Sat.Dec 15, 2018 - Fri.Dec 21, 2018

Elon Musk Opens Prototype Transportation Tunnel Under LA


Elon Musk and The Boring Company have finally opened up their first, demonstration tunnel underneath the streets of Los Angeles, showing off a system which transports Tesla vehicles on guided rails under the city. The prototype system takes a Tesla vehicle down an elevator, sends it jetting through the tunnel at high speed, and back onto another elevator.

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Virtual reality gaming and the pursuit of “flow state”

TechCrunch LA

Maggie Lane. Contributor. Share on Twitter. Maggie Lane is a writer and producer of virtual reality experiences and covers the industry for various publications. More posts by this contributor. Inside Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles VR Interview Experience.

Should I license my IP, sell a royalty stream, or just produce products?


This week we contacted royalty licensing expert, the well-respected Arthur Lipper, asking the magic question. Why are you so strongly sold on royalty licensing as the most effective way to finance a tech-based early stage company?

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West Hollywood Vacation Rental Outfit Raises $5 Million

L.A. Business Journal

AvantStay, a West Hollywood-based hospitality firm that provides short-term vacation rentals to groups, announced Dec. 19 it received $5 million in a round led by Menlo park investment firm Bullpen Capital

NASA JPL, Tech Companies Hacked By Chinese Spies, Says Justice Department


NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory , in Pasadena, as well as dozens of technology companies--at least one managed service provider (MSP)--have been hacked by Chinese spies, according to an indictment by the Justice Department filed on Thursday. The indictment , filed in the United States District Court Southern District of New York, accuses a state-backed hacking group of hacking into companies from at least 2006 until 2018.

Elementary Robotics raises cash to expand in Los Angeles’ growing robotics hub

TechCrunch LA

Elementary Robotics has raised $3.6 million in seed funding to begin building a manufacturing facility and expand its presence in Los Angeles as the city continues to grow as a hub for robotics and automation. .

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Fair Raises $385 Million, Led by SoftBank

L.A. Business Journal

Car leasing and financing provider Fair announced Dec. 20 it completed a $385 million Series B round, led by SoftBank Group Corp. Following this round, Fair now has access to nearly a $1 billion in debt capital since its 2016 founding and has raised over $500 million in equity to date

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Richard Wolpert Talks About The Soul Of A Deal, And How To Get That Deal Done


Richard Wolpert is a well known investor in the Los Angeles technology community, through his own fund, Chance Technologies; as a Venture Partner at Amplify.LA and Venture Advisor at Accel Partners; and has a long history in the tech community, having been Chief Strategy Officer at RealNetworks and President of Disney Online.

RiverVest Venture Closes $184M Fund for Backing Healthcare Ventures


RiverVest Venture Partners, a St. Louis, MO-based venture capital firm with additional offices in San Diego, CA, and Cleveland, OH, has raised $184.4 million for its fourth fund dedicated to investing in healthcare companies.

Use Those 4 Questions to Understand if Your IT Project is a Success

Inverted Software

At Inverted Software we pride ourselves in our unparalleled success rate, and while, according to the Standish Chaos Report 68 percent of technology projects is “improbable” meaning it failed, time and time again we keep delivering successful projects to our happy customers.

Cannabis Crypto Firm Settles SEC Lawsuit

L.A. Business Journal

Cryptocurrency company ParagonCoin announces settlement with SEC

EDF Renewables, Shell In Joint Venture On 2500MW Offshore Wind Project


San Diego-based EDF Renewables North America , which develops renewable energy projects such as solar and wind farms and Shell New Energies US LLC (Shell), said late Wednesday that the two are in a 50/50 joint venture to develop wind farms off the shore of New Jersey. According to the two, the area has the potential to produce approximately 2,500 megawatts of offshore wind energy. Financial details of the joint venture were not announced.

15 For ’19: Key Clinical Data To Watch For Next Year (Part 1)


It can take decades and billions of dollars to develop a drug, and its fate—and often that of its developer—rests in the outcome of clinical trials. Just look at some of 2018’s biggest biotech stories.

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Elementary Robotics Finds $3.6M


Los Angeles-based Elementary Robotics , which is developing robotics technology for "intelligent robot assistants", said on Wednesday it has raised $3.6M in a Series A funding. The funding was led by Fika Ventures and Fathom Capital, and also included Toyota AI Ventures, Ubiquity Ventures,, Osage University Partners, and Stage Venture Partners. The company has now raised $4.8M in total funding, including a pre-seed funding it raised in October of last year.

HyperX Gets Naming Rights On E-sports Truck


Fountain Valley-based gaming accessory maker HyperX , which is part of Kingston Technology, says it has acquired the naming rights to the HyperX Esports Truck , in a deal with e-sports company Allied Esports. The truck, formerly known as the Esports Arena DRIVE , is an 80-foot long 18-wheeler which contains a "self-contained" mobile arena for e-sports. HyperX already has a deal with Allied Esports on the HyperX Esports Arena Las Vegas.

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Luxtera Acquired By Cisco For $660M


In a big exit for Southern California, Carlsbad-based Luxtera , a developer of optical semiconductors used in the high speed networking market, has been acquired by Cisco , in a deal worth $660M in cash and assumed equity options. According to Cisco, it will incorporate Luxtera's technology into its "intent-based" networking portfolio. Luxtera's semiconductors are used in optical transceivers, including 100GbE and 400GbE networks.

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EvoNexus Adds ecoATM's Genthert As Managing Director


EvoNexus , the non-profit startup technology incubator operator which has locations in both Irvine and San Diego, said today that it has added Bob Genthert, the co-founder of ecoATM, as a Managing Director at EvoNexus in Irvine. Genthert was a co-foudner of ecoATM, which was sold to Outerwall in 2013 for $350M. Genthert also has served at such companies as The Walt Disney Company, Disney Publishing Group, ESPN Magazine, The New Release, and Sky Mobilemedia. READ MORE>>.

Blippar, Backed by Qualcomm Ventures, Calls It Quits


UK-based augmented reality technology developer Blippar , which had been backed by Qualcomm Ventures, has gone into administration in the UK--their equivalent of bankruptcy--after failing to obtain new funding for the company.

TicketGuardian Finds $8M


Newport Beach-based live events software and insurance products developer TicketGuardian has raised $8M in a Series A funding, according to the company, in a round led by American Family Ventures and IA Capital Group. The company said the new funding brings its total raised to $13M. TicketGuardian, led by CEO and founder Bryan Derbyshire, said the new funds will go towards its technology, products, and services it provides to event organizers.

LA Makerspace, Merges With Two Bit Circus Foundation


Two, Los Angeles-area nonprofits aimed at the "maker" and technology education market-- LA Makerspace and , said late Thursday that they have merged with the Two Bit Circus Foundation , the nonprofit created by Two Bit Circus to promote STEAM education. The three said that by combining their efforts, they will be able to "increase efficiency and greatly broaden their program offerings" and also provide services to an expanded range of communities.

CoreLogic Seeks To Sell Non-Core Software Units


Irvine-based property information provider CoreLogic said late Thursday that it has launched an effort to exit "certain legacy non-core software units" at the company. According to the firm, it is looking to exit its loan origination software unit and its "legacy default management" related platforms over the next 24 months. The company did not identify all of those businesses, but said they generated approximately $40M in revenues in the first nine months of 2018.

Macquarie Capital Provides $100M In Debt For Battery Storage Projects


Macquarie Capital , the investing arm of Macquarie Group, says it has provided $100M in a debt financing, to back development of a new battery-based energy storage project in Southern California. According to Macquarie Capital, the debt funding is part of a 52.5 MW / 315 MWh project for Southern California Edison (SCE), and will fund construction of an additional 177 MWh of behind-the-meter battery storage systems across the West Los Angeles Basin service territory.

Semtech Sues Former Employees And New Employer, Spark Connected


Camarillo-based analog and mixed signal semiconductor developer Semtech has sued three former Semtech employees, as well as company Spark Connected , claiming that the three breached a non-competition agreement and misappropriated trade secrets from the company.

AvantStay Adds $5M For Group Travel Booking


Los Angeles-based AvantStay , an online group travel site focused on millennials, said on Thursday that it has raised $5M in a funding round. The funding was led by Bullpen Capital, and also included F-Prime Capital, Zeno Ventures, Convivialite Ventures, plus prior investors Abstract Ventures and Presidio Bay Ventures. According to AvanStay, it will use the funding for accelerating expansion of its service.

QAD Names New CEO


Santa Barbara-based ERP software developer QAD has named a new CEO, saying on Thursday that it has named Anton Chilton as its new Chief Executive Officer and member of the board. Chilton replaces founder and CEO Karl Lopker, who passed away in August. Chilton was previously Chief, Global Field Operations at QAD, and has been at the company since 2004.

HyreCar Names Partnership VP


Los Angeles-based car sharing marketplace HyreCar , which operates a service which is aimed at providing vehicles to ridesharing drivers, said this morning that it has named Brian Allan as its new Senior Director, Strategic Partnerships. Allan spent 30 years at Galpin Premier Automotive Group, the luxury division of Galpin Motors. According to HyreCar, Allan will lead its automotive OEm and dealer-based shared mobility initiatives and strategic alliances.

Fair Finds $385M For Auto Service


Santa Monica-based Fair , which operates a service which lets consumers essentially gain access to automobiles on a month-to-month "car-as-a-service" program, has raised a giant, $385M funding round. The funding was led by SoftBank, and also included Exponential Ventures, Munich Re Venture's ERGO Fund, G Squared, and CreditEase.

Elementary Robotics Nabs $3.6 Million

L.A. Business Journal

Pasadena-headquartered Elementary Robotics Inc. announced a $3.6 million seed raise Dec. 19, led by Fika Ventures and Fathom Capital. Additional investors participating in the round included Toyota AI Ventures, Ubiquity Ventures, and Osage University Partners. Elementary’s prior funding consisted of a $1.2 million pre-seed round in October 2017

BookingPal Names Former Interhome CEO To Board


Irvine-based BookingPal , which develops vacation rental distribution and booking software, said on Wednesday that it has named Simon Lehmann, the former CEO of Interhome, to its board of directors. Lehmann also previously was on the board of HomeAway, and had served as presidento f travel reseadrch firm PhocusWright. BookingPal is led by founder and CEO Alex Aydin. READ MORE>>. bookingpal interhome vacation rental software distribution simon lehmann executive homeaway

TITAN School Solutions Finds $5.2M


Irvine-based TITAN School Solutions , a developer of nutrition software and services for K-12 school districts, said on Wednesday that it has raised $5.2M in its Series A funding round. The funding was led by Wavemaker Partners and Springboard Ventures, and also included RezVen Partners. According to Titan, the funding will go towards buildings its software, plus sales and marketing.

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