Sat.Sep 26, 2020 - Fri.Oct 02, 2020

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.

What’s the Most Important Thing in a Young Business?

Berkonomics

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LA’s Thriving Edtech Startups Improve Remote Learning for Schools, Businesses

L.A. Business Journal

While the global pandemic has disrupted almost every industry, some businesses are experiencing accelerated growth during the crisis

8 Steps For Moving From A Business Dream To Results

Startup Professionals Musings

As a business advisor, I listen to many of you entrepreneurs talking about achieving your dreams, but too few of you have structured that dream, and can express it in a set of specific goals, with a timeline for getting there.

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.

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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Cornerstone OnDemand: Time Off To Study Ballot Popular With Employees

socalTECH

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.

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8 Inspirational Insights For Those Chasing Your Dream

Startup Professionals Musings

Every entrepreneur has an idea for transforming a market with innovative new technology, or transforming society with a new process. But unfortunately, most of these ideas fail at the execution level, or are not truly innovative.

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With Phase 2 Data in Hand, Ovid Eyes Multiple Pivotal Trials for Epilepsy Drug

Xconomy

Ovid Therapeutics and Takeda Pharmaceutical joined forces three years ago to develop a small molecule into a potential epilepsy drug. That research is starting to pay off as the companies now look ahead to pivotal studies testing that compound in several inherited forms of the disorder.

HyperX Launches New USB Microphone

socalTECH

Fountain Valley-based gaming accessory maker HyperX launched a new product this morning, a new, USB microphone with fancy RGB lighting effects. According to HyperX, its new microphone, the HyperX QuadCast S , includes RGB lighting effects, anti-vibration shock mount, pop filter, and more features. The company said the microphone is aimed at streamers, online broadcasters, and work from home professionals. The new device has a MSRP of $159.99.

Harvest Pack Takes Eco-Friendly Approach to Food Packaging

L.A. Business Journal

Torrance-based Harvest Pack Inc. has found an evergreen niche in the food packaging business

7 Ways To Get Key People Committed To Supporting You

Startup Professionals Musings

Investors invest in people, not ideas. Customers buy from people, not companies. Employees rally for a great leader, not a brand. As an entrepreneur, you need relationships to succeed. That means relationships with team members, investors, customers, and vendors.

Ideas 92

Bio Roundup: MESO’s Miss, Pfizer’s Cancer Bet, Vaccine Promise & More

Xconomy

Amid the bombast of Tuesday’s presidential debate, viewers caught some discussion about the response to the coronavirus pandemic and efforts to develop a COVID-19 vaccine. In the crosstalk, the president made an unsupported claim that we are weeks away from having vaccines.

Math Games Hits 50M Downloads

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based Math Games , a developer of online games focused on teaching math, says it has seen its user base skyrocket due to the pandemic, reporting it has now seen more than 50 million downloads, and now is being used by over 31 million students across the country. The company, led by CEO Bill Kara, says is has seen a 200% overall rise in traffic to the site due to the pandemic, and now sees 85,000 daily active users.

Hawke Media, LA Stage Ecommerce Conference

L.A. Business Journal

Sawtelle-based marketing consulting firm Hawke Media has partnered with the city of Los Angeles for the inaugural Ecommerce Week LA, a virtual event taking place from Sept. 28 to Oct.

How To Learn From New Venture Trials And Tribulations

Startup Professionals Musings

Entrepreneurs seem more quickly frustrated these days when their “million-dollar idea” doesn’t turn into a sustainable business overnight.

Digital Solutions Assist Art Galleries

L.A. Business Journal

With in-person gallery visits largely halted by the pandemic, the business of art has taken a severe hit

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Tetra Tech Acquires BlueWater Federal Solutions

L.A. Business Journal

Tetra Tech Inc. has acquired Virginia-based information technology services firm BlueWater Federal Solutions Inc

AI Company Beyond Limits Raises $113 Million

L.A. Business Journal

Glendale-based artificial intelligence company Beyond Limits Inc. has raised $113 million in a Series C funding round with another roughly $20 million committed

Uncertainty Surrounds TikTok Deal

L.A. Business Journal

The fate of TikTok may still be up in the air

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Inseego Adds Board Member

socalTECH

San Diego-based wireless device and IoT products maker Inseego announced late Thursday that it has added an additional board member. According to the company, it has increased the number of directors on its boards from five to six, and added Christopher Lytle to the board.

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J2 Global Looks To Raise $1.2B In Senior Note Offering

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based J2 Global , which operates a wide range of Internet businesses and publications, said this morning that it has launched a private offering where it is is looking to raised $1.2B in senior notes, due in 2030. The company said the funds will go to redeem an existing $650M in 6.0% senior notes due in 2025. J2 Global expects to use the remainder of the net proceeds from the offering for general corporate purposes, which may include acquisitions and repurchases. READ MORE>>.

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Hyperice Gets Investment From Patrick Mahomes

socalTECH

Irvine-based Hyperice" , which develops percussion, thermal, vibration and dynamic air compression devices used for athletic recovery, announced today that Patrick Mahomes has become an investor in the company, and also will serve as an "athletic ambassador" for the company. Size of the investment was not announced. Mahomes is the quarterback for the National Football Leageu's Kansas City Chiefs. Hyperice said Mahomes will "further accelerate the recovery technology category globally".

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Report Claims Bird Program Saddling Fleet Owners With Debt

socalTECH

According to a new report, Santa Monica-based "on-demand" scooter company Bird recently started running a program which allows the contractors who charge its scooters to acquire their own fleet of scooters--but which, as a result of the pandemic--has saddled many with huge amounts of debt.

Ring Hit By Downtime

socalTECH

Santa Monica-based Ring , the maker of security cameras, doorbells, and other products, was seeing major downtime on Wednesday, with users reporting that the service and doorbells were "basically unusable". Users reported on social media that their doorbells were going off randomly, motion alerts from hours ago were finally showing up on their phone, and support was unreachable.

AeroVironment Ties With Robotic Skies On UAS Maintenance

socalTECH

Simi Valley-based unmanned aircraft developer AeroVironment announced a deal this morning with Robotic Skies , a provider of maintenance, repair, and overhaul of unmanned aircraft systems. According to AeroVironment, Robotic Skies will provide field maintenance, inspection, and repair support for AeroVironment customers, particularly on AeroVironment's new all-electric VAPOR 55 helicopter unmanned aircraft system. Financial details of the deal were not announced.

Pod Network, STEMconnector Merge

socalTECH

Manhattan Beach-based Pod Network LLC , which develops a social networking application, announced this morning that it has merged with STEMconnector , which runs a professional services firm focused on creating a STEM-ready workforce. Financial details of the deal were not announced.

Sonos Lobs New Patent Lawsuit At Google

socalTECH

Santa Barbara-based whole home audio systems maker Sonos has filed another patent infringement suit at Google , saying that Google has infringed on five wireless audio patents held by the company. The lawsuit is the second filed against Google by Sonos, which also sued Google over similar patents in January. The two companies are in a back and forth tussle by the two, as Google has attempted to muscle its way into the home audio streaming market.

Social Native Buys Olapic

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based Social Native , which operates an online marketplace which helps brands source visual content says it has acquired Olapic , a service focused on user-generated, influencer, and short-form video content for brands. Financial terms of the acquisition were not announced. Social Native said that Olapic will operate as a division of the company. The firm says it has "taken a strategic step toward consolidating the user-generated content space" with the move.

Fisker Names ServiceNow CEO To Board

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based electric vehicle developer Fisker Inc. said today that it has named the President and CEO of ServiceNow, Bill McDermott, to its board of directors. Fisker said the move comes ahead of its merger with Apollo affiliated Spartan Energy Acquisition Corporation (NYSE: SPAQ). ServiceNow says it expects the merger to be completed later this year, which will result in Fisker's Class A common stock trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

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HONK Wins Insurance Company

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based HONK Technologies , which is developing an app that helps provide roadside assistance to users, has signed up an insurance firm as a customer. According to HONK, it has signed up Wawanesa Insurance, and will manage the roadside assistance program for the insurance company. Financial details of the deal were not announced. HONK says that Wawanesa is ranked the number one insurance company in California for customer satisfaction, according to J.D. Power.

Leonardo247 Takes $9.5M

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based Leonardo247 , which provides remote monitoring of onsite, multifamily operations, has raised $9.5M in a funding round, the company said this morning. The funding was led by private equity investor Level Equity. According to Leonardo247, the funding will go to support its ongoing growth in the remote property management area, as well as expansion into other commercial real estate markets.

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Seismic Joins Unicorn Club, Finds $92M More

socalTECH

San Diego-based Seismic , which develops sales enablement and marketing software, has joined the unicorn club, saying this morning that it has raised $92M in a Series F funding, which values the company at approximately $1.6 billion. The company--led by co-founder and CEO Doug Winter--said the funding was led by Permira funds, and also included strategic investors Ameriprise Financial and EDBI, along with Jackson Square Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and T.

Lyre's Picks Up $11.5M For Non Alcoholic Drinks

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based Lyre's Non-Alcoholic Spirit Co. which develops non-alcoholic drinks which have the flavor--but not the alcohol--of popular spirits, has raised $11.5M in a seed funding round. The funding came from VRD Investment, Doehler Ventures, DLF Venture, Maropost Ventures, and HNWI, along with a number of family offices. Lyre's said the funding comes as it prepares to launch a "ready-to-drink" range of products. Lyre's said it originally launched in July of 2019 in Australia.

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SpaceX Pushes Off Satellite Launch

socalTECH

Hawthorne-based SpaceX says it is pushing off its planned launch of another, 60 Starlink satellites which were scheduled to launch on Monday. According to SpaceX, the launch--which was set to take off at 10:22AM EDT--was delayed due to weather. SpaceX did not announced a new target date for the launch. The launch will be at Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center. SpaceX already has more than 500 satellites in orbit around the earth that are currently part of Starlink.

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Logically To Apply AI To Presidential Debate Fact Checking

socalTECH

Logically.ai , a startup which recently set up an office in Los Angeles, says it is developing artificial intelligence which it claims can help fact check statements and news, says it will apply its AI application to fact check the U.S. Presidential debates. The company says it will use both artificial and human intelligence to "uncover and address misinformation". The company claims its app will fact check claims as "true, false or misleading" in real time.

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Rocket Lab Launches Effort To Explore Venus

socalTECH

Huntington Beach-based Rocket Lab , the space launch startup led by Peter Beck, is aiming at beating NASA to Venus , in the hopes of helping to search for extraterrestrial life. According to Beck, it plans to dispatch its own space probe to Venus, to "scout for signs of extraterrestrial life". Rocket Lab apparently has been working on the Venus mission for several months.

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