Sat.Jan 26, 2019 - Fri.Feb 01, 2019

With its Greenlots acquisition, Shell is moving from gas stations to charging stations

TechCrunch LA

In a bid to show that it’s getting ready for the electrification of American roads, Royal Dutch Shell is buying Greenlots , a Los Angeles-based developer of electric vehicle charging and energy management technologies.

WhiteFox Defense: Solving The Drone Incursion Problem, with Luke Fox

socalTECH

For all of the positive uses of drone aircraft, there are many negatives, including issues around privacy, safety, and particularly, securityas demonstrated by the recent drone incursions at such airports like Gatwick, Heathrow, and Newark. Those airport drone incursions shut down Gatwick over the course of three days, which caused major delays at Heathrow and Newark.

Retailers Brace For Possible Economic Headwinds in 2019

Xconomy

Even as retailers struggle with a technology-disrupted business model and changing consumer desires, at least a generally positive overall economy and low unemployment rates seemed to keep shoppers’ wallets open.

Non-competes, gray areas, and salvaging a failed purchase

Berkonomics

Last week we introduced the subject of non-compete agreements. Let’s dive a little deeper and present some “gray area” scenarios to consider. Then we’ll address the success or failure of the buyer with your product… First the obvious case in point.

FabFitFun raises $80 million for its growing lifestyle brand

TechCrunch LA

Nine years after launching its online magazine, and three years after diversifying into the subscription box business , FabFitFun has raised $80 million in a growth round of funding led by Kleiner Perkins with participation from its previous investors Upfront Ventures and NEA. .

NEXT, Flush With $97M In New Funding, Hires First CFO

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based shipping and logistics marketplace developer NEXT , fresh off a big, $97M funding round announced last week, said that it has hired Peter Janda as the company's first ever Chief Financial Officer. Janda was most recently CFO at Chef'd, and also has served at such companies as Ingram Micro, Ernst & Young, among other companies. NEXT, which is led by Lydia Yan, raised its latest round of funding from Brookfield Ventures, Sequoia Capital, and GLP.

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Non-competes, gray areas, and salvaging a failed purchase

Berkonomics

Last week we introduced the subject of non-compete agreements. Let’s dive a little deeper and present some “gray area” scenarios to consider. Then we’ll address the success or failure of the buyer with your product… First the obvious case in point.

Los Angeles is using ride-hailing startup Via to shuttle people to public transit

TechCrunch LA

Los Angeles is partnering with on-demand shuttle-based service Via as part of a pilot program that will give people rides to three busy public transit stations.

ObEN Technology Used In Chinese New Year's Broadcast

socalTECH

Pasadena-based ObEN , which develops technology to help people create a personal, AI-driven avatar which looks and sounds like you, reported a win in China, for a big New Year's broadcast for China Central Television (CCTV). According to ObEN, its technology was used to create "AI hosts" for CCTV's Network Spring Festival Gala, which aired on Monday. ObEN said its AI hosts performed alongside their human counterparts for the broadcast for Chinese New Year.

The Contrarian Entrepreneur

SoCal Tech Calendar

Wednesday, February 6, 2019 --.

Billie, Subscription Shaving Products Service for Women, Raises $25M

Xconomy

Billie, a monthly subscription service for shaving and body care products for women, has raised $25 million. The New York-based startup said Tuesday that the new funding round, which is being led by Goldman Sachs Private Capital Investing group, brings its total investment to $35 million.

As it raises new cash, Recharge adds homes to its supply of on-demand spaces

TechCrunch LA

Recharge , the business which got its start pitching pay-as-you-go rentals of unused hotel rooms, is adding private homes to its inventory of spaces — offering the first 100 signups in cities where the plan is available a guaranteed income of $1,000 per month.

Demand 154

Digital Map Products Names New Board Member

socalTECH

Irvine-based Digital Map Products , which provides map-based, real estate applications, said this week that it has named a new member to its board of directors. According to Digital Map Products, it has appointed Dave Cozzens to its board, to help guide the company around strategic growth and positioning. Cozzens was most recently CEO of Telogis, which he led from startup to acquisition by Verizon in August of 2016.

Culver City Tech Happy Hour

SoCal Tech Calendar

Wednesday, February 6, 2019 -- Culver City Tech Happy Hour. See [link] (more

Former Zavante Executive Tapped as Abide Therapeutics President

Xconomy

Abide Therapeutics, which is developing medicines to treat neurological diseases, has appointed Kevin Finney as its president and chief operating officer, a new role for the company.

Sweep Eyes Nationalwide Electric Scooter Maintenance, Logistics

socalTECH

Santa Monica-based Sweep , a startup which is focused on cleanup and maintenance of the many scooters from Bird, Lime, Spin, and others, said this week it's looking to create a nationwide network of e-scooter logistics hubs. The startup, led by CEO Rich Banning, is harnessing an "on-demand" workforce to sweep up scooters from the streets, for inventory checks, and also says it has specialized mechanics working on maintenance of the scooers.

Vincente Capital Partners Sells Intellectual Technology, Inc.

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based private equity investor Vincente Capital Partners announced on Tuesday that it has sold Carlsbad-based Intellectual Technology, Inc. , a developer of software for motor vehicle agencies (DMVs), to Arlington Capital Partners. Financial terms of the sale were not announced. Vincente Capital acquired ITI in November of 2012. According to Vincente Capital, it has retained a minority interest in Intellectual Technology.

LA's Tech Savvy Mayor, Eric Garcetti, Likely To Skip Presidential Run

socalTECH

Mayor Eric Garcetti , the Mayor of Los Angeles and a big supporter of the Greater Los Angeles area's rise to prominence in the technology startup world, is reportedly set to announced that he will not be running for President in 2020. Garcetti has been a regularly seen at local technology conferences promoting the growth of "Silicon Beach" and the rest of the LA technology ecosystem.

USC And Unity Technologies Launch Online Game Design Course

socalTECH

The University of Southern California and 3D game development engine developer Unity Technologies are launching a brand new, online game design course , aimed at both students and "lifelong learners", to help them design and publish their own original games, the two announced on Tuesday. According to Unity Technologies and the USC School of Cinematic Arts, its self-paced, adaptive online course will teach students and prospective developers how to design and publish their original games.

Course 118

Esri Backs Open Government Data Efforts

socalTECH

Redlands-based Esri , which develops geographical information systems (GIS) software used to map and visualize data, said today that it supports the enactment of the federal Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act. The new law promotes opening up data usage by the public of government data "by dafulat", making that data machine readable and freely usable. According to Esri, its ArcGIS hub software helps government agencies meet those new open data law requirements.

LA's Tech Savvy Mayor, Eric Garcetti, Will Not Run For President

socalTECH

Mayor Eric Garcetti , the Mayor of Los Angeles and a big supporter of the Greater Los Angeles area's rise to prominence in the technology startup world, announced on Tuesday evening that he will not be running for President in 2020. Garcetti has been a regularly seen at local technology conferences promoting the growth of "Silicon Beach" and the rest of the LA technology ecosystem.

CoverHound Apparently Finds Funding For Insurance Marketplace

socalTECH

CoverHound , the online insurance shopping marketplace with offices in Westlake Village, apparently raised a funding round, according to what appears to be a broken embargo by a Silicon Valley technology news site. According to a spokesperson for Coverhound, the amount of the funding and investors--which had been reported as being worth $55M, and included Hiscox, Chubb, Aflac Ventures, and MS&AD--were "factually incorrect".

SendGrid Now Part Of Twilio After $3 Billion Acquisition

socalTECH

Email delivery services provider SendGrid is now officially part of cloud communications platform operator Twilio , Twilio said on Friday. SendGrid--which has significant operations in Anaheim, where one of its co-founders also was based--was acquired in a deal worth $3 billion. The deal had originally been announced last year. Twilio said the deal is worth approximately $53.99 per share of SendGrid common stock.

MomentFeed Names New CFO

socalTECH

Santa Monica-based MomentFeed , which develops software used by multi-location brands to manage the mobile experience for their customers on a location-by-location basis, has named Ed Shaughnessy as the company's new Chief Financial Officer, the company said on Thursday. Shaughnessy was previously CFO of LogicMonitor. The company also said Shaughnessy spent more than a decade at Intel Corporation, and also had served at Intel Capital.

Avinew Finds $5M For Self Driving Vehicle Insurance

socalTECH

Westlake Village-based Avinew , a new startup looking at developing auto insurance for the autonomous vehicle market, has raised $5M in a seed funding round, according to the company. The funding was led by Crosscut Ventures, and also included American Family Ventures, Draper Frontier, and RPM Ventures.

Report: Clutter Seeking Up To $250M In New Funding Round

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based on-demand moving and storage company Clutter is reported to be raising somewhere between $200M to $250M in a new funding round, according to a report today, saying that the yet-to-be-completed round is being led by Softbank. Citing "sources", the report by TechCrunch said the round values Clutter at between $400M and $500M. It's unclear who leaked the details on the round, which sometimes occurs when a company is seeking additional investors or testing for acquirer interest.

Demand 109

Semtech Open Sources LoRa Gateway Software

socalTECH

Camarillo-based Semtech Corporation , which develops analog and mixed-signal semiconductors, has released software for its LoRa-based, wireless communications gateway into open source. According to Semtech, its open source packet forwarder works on Linux, allowing data communications and remote management across its LoRa system.

Hollywood's Ultraviolet Digital Movie Locker To Shut Down

socalTECH

In a move to again raise the question of it you truly own those digital movie and TV titles you have purchased, Ultraviolet , the digital movie locker service which had acted as a cloud-based digital "locker" location for movies and television shows, is shutting down. Ultraviolet said on its home page that it will close on July 31, 2019. According to Ultraviolet, it is "working with retailers" to continue to make those digital movies and television shows available to consumers.

Versant-Backed Kinestral Finds $100M More For Smart Glass

socalTECH

Kinestral , a developer of "smart" electronically controlled tinting glass, which is backed by San Diego's Versant Ventures, said on Wednesday that it has raised $100M in a Series D funding. The funding was ld by SK Holdings, and also included current investors 5AM Ventures, Alexandria Real Estate, Capricorn Investment Group and Versant Ventures. Kinestral, based in Haywards, California said the funding will go towards expanding manufacturing, sales, and installation of its smart-tinting glass.

Zebit Eyes $100M Revenue Mark In 2019

socalTECH

San Diego-based Zebit , which is venture backed by Crosslink Capital, Wildcat Venture Partners, Leapfrog Ventures, Ulu Ventures, and Correlation Ventures, said on Wednesday that it expects to cross over $100M in revenues this year. The company--which helps consumers who live paycheck-to-paycheck purchase items--says it offers up zero percent financing, with no interest, no membership fees, and no credit scores necessary. Zebit says it now has over 300,000 users using its services.