Sat.May 04, 2019 - Fri.May 10, 2019

Pearl, the healthcare spinout from LA-based AI startup, GumGum, raises $11 million

TechCrunch LA

GumGum , the Los Angeles-based startup that’s spent the past decade applying machine learning technologies to advertising and sports, has spun out a new healthcare startup focused on the dental industry called Pearl.

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Zillow Expands Instant Home Buying Service To LA, San Diego


Online real estate service Zillow is expanding its home buying service to both Los Angeles and San Diego, the company announced this week, in a move which will allow home buyers to get nearly instant offers on their homes--instead of going through a traditional broker and offering their home on the market. According to Zillow, the addition of Los Angeles and San Diego comes along with a move into six new markets. Zillow already had been offering up the service in the Inland Empire.

Uber Completes $8.1B Public Market Debut in Spite of Tumultuous Past


Ride-hailing giant Uber secured $8.1 billion in new capital late Thursday as it priced an initial public offering that set its market capitalization at $82.4 billion , according to calculations by The New York Times and other news outlets.

Everyone needs to manage their mantra or move on.


Ever stand with someone you’ve never met when at a party, a trade show or just meet someone in the hallway? We all have. And then that person opens his or her mouth and spends a boring two minutes describing their business to you?

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North America CACS 2019

SoCal Tech Calendar

Wednesday, May 15, 2019 -- North America CACS 2019. IT Audit, Control, and Security Event. Stay ahead of trends and tools across your professional landscape. Join us at North America CACS 2019, 13-15 May in Anaheim, California, and be a part of the top conference for IS audit and security professionals! See [link] (more

Report: Bird Facing Major Issues With Keeping Scooters Alive


Santa Monica-based last-mile transportation startup Bird is facing big issues with keeping its scooters up and operating, according to a story from the LA Times published on Sunday. According to the LA Times, despite a massive rollout of scooters across the world, the scooters are wearing out "long before they could earn back their cost". An study shows that Bird had nearly 7,000 scooters active in Los Angeles County in January, but only 1,500 of them survived until April.

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j2 Global's Q1 Revenues Rise To $299.9M


Los Angeles-based J2 Global , the owner of such Internet publishing brands as IGN, Mashable, PCMag, Everyday Health, and also cloud services such as eFax, eVoice, KeepItSafe, and Livedrive, reported its quarterly results on Tuesday evening, saying that its quarterly revenues rose to a record of $299.9M. Those quarterly results were up from Q1 of 2018, when the company had revenues of $280.6M. The company said net cash provided by its operating activities increased to $116.9M

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Phyn Finds $12M More For Smart Water Monitoring


Los Angeles-based Phyn , the Belkin spinout which is developing very advanced, machine learning-driven smart water usage monitoring systms, has raised $12M more in a funding round, the company announced on Thursday. The funding came from Belkin International and Uponor, both prior investors in Phyn. According to Phyn, the new funding will go towards research and new product development, to help it grow its footprint in the U.S., and continued expansion in global markets.

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StoryBots Acquired By Netflix


StoryBots , the kids' mobile app and content developer created by long time Southern California entrepreneurs Gregg and Evan Spiridellis, has been acquired by Netflix , Netflix announced on Thursday. Financial details of the acquisition were not announced. StoryBots was created by Gregg and Evan Spiridellis when they were running another, local technology company--JibJab-- when, as new parents, they recognized the need for good children's content on mobile platforms.

Appetize Sees Gains With Self Service Kiosks


Playa Vista-based point-of-sale equipment and software provider Appetize says that its recent move to offer up "self-service" kiosks to its customers, has resulted in its customers seeing more spending and demand. The company--which uses tablets and other technology to provide a more modern approach to point-of-sale terminals--said its customers are seeing an up to 40 percent increase in order size due to the availability of its self-service kiosks.

Neural Analytics Finds $22M For Medical Robotics


Los Angeles-based Neural Analytics , a developer of medical robotics technology being used to track and measure brain health in possible stroke victims, has raised $22M in its Series C funding, the company said this morning. The company says it has now raised approximately $66M in total. The Series C funding was led by Alpha Edison.

Indose Inhales $3.5M In Funding From Snoop Dogg's Casa Verde


Woodland Hills-based Indose , a startup developing a vape device for THC and cannabis, has raised $3.5M in a Series A funding round, according to the company. The funding came from Casa Verde Capital, the cannabis investment fund run by Snoop Dogg. According to Indose, it has developed a vape pen technology which provides a measured dose of THC to the user. According to the company, it has created an "individualized, controlled vannabis vaping experience".

MabVax Therapeutics Looks To Sell Company In $3.7M Bankruptcy


San Diego-based biopharmaceuticals developer Mabvax , which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in March, has lined up a buyer for the company , in a deal worth $3.7M. Mabvax filed for bankruptcy in March, claiming that it was the victim of "pump-and-run" by outside investors. Mabvax was developing treatments for cancer, using antibody technology. READ MORE>>. mabvax therapeutics biopharmaceuticals phamraceutical merger acquisition bankruptcy lifescience biotech

Relativity Signs Satellite Rideshare Deal


Los Angeles-based Relativity , a developer of robotics technology and 3D manufacturing technology aimed at developing 3D printed rockets, says it has signed a launch services agreement with satellite ridesharing arranger Spaceflight. According to Relativity, Spaceflight will manifest missions to Low Earth Orbit (LEO) on Relativity's 3D printed rocket, the Terran 1. Relativity has not yet launched its first rocket. Financial details of that launch services agreement were not announced.

Pearl Picks Up $11M To Apply AI Vision To Dental Industry


Los Angeles-based Pearl , the machine learning startup which was spun out of advertising AI software startup GumGum , has raised $11M in a funding round, which came from Craft Ventures, as well as un-named strategic investors. The startup, led by GumGum founder Ophir Tanz, says it is uses artificial intelligence to help the dental industry, with plans to roll out artificial intelligence-powered dentistry tools using computer vision technology.

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AppOnboard Gives Away Instant App Software For Free


Los Angeles-based AppOnboard says it has begun giving away its codeless app development software, AppOnboard Studio , to help developers create "instant apps" and playable ads, as well as prototypes. The startup--led by startup veteran Jonathan Zweig--said the free version of its software makes it easy for people to design and build interactive versions of their mobile apps and games. AppOnboard has been offering up to the tool to many mobile game developers, to help them offer up game previews.

Sonos Launches Google Assistant Support, Reports Q2 Results


Goleta-based whole home speaker manufacturer Sonos said on Thursday that it has launched Google Assistant on Sonos, allowing Google's voice assistant to run on Sonos "smart" speakers through a software upgrade. According to Sonos, it will begin rolling out the feature next week in the U.S., with more markets to come over the next few months.

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Chrome River Powers New Expense App For U.S. Bank


Los Angeles-based software developer Chrome River and U.S. Bank announced this week that Chrome River is powering a new app being launched by U.S. Bank, the U.S. Bank Expense Wizard. According to the two, the new payment software helps streamline payments and reconciliation for infrequent business travelers. Financial details of the arrangement between the two companies were not announced.

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Scopely Buys DIGIT Game Studios


Los Angeles-based mobile game publisher Scopely has acquired DIGIT Game Studios , the game development studio behind its hit mobile game, Star Trek Fleet Command , Scopely announced on Thursday. Financial details of the acquisition were not announced. Scopely was already a strategic investor in Dublin, Ireland-based DIGIT, having made an investment in DIGIT in 2015.

ChowNow Connects With $21M More


Los Angeles-based online ordering software developer ChowNow has raised $21M more in funding, in its Series C funding, according to the company. The funding came from 3L Capital and Catalyst Investors, and brings the company's total raised to $60M. Chowow is led by co-founder and CEO Chris Webb. As part of the funding, the company said that Shawn Colo, the co-founder and managing director of 3L Capital, has joined the company's board.

LiveXLive Inks Livestream Deal With Tencent Video


West Hollywood-based LiveXLive Media , which produces digital media for the live entertainment space, has inked a distribution deal with Chinese video platform Tencent Video , where LiveXLive will stream the EDC Las Vegas music festival to Chinese viewers. According to LiveXLive, it has granted Tencent exclusive rights to distribute the livestream of Insomniac's EDC Las Vegas throughout China, including Macau and Hong Kong, for the weekend of May 17th to 19th.

St. Cloud Capital Rolls Up Healthcare Firms Into A New Company, AleraCare


Los Angeles-based private equity investor St. Cloud Capital announced on Wednesday that it has made a growth capital investment in a new company, AleraCare Holdings , which will provide. home and community-based healthcare and pharmacy services for high-need and medically complex populations. Size of the investment was not announced. According to St.

How Runtriz Is Powering Mobile Apps For Hotels, with Alonso Vargas


For our interview this morning, we caught up with Alonso Vargas , the CTO and co-founder of Runtriz (, a Los Angeles company which has been powering the mobile apps and experiences for Radisson, Best Western, a lot of boutique brands. What does Runtriz do?

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GOAT Jumps On Augmented Reality


Los Angeles-based online sneaker marketplace operator GOAT has rolled out an augmented reality (AR) feature, which lets buyers on the site see sneakers feature on the site in AR, the company said on Wednesday. According to GOAT, users on iOS and Android can both view sneakers in a new AR feature of those apps, starting with the Travis Scott x Air Jorcan 1 Retro High OG 'Mocha'. GOAT recently raised $100M in a funding round led by Footlocker, and has raised nearly $200M in total for its efforts.

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AEG Backs UN Sports, Climate Effort


Los Angeles--based sports and live entertainment company AEG --which is behind the LA Kings , LA Galaxy , as well as Eisbaren Berlin and the Ontario Reign, said it has stepped up to support the United Nation's Sports for Climate Action Framework. The framework outlines a set of principles for the global sports community, to help combat climate change and to use sports as a "unifying tool" to drive climate awareness.

MabVax Therapeutics' Assets Acquired By German Company


The antibody assets and infrastructure of San Diego-based MabVax Therapeutics has been acquired by a German company, BioNTech SE , according to BioNTech SE. Financial details of the acquisition were not annoucned. BioNTech SE is acquiring those assets out of the Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings for MabVax. According to BioNTech SE, it itends to establish a new, research facility in San Diego as a result of the agreement.

Tech Coast Angels Backed 53 Companies In 2018, $10.8M Invested


The Tech Coast Angels , the largest organized angel investment group both in Southern California as well as across the venture ecosystem, says it backed a total of 53 companies in all of 2018, putting in a total of $10.8M across those companies. According to the TCA, about 76 percent of its investments in 2018 went to 34 new companies in its portfolio, with the largest investment--nearly 15 percent of its investments--in a single investment worth $1.6 million in Tourmaline Labs.

Exploding Kittens Raise $20M


Los Angeles-based Exploding Kittens , the developer of the card game of the same name, has raised a huge, $20M equity funding round, according to a regulatory filing from the firm. Details on the fundraising effort have not yet been announced by the company, however, the developers behind the game have been crowdfunding for the new title since earlier this year. The game developers of Exploding Kittens were behind the hit game title "Throw Throw Burrito".

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Wave Financial Group Finds Funding From Fineqia, Aims At Blockchain Investing


Los Angeles-based Wave Financial Group , a new, Blockchain investment company led by former Wavemaker Partners co-founder David Siemer, has received a round of funding from London, UK-based Finequia Investments Limited , according to the two companies. Size of the equity investment was not announced. According to the two companies, Wave undertakes early-stage investment, asset management, treasury management and strategy consulting to enhance the adoption of blockchain technologies worldwide.

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Science Inc. Backs Liquid Death's Punk Water Brand


Santa Monica-based startup studio Science Inc. has just made a $1.6M seed investment in a new startup, Liquid Death , which sells a canned water brand whose tagline is "Murder Your Thirst". The startup is led by former Netflix creative director Mike Cessario. According to the company, it sources its water from the Austrian alps. Science Inc's Michael Jones--former CEO of MySpace--now sits on the board of Liquid Death. The company sells its canned water in a 12-pack for $1.83