Sat.Dec 11, 2021 - Fri.Dec 17, 2021

Patent litigation can kill the small guy.


Here’s the bright side to patents. When you think of patents, you think of added value to the corporation in the form of protection of its intellectual property.

SpaceX Acts to Launch Mars-Bound Rockets From Florida

L.A. Business Journal

Space Exploration Technologies Corp. commenced construction in Florida on a launchpad to send its Starship Mars rocket to the red planet

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8 Mindset Principles That Lead To Success In Business

Startup Professionals Musings

As a long-time business advisor and mentor to entrepreneurs, I’ve always been impressed with the few who seem to always come out ahead, no matter what the challenge. It seems to be more a function of mindset and principles, more than education or natural ability.

Transphorm Gets $12.9M In PIPE, Hopes For Uplisting On Nasdaq


Goleta-based gallium nitride (GaN) power conversion semiconductor developer Transphorm says it has received $12.9M in a private placement. The publicly traded company (OTC) said the funding came from MCM Investment Partners, as well as Boardman Bay Capital Management. The company said the investments come as a part of a plan to uplist its shares of common stock on the Nasdaq.

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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.

Papaya raises $50M to give you a way to pay bills via its mobile app


Paying bills is hardly a fun thing. So I think it’s safe to say that any technology that can make the process easier is welcome by all. Papaya is a Los Angeles-based startup with a mission to do just that.

Influencer Software Firm Tagger Media Raises $15 Million From Five Elms Capital

L.A. Business Journal

Tagger Media Inc. received an additional $15 million in funding from Five Elms Capital following a $8.5 million Series A investment by the firm earlier this year

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More Trending

Tastry Applies AI To Wine Recommendations


In a bid to make it easier for consumers to get personalized wine recommendations, San Luis Obispo-based startup Tastry said it has launched a new artificial intelligence-powered service for wine recommendations. The company said its service, Tastry Uncorked, is an artificial intelligence tool which provides personalized wine recommendations for online retailers and wineries.

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AvantStay, a platform for kitting out — and then renting out — high-end vacation rental homes, raises $160M


Another travel startup that found itself scrambling to pivot as the COVID-19 pandemic took off is now announcing a huge round of funding after finding its feet and proving that it can grow, even under adverse circumstances. AvantStay — which has built a platform where it decorates and then lists properties owned by others for people to rent out for vacations or other short-term stays — has raised $160 million in a Series B round of funding.

SEA Electric JV to Replace School Bus Engines With Electric Power Systems

L.A. Business Journal

SEA Electric Holdings in Torrance announced it’s working with an Illinois-based bus and van dealer on modernizing approximately 10,000 used school buses by replacing their diesel engines with its proprietary battery electric power system

7 Steps To Greater Satisfaction As A New Entrepreneur

Startup Professionals Musings

In my role as mentor to many of you aspiring entrepreneurs, I often find you convinced that all you need to start is a unique innovation or idea , and now you are ready to jump in with both feet and enjoy the ride.

Cue Health Sets CMO


San Diego-based health technology company Cue Health said this week that it has named Nitin Duggal as its Chief Marketing Officer. Duggal was most recently at Abbott Diabetes Care, where he had been for 10 years. He also previously had served at McKinsey & Co. The company said Duggal was most recently working at Abbott's Libre and FreeStyle Libre products as Senior Commercial Director.

9 Keys To Employing Social Media To Grow Your Startup

Startup Professionals Musings

If you are an entrepreneur these days, or trying to grow an existing business, everyone is telling you that you need to use social media. There are many ‘experts’ out there telling you how to do it, or even offering their services.

5 Keys To Making Your Online Profile A Winning Resume

Startup Professionals Musings

With the reality of LinkedIn, Facebook, and dozens of other websites profiling you, the old-fashioned written resume is an artifact of a hiring practice that is now superfluous.

Navitas Gets Design Win With Dell


El Segundo-based gallium nitride (GaN) power semiconductor developer Navitas Semiconductor said today that it has been selected by Dell, for inclusion in the Dell Latitude 9000-series laptops. Shipment volumes and expected financial impact of the design win were not announced. According to the company, two of its ICs are being used in Dell's fast charge laptop adapters. The company says its ICs provide 50% energy savings and 3x faster charging.

Elementary Picks Up $30M For Manufacturing AI


Los Angeles-based Elementary, which is developing artificial intelligence, machine vision software for the manufacturing industry, said Thursday that it raised $30M in its Series B funding. The funding was led by Tiger Global, and also included Threshold Ventures, Fika Ventures, Fathom Capital, Riot VC, and Toyota Ventures. Elementary is focusing its machine learning and artificial intelligence efforts on automating inspections in manufacturing.

Rivian Plans New Factory In Georgia


Irvine-based electric truck maker Rivian, which is still early on in its efforts to develop electric powered trucks, says it plans to set up a new factory in Atlanta, Georgia. The company announced the deal with Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp. Rivian--which has only produced a few electric pickup trucks so far, despite a recent IPO--will harvest a significant economic development package from Georgia for the factory. Terms of that incentive deal were not announced.

Go Disco Launches Entertainment Discovery App


Los Angeles-based Go Disco announced this morning that it has launched a new, experience and entertainment discovery app, which is designed to help individuals find "cool things to do" in their area. The startup, led by co-founder and CEO Sean Conrad, says it offers access to a variety of curated experiences, and currently offers up access to those activities in just Los Angeles.

Bird Claims Economic, Gasoline Savings


Los Angeles-based, shared scooter and bicycle rental service Bird has put out some numbers this morning, saying that use of its service has contributed an estimated $100M in incremental spending at local businesses in 2021, and saved an estimated 1.1 million gallons of gasoline. The company said the numbers came via a six-month study from Emory University's Goizueta School of Business. Bird said use of its vehicles saved an estimated 1,125,000 gallons of gasoline from being burned in 2021.

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EVgo Rolls Out New App


Los Angeles-based electric vehicle charging network operator EVgo says it has rolled out a brand new app, which it says adds new personalization features, search capabilities, a redesigned map, and more. The company said the enhancements are aimed at streamlining user experiences and increasing network utilization. EVgo has a network of 1500 public fast chargers and 1,200+ L2 chargers across 68 metropolitan areas and 35 states. The company is led by CEO Cathy Zoi.

ZipRecruiter Shuffles Executives


Santa Monica-based online employment marketplace ZipRecruiter said this morning that it has made a number of employment changes among its executive staff. The company said David Travers has been promoted to President, after serving as CFO of the company. Timothy Yarborough, who had been the company's Chief Business Officer, has been promoted to Chief Financial Officer; and Amy Garefis, who was the company's Senior Vice President of Accounting, is now Chief Accounting Officer.

AvantStay Secures $160M More


Los Angeles-based AvantStay, which operates a high end, short term rental marketplace, says it has raised $160M in a Series B funding round, the company said on Wednesday. The funding was co-led by Tarsadia Investments, and also included 3L Capital, along with Capital One Ventures, Bullpen Capital, and Convivialite plus angel and celebrity investors Saluda Grade, Greenhawk, Stephen Pagliuca, Fred Tuomi, Jerry Coleman, Jay McKee, Plus Capital, Paul George, Shawn Mendes, and others.

Mavenlink Merges With Kimble Applications In Private Equity Effort


Irvine-based Mavenlink, which develops cloud software for the professional services market, has merged with Kimble Applications in a merger backed by private equity investor Accel-KKR, the company announced today. According to the company, Michael Speranza has been named as CEO of the company as a result of the merger. The company said that Existing Kimble and Mavenlink investors, including Carrick Capital Partners and Goldman Sachs, will continue to be investors.

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Tealium Launches Partner Effort


San Diego-based Tealium, which helps companies collect information on their customers, says it has launched a new partnership effort called the Tealium Global Partner Network. According to the company, the effort gives direct access for its clients to partners such as Meta, Google, AWS, Capgemini, Accenture and Publicis Sapient.

Netradyne Names CFO


San Diego-based artificial intelligence software developer Netradyne annoucned this morning that it has named Tom Schmitt as CFO. According to the company, Schmitt joins the company from Postclick, where he was also CFO. He also has served at such companies as VideoAmp, FreeWheel Media, Salesforce, NetApp, and GAP. Netradyne says Schmitt has over 35 years of financial experience. Netradyne's AI software is aimed at driver and fleet safety.

LogicBoost Puts $200K, Services Into Clarevent


Los Angeles-based LogicBoost Labs, a startup accelerator which focuses on pre-revenue and early-stage B2B SaaS startups, says it has made a $300K investment in Clarevent, which supplies video infrastructure for virtual events. The company said the investment was $200K in cash, plus another $100K in advisory services. Clarevent is led by founder and CEO Scott Lock; LogicBoost is led by founder and CEO Jonathan Cogley.

Papaya Picks Up $50M For Mobile Payments


Los Angeles-based Papaya, a fintech startup developing a mobile bill payment application, says it has raised $50M in a Series B funding. The funding was led by Bessemer Venture Partners, and also included Sequoia Capital, Acrew Capital, 01 Advisors, Mucker Capital, Fika Ventures, F-Prime, and Sound Ventures. Papaya is led by co-founder and CEO Patrick Kann, who the company said has previously served at such companies as World Bank and IdeaLab.

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Pixelz Acquired By Adelis Equity Partners


San Diego-based Pixelz, which develops AI-powered image editing and retouching for the fashion industry, says it has been acquired by private equity investor Adelis Equity Partners. Financial details of the acquisition were not announced. According to the company, led by CEO Thomas Ladefoged, it will use the acquisition to help accelerate international growth and continued development of its business model.

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Section 32 Expands Team


San Diego-based venture investor Section 32--the venture investment firm founded by Bill Maris--says it is expanding its investing and operations teams in Silicon Valley. According to the firm, it added Wesley Tillu as Senior Principal and Vivian Chao as Controller. Tilu was most recently an investor at In-Q-Tel, and also worked at Google and GIC, among other companies. Chao was previously at Light Street Capital, and also served at Collective Health and KPMG LLP.

Faraday Future Claims Progress On Hanford Plant


Los Angeles-based electric vehicle company Faraday Future is claiming additional progress on its efforts to start manufacturing vehicles, saying it has started construction of the foundation for its plant in Hanford, California. The company said the plant includes electrical and plumbing, and it hopes to begin installation of production and assembly equipment. The company claims it will start production at the plant in July of 2022.

OFFLOADIT Launches Online Construction Material Marketplace


Atascadero-based OFFLOADIT said it has launched a new, online marketplace app, aimed at helping people buy and sell excess construction materials. According to the company, the marketplace is aimed at helping people both dispose of and acquire excess construction materials, helping to increase profits and prevent prevent materials and equipment from ending up in landfills. The startup's founder is Jim Firth. The company said the app is free to use.

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Rocket Lab Acquires SolAero


Long Beach-based Rocket Lab announced late Monday that it has acquired SolAero Holdings, a supplier of solar power products and precision aerospace structures for the global aerospace market. The company said it paid $80M in cash for SolAero. Rocket Lab said the deal will add a production line of high performing, space solar cells to its space systems business. SolAero was founded in 1998, and was headquartered in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Dave Eyes Public Markets, Expects To Be Public By January Via SPAC


Los Angeles-based fintech startup Dave says it expects an acquisition by special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), VPC Impact Acquisition Holdings III to occur in January, after approval of a special proxy by VPCC. According to the company, if approved, the deal will make Dave a publicly traded company on the Nasdaq Global Market, trading under the ticker symbol DAVE.

Sensible Weather Gets $4M For Weather, Climate Risk Insurance


Los Angeles-based Sensible Weather, a new startup which reimburses travelers when bad weather impacts their trips, says it has raised $4M in a seed funding round. The funding was led by Wonder Ventures and Walkout Ventures, and also included Group 1001, Spencer Rascoff's 75 & Sunny Ventures, Raj Gokal of Solana Labs, Spike Lipkin & Gordon Wintrob of Newfront Insurance, and Kiran Bhatraju of Arcadia Energy.

Wonder Dynamics, Founded By Ready Player One Actor, Raises $9M For AI


Los Angeles-based Wonder Dynamics, a startup founded by actor Tye Sheridan of "Ready Player One", said it has raised $9M in a Series A funding round. The funding was led by Horizons Ventures and also included Epic Games and Samsung Next. The company said it is building artificial intelligence (AI) technology for the film and "Metaverse" markets. The company said it is developing AI-powered production tools, which provides improved cost and speed for media production and post-production.

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