Energica CEO plots her Italian EV company’s reboot from lockdown

TechCrunch LA

The CEO of the high-performance Italian motorcycle manufacturer offered that point of optimism, as her Modena based EV company remains closed by government decree. From lockdown in her Northern Italy home, Cevolini shared perspective on the future of motorcycling, acquisition offers and plans to recharge her company when the COVID-19 crisis subsides. The company — that has has a California office and U.S. MotoE riders use the company’s EGO model as their base bike.

Does your company culture encourage employee curiosity?

Berkonomics

Some of the world’s best companies to work for are those that encourage employees to spend time following their own paths of curiosity toward development of new products or services. Every company has hidden talent, creative thinkers that are not in a position to demonstrate their talents.

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An economics lesson for growing companies

Berkonomics

Growing companies usually require more working capital during their periods of rapid growth. Venture or angel-financed companies with plenty of working capital sometimes are immune to this working capital need for some time into their growth, but at some point, it will become clear that the cheapest form of finance is not equity in a growing enterprise. Catching up from past insights.

Selling your company for less than expected?

Berkonomics

Sometimes the end game or sale of the company is not a happy event. I have been on a number of boards where just these decisions are faced, often with the corporate attorney in the room as protection, with the specter of conflict of interest looming over the discussion, as board members who are preferred investors decide how to divide the proceeds of a marginal sale of the company or its assets. How about outside investors?

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.

How about personal guarantees for company debt?

Berkonomics

As a rule of thumb, a company with a majority owner in control will be required to provide such a guarantee for most any borrowing of significant size in relation to assets. A win-win for the investor and entrepreneur assuming the company does grow and have a liquidity event someday.

Bird Buys Berlin Company

L.A. Business Journal

acquired Circ, an electric scooter company headquartered in Berlin, in a bid to expand the Santa Monica-based company’s European operations Electric scooter operator Bird Rides Inc.

Pepperdine Names Most Fundable Companies

L.A. Business Journal

Pepperdine’s Graziadio Business School announced the winners of its second annual Most Fundable Companies competition

LA Companies Prep for CES

L.A. Business Journal

Although it takes place at the Las Vegas Convention Center, the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show is a key event for technology companies and startups based in Los Angeles

Could you be your company’s bottleneck?

Berkonomics

So many tasks; so little time. As a manager, you have a number of critical tasks that are general to your position as opposed to specific to your industry. These include ensuring the continued health of the organization, setting the moral compass for your stakeholders, providing for succession by training and documenting, leading the effort in compliance of regulations and safety needs, and … elimination of all possible bottlenecks that impede the efficiency of your organization.

You are your company’s moral compass.

Berkonomics

Years ago, when I was CEO of my record manufacturing company in Hollywood, I happened to walk around the plant into the press room just as Bobby, one of the employees’ favorite coworkers, was offering stolen merchandise to his fellow pressmen from a bag he was carrying. How your decisions affect your company. How you comport yourself in these situations is absolutely the litmus test for how your company culture will reflect your actions.

NantHealth Acquires Data Company OpenNMS

L.A. Business Journal

Billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong’s NantHealth Inc., which uses data analysis and artificial intelligence technology to assist physicians and improve patient outcomes, is going even more high tech

Crisis Speeds Growth Among Gaming Companies

L.A. Business Journal

Gaming companies, already a nimble bunch, are adapting and even thriving in a Covid-19 world

Humana partners with Heal and invests $100 million in the company’s doctor-on-demand service

TechCrunch LA

While Desai’s bluster may be wishful thinking, the doctor’s office is certainly changing, and that’s thanks in part to companies like Heal, which offer in-home and telemedical consultations — and health insurance providers like Humana that are backing them. Already, the company has expanded into new treatment areas, including teletherapy for mental health. “The doctor’s office is dead.”

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The Boring Company Completes Las Vegas Tunnel Dig

socalTECH

The The Boring Company , the Elon Musk company which is developing underground transportation systems, has completed digging its tunnels underneath the Las Vegas Convention Center. project would be The Boring Company's first commercial transportation project, once complete. Vegas Loop 12:41 AM Rumblings pic.twitter.com/aEFbkwD8WI — The Boring Company (@boringcompany) May 14, 2020. boring company vegas convention center tunnel high speed transportation elon musk

SmartDrive Wins Paving Company

socalTECH

San Diego-based driving safety and monitoring systems provider SmartDrive Systems announced this morning that it has signed up Superior Paving, a large asphalt paving company on the East Coast, as a new customer. smartdrive paving company driver safety fleet auto automotive transportation

Boosted Commerce Finds $87M, Acquires Amazon Fulfillment Companies

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based Boosted Commerce announced on Thursday that it has raised $87M, and acquired six different companies in the business of Amazon fulfillment. Staggs (former COO of the Walt Disney Company); Marc Mezvinsky (TPG), and David Farhi (COO, Monarch Casino & Resort).

Share Ventures, an LA-based studio for company creation, is MoviePass co-founder Hamet Watt’s next act

TechCrunch LA

” With $10 million in financing from a slew of investors including Upfront Ventures, Alpha Edison, the general partners and founders of True Ventures, and a Korean family office, Share Ventures will look to launch between two and four companies per year. Within those two areas, the company will focus on developing businesses that enable the development of individual purpose, mental and physical enhancement, and personal and professional growth, according to Watt.

Private tech companies mobilize to address shortages for medical supplies, masks and sanitizer

TechCrunch LA

While some of the largest privately held technology companies, like SpaceX and Tesla , have shifted to manufacturing ventilators, smaller companies are also trying to pitch in and relieve scarcity locally. 3D-printing companies are working on new ways to manufacture personal protective equipment and swabs for COVID-19 testing. The World Health Organization approved their sanitizers, which the company will produce in its warehouse in San Francisco.

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LA-based gaming company, Scopely, expands in Spain and Ireland

TechCrunch LA

The Los Angeles-based gaming company, Scopely is expanding its geographical footprint in Spain and Ireland. The company is building out its Barcelona offices tripling its office space and planning to significantly expand its 100-person-strong team in the city. The company also plans to double its footprint in its hometown of Los Angeles in 2020.

Massage-on-demand company, Soothe, raises $31 million

TechCrunch LA

The Series C round from late stage and growth capital investment firm, The Riverside Company , caps a busy first quarter for the massage service. The former CFO of MarketShare, Heyrick has helped the company expand to over 11,000 massage therapists in its network. The company said the new round would help keep massage therapists in its network with pricing that can be up to three times more than those therapists would make in their local markets.

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The best things about your company board

Berkonomics

For weeks, we’ve highlighted both good and bad things about boards of directors for your company (or non-profit.) This week, let’s focus upon number one – aside from the requirements of boards to protect the company itself (not the shareholders.). Boards provide or see to it that there are resources for the company (especially money) to operate. No, that is not the watch company, if you are one of those.)

Upstart banking company Dave is now worth $1 billion, as Norwest puts in $50 million

TechCrunch LA

Two years after the Los Angeles-based fintech startup Dave launched with a suite of money management tools to save consumers from overdraft fees , the company is now worth $1 billion thanks to a nascent banking practice that had investors lining up. The company has taken a methodical approach to opening its doors as a digital bank, in part because it wants to have the necessary support infrastructure in place to service the demand that Wilk expects to see for its service.

Innovative Companies Turn LA into an AI Hub

L.A. Business Journal

The idea of artificial intelligence may conjure up images of robots and mechanical automation, but for businesses, the technology’s applications are much more wide-ranging

NASA moves forward with 17 companies as part of bid to transform urban aerial transportation

TechCrunch LA

NASA and a clutch of startup and established companies are moving forward with plans to transform mobility in urban environments through the Urban Air Mobility Grand Challenge. The Grand Challenge series brings together companies developing new transportation or airspace management technologies, the Agency said. Developmental Airspace Simulation: The companies will test traffic management services in NASA-designed airspace simulations for urban air mobility.

Visa Acquires Payment Protection Company Verifi

L.A. Business Journal

Mid-Wilshire-based Verifi, which develops software to secure electronic payments for businesses, was acquired by Visa Inc.

New THC and CBD infused beverage company, Cann, joins the race to replace booze

TechCrunch LA

The company founded by two former Bain consultants is the latest to take on the growing market for non-alcoholic intoxicants that use a combination of chemicals traditionally found in the marijuana plant to make their drinks. Bullock graduated from Stanford in 2018 and convinced Anderson to quit his job, the company raised cash through the fall and collected a cool $1.5

Does your company have a “dirty cap table?”

Berkonomics

The problem in taking such money rests in the legality of taking money from non-accredited investors, people who do not meet the SEC standard for making non-public company investments. Email readers, continue here…] Since many small investors in a young business do not meet that standard, there is a chance that the company has taken money that it should not have taken, according to SEC rules. Does issuing a PPM insulate the company? How it happens.

Hyundai taps EV startup Canoo to develop electric vehicles

TechCrunch LA

” The PBV, which Hyundai showcased last month at CES 2020, is a pod-like vehicle that the company says can be used for various functions in transit, such as a restaurant or clinic. The company rebranded as Canoo in spring 2019 and debuted its first vehicle last September.

One LA Company Hiring: Jam City

socalTECH

Even as the global pandemic has thrown growth plans into question, apparently, at least one Los Angeles company is ramping up its hiring: Jam City. According to a report, the LA mobile games developer has "dozens of positions" open at the company. Jam City is behind a large number of popular, casual mobile games, including the recently launch game World War Doh, the Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery mobile game; Panda Pop; Cookie Jam, and many others. READ MORE>>.

What about your previous company non-compete?

Berkonomics

Usually that means one they once or recently spent time in as an employee or manager within a company where they had little or no ownership. Some of these entrepreneurs starting a new company are alumni from companies that would be a competitor to the enterprise being created or joined. So, what are the rules about those pesky non-compete agreements signed upon your discharge, or upon the sale of your previous company?

What about your previous company non-compete?

Berkonomics

Usually that means one they once or recently spent time in as an employee or manager within a company where they had little or no ownership. Some of these entrepreneurs starting a new company are alumni from companies that would be a competitor to the enterprise being created or joined. So, what are the rules about those pesky non-compete agreements signed upon your discharge, or upon the sale of your previous company?

Illumina Selects Seven Companies For Accelerator

socalTECH

San Diego-based life sciences equipment maker Illumina says it has selected seven, early-stage companies to join its first startup accelerate, the. According to the company, due to the pandemic, it is kicking off its efforts digitally this month, due to lockdowns and travel restrictions. The companies include three companies in Cambrige, UK, and four companies in the San Francisco Bay Area. In the Bay Area, the companies include AarogyaAI Innovations Pvt.

The Honest Company Gets $70M

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based The Honest Company , the online, family products retailer led by serial entrepreneur Brian Lee, and which was co-founded by Jessica Alba, has raised $70M in a funding round, according to the company Tuesday. The funding was led by Wellingtom Management Company, and also included un-named, public market institutional investors, along with prior investors Lightspeed Venture Partners, Institutional Venture Partners, General Catalyst Partners and ICONIQ Capital.

Wittlebee Acquires Clothing Company

socalTECH

has acquired a clothing company, Cottonseed Clothing Company , the firm announced today. Cottonseed Clothing Company is a provider of t-shirt and apparel for kids. Wittlebee said that Cottonseed was one the first vendors to supply clothing to the company. The firm also said that Cottonseed Clothing CEO Erin Gutierrez will continue to be involved in the manufacturing process for the company. clothes acquisition merger ecommerce science company clothing wittlebe

LA Companies Turn Heads at CES

L.A. Business Journal

From ambitious streaming services to fantastical flying cars, Los Angeles companies demonstrated innovative concepts in droves last week in Las Vegas at the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show

Tinder Sues Parent Company

L.A. Business Journal

has filed a lawsuit against parent company InterActiveCorp., alleging IAC purposefully undervalued the company to avoid proper payouts to executives Match Group dating app subsidiary Tinder Inc.

Here’s a rule for companies with outstanding loans

Berkonomics

Here is one that is so important to the continued health of a growing company that it cannot be overstated. Long term debt is taken on for the acquisition of fixed assets such as equipment, cars, facilities and acquisitions of companies or their assets. How much can you borrow against company assets? Asset-based financing is common for companies with accounts receivable and / or inventories.

Cohu Buys Spring Probe Company

socalTECH

Poway-based Cohu said late Tuesday that it has agreed to acquire Kita Manufacturing Co LTD , a Japanese companies that develops products used in electronics manufacturing. The company said Kita had current year sales of estimated $17M. cohu spring probe company kita manufacturing japan electronics merger acquisition

What’s a company board good for, anyway?

Berkonomics

And good board members can add real value to you and the company. Importantly, these also help a board to cover the legal “duty of care” for the health of the company. A better company is the goal. Some of you have gotten along forever without a board of directors, or used your spouse as the “other” board member from the start. But there are some very good reasons to build a great board composed of some outside members.

The Honest Company Gets $200M Growth Investment

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based The Honest Company , the online natural baby, personal care, and beauty products provider, said Wednesday that it has raised $200M in a strategic minority investment, which came from private equity investor L Catterton. According to The Honest Company, the new funding will go towards its growth strategy, and will go both towards "innovation initiatives" as well as operational capabilities to boost its supply chain and global reach.

The Bouqs Company Names New CEO

socalTECH

Marina Del Rey-based online, floral delivery retailer The Bouqs Company announced today that it has named a new CEO, Alejandro Bethlen. The company said that founder and former CEO John Tabis will become Chairman of the Board.

J2 Global Acquires Two Companies

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based J2 Global , which owns a large portfolio of Internet services and publications, says it acquired two more companies during Q4 of 2019. The company--which is likely the most active acquirer of companies in Southern California's high tech economy--says it acquired FES IQ , a company in the digital media space, and Buffered VPN , a provider of cloud services based in Gibraltar.