbed $15 million in financing to grow its business.

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GrubMarket raises $60M as food delivery stays center stage

TechCrunch LA

Companies that have leveraged technology to make the procurement and delivery of food more accessible to more people have been seeing a big surge of business this year, as millions of consumers are encouraged (or outright mandated, due to Covid-19) to socially distance or want to avoid the crowds of physical shopping and eating excursions.

Residential renewable energy developer Swell is raising $450 million for distributed power projects in three states

TechCrunch LA

Swell Energy , an installer and manager of residential renewable energy, energy efficiency and storage technologies, is raising $450 million to finance the construction of four virtual power plants representing a massive amount of energy storage capacity paired with solar power generation.

GrubMarket gobbles up $120M at a $1B+ pre-money valuation to take on the grocery supply chain

TechCrunch LA

When people talk about “online food delivery” services, chances are that they’ll think of the Uber Eats, Instacarts and Getirs of this world.

With an ARR topping $250 million, LA’s vertical SAAS superstar ServiceTitan is now worth $8.3 billion

TechCrunch LA

Who knew building a vertical software as a service toolkit focused on home heating and cooling could be worth $8.3 billion?

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Niantic transcends Discord to build Campfire, an AR social app, and unveils Lightship VPS

TechCrunch LA

Since the launch of Pokémon Go in 2016, players have been coordinating meetups, in-game raids and battles on platforms like Reddit and Discord. This summer, parent company Niantic is unveiling Campfire, a social app designed to help mobile augmented reality (AR) gamers connect.

Human Capital: Moving away from ‘master/slave’ terminology

TechCrunch LA

TGIF, am I right? Welcome back to Human Capital, where we explore some of the latest news in labor, diversity and inclusion in tech. This week, we’re looking at the use of “master/slave” terminology in computer programming and the current state of gig workers in California.

Elon Musk moved to Texas

TechCrunch LA

SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk said Tuesday that he has moved to Texas, confirming months of speculation that the billionaire would leave California, a state of which he has become increasingly critical.

Beyond Meat unveils two new versions of its Beyond Burgers

TechCrunch LA

Beyond Meat has launched two new versions of its Beyond Burgers, the company announced today. The two new options will be available on store shelves in 2021, but will be on offer at a two-day pop up event in Los Angeles for folks to try.

Cyber insurance startup At-Bay raises $34M Series C, adds M12 as a new investor

TechCrunch LA

Cybersecurity insurance startup At-Bay has raised $34 million in its Series C round, the company announced Tuesday. The round was led by Qumra Capital, a new investor.

Pitching access management on the fly, Los Angeles-based Britive raises $5.4 million

TechCrunch LA

It seems Los Angeles is becoming an enterprise software hotspot. LA saw its first big enterprise exit in recent memory with the recent acquisition of Signal Sciences for $775 million, and less than a month later a hometown startup, Britive has raised $5.4

LA tech industry mourns Kobe Bryant

TechCrunch LA

The Los Angeles startup community is joining the rest of the world in mourning the death of NBA superstar, entrepreneur and investor Kobe Bryant who was killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, Calif., shortly before 10 a.m. on Sunday.

Google Maps gets improved Live View AR directions

TechCrunch LA

Google today announced a few updates to Live View, the augmented reality walking directions in its Google Maps app that officially launched last year.

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Sundae snags $36M to build out its distressed property marketplace

TechCrunch LA

Opendoor has opened the door, so to speak, for startups to apply their technical expertise in search, marketplaces and audience segmentation to rethink the very antiquated and analogue world of property.

With Bambee, Allan Jones wants to give small businesses HR services their employees can trust

TechCrunch LA

Allan Jones’s first startup was Fourth and Grand , a Trunk Club-like service backed by the venture studio and accelerator, Science, out of Santa Monica.

From bioprinting lab-grown meat in Russia to Beyond Meat in the US, KFC is embracing the future of food

TechCrunch LA

From a partnership with the Russian company 3D Bioprinting Solutions to make chicken meat replacements using plant material and lab cultured chicken cells to an expansion of its Beyond Fried Chicken pilots to Southern California, KFC is aggressively pushing forward with its experiments around the future of food.

Snap accelerator names its latest cohort

TechCrunch LA

Yellow , the accelerator program launched by Snap in 2018, has selected ten companies to join its latest cohort. The new batch of startups coming from across the U.S.

The Shed is a startup out of Virginia trying to revive the rental-for-everything business

TechCrunch LA

Reducing consumption by expanding the notion of the rental economy and giving people access to tools and equipment has been something of a startup holy grail for some time.

Uber CEO says service faces temporary shutdown in California over worker reclassification ruling

TechCrunch LA

Uber could be forced to shut down its ride-hailing app in California for several months if a court doesn’t overturn a recent ruling that classifies its drivers as full-time employees, CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said in an interview with MSNBC.

Inside the Realms of Ruin

TechCrunch LA

“The Ruin stirs, and the Five Realms rumble,” a now-archived web announcement read on Thursday morning.

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Hyundai taps EV startup Canoo to develop electric vehicles

TechCrunch LA

Hyundai Motor Group said it will jointly develop an electric vehicle platform with Los Angeles-based startup Canoo, the latest startup tapped by the automaker as part of an $87 billion push to invest in electrification and other future technologies.

Swell Energy’s new deal in New York shows how the company plans to spend the $450 million it’s raising

TechCrunch LA

Back in December, Swell Energy said it would be raising $450 million to support the development of distributed power projects in three states.

Top LA investors discuss the city’s post-COVID-19 prospects

TechCrunch LA

When it comes to venture capital, Los Angeles is a city on the rise. In the past year, it’s seen one of the most profitable venture-backed exits of any tech ecosystem (with the $4 billion sale of Honey to PayPal) and investors are minting billion-dollar companies in the region at a torrid pace.

Google promises better 3D maps

TechCrunch LA

Google is announcing a handful of major updates to Google Maps today that range from bringing its Live View AR directions indoors to adding weather data to its maps, but the most tantalizing news — which in typical Google fashion doesn’t have an ETA just yet — is that Google plans to bring a vastly improved 3D layer to Google maps.

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Taika is building a better coffee through natural chemistry and adaptogens

TechCrunch LA

So, an eight-year product veteran from Facebook and an internationally renowned barista walk into a coffee bar… It’s not a joke. It’s the origin story for Taika , a new startup that’s aiming to bring natural stimulants to the masses through its juiced up coffee-beverages.

PepsiCo signs on to sponsor new founder-in-residence program from M13

TechCrunch LA

The budding venture studio being built inside M13 has signed PepsiCo as its first new corporate partner.

Closing on $103M, MaC VC is changing the face of venture capital

TechCrunch LA

The partners at MaC Venture Capital , the Los Angeles-based investment firm that has just closed on $103 million for its inaugural fund, have spent the bulk of their careers breaking barriers.

Postmates is launching a new retail delivery feature as brick and mortar stores face 14% drop in sales

TechCrunch LA

Postmates is now rolling out what could be the biggest update to the company’s service in a long time — adding a retail option for users to shop local stores and for local merchants to set up a virtual on-demand storefront in the app.

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Sneaker culture staple GOAT hits $1.75 billion valuation on new $100 million round

TechCrunch LA

In this case, money, it really is the shoes. GOAT , the proprietor of online and physical retail locations for reselling the collectible kicks and kits that are the currency of street cred and cultural cool among the youths, is now worth a whopping $1.75