Sat.May 16, 2020 - Fri.May 22, 2020

Aspiration, the LA-based fintech focused on conscious consumerism, raises $135 million

TechCrunch LA

When former Bill Clinton speechwriter and political wunderkind Andrei Cherny launched Aspiration four years ago , the upstart fintech startup was one of Los Angeles’ early entrants into a financial services market dominated by players from Europe and the financial capital of the U.S.

Let’s talk about whistle-blowers

Berkonomics

Assuming that a corporate whistle-blower is not tooting about you individually, such a class of people have been granted protections under the law and serve a function that needs to be acknowledged. Motive of the whistle-blower.

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A Bigger Truth About Restaurant Food Delivery

Both Sides of the Table

Photo by Viktor Forgacs on Unsplash I was listening to Dan Primack’s podcast on Pro Rata and he was interviewing Senator Klobucher who is now publicly and vocally speaking out against Uber purchasing Grubhub and has tried to mobilize against this.

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8 Ways To Get Your Business Going Without Investors

Startup Professionals Musings

If you really want to start a business your way without a boss or professional investor hovering over you, then just fund it yourself or through friends and family, and grow it organically. It’s more possible to bootstrap today than a few years ago, as the cost of entry continues to go down.

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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.

United Dwelling is one startup building something to solve California’s housing crisis

TechCrunch LA

The acute pain of California’s housing crisis can be measured in the human toll it takes on the increasing numbers of families made homeless by rising rents and the billions of dollars the state loses to the high cost of living.

Fintech Finli Helps Small Businesses Find Customers

L.A. Business Journal

Finli Inc., a downtown-based fintech startup, is adapting to the Covid-19 crisis by helping its customers adapt

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10 Popular Business Strategies That Most Often Fail

Startup Professionals Musings

Every entrepreneur I know has their favorite excuse for a previous failure – an investor backed out, the economy took a downturn, or a supplier delivered bad quality.

Polestar to open first US stores in the second half of 2020

TechCrunch LA

Polestar’s first U.S. retail stores will open in Los Angeles, New York City and two locations in San Francisco later this year — the latest milestone for the automaker as it gets closer to bringing its all-electric vehicle to market.

Shayre Debuts File Sharing Software

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based Shayre , a new startup developing data sharing software, says it has launched a new, "cloud-free" file sharing solution, aimed at enterprise businesses. According to Shayre, it has developed a point-to-point and point-to-multi-point software for file transferring and synchronization suited for enterprise businesses, which allows for unlimited files and file sizes to be transferred between devices.

Generation Bio Leads a Trio of Biotech Companies Aiming for the Nasdaq

Xconomy

COVID-19 has ravaged the economy, and it was expected to quash the IPO market, too. But the biotech sector is defying the pandemic with crossover financings and freshly minted public companies.

Balance Your Focus Between Passion And Perspiration

Startup Professionals Musings

Many experts are certain that successful entrepreneurs are the ones with the most inspiration (passion and dream), while others will assert that it’s about more perspiration (working harder). In my experience, both are always required in heavy doses.

CARES Act w/Moss Adams

SoCal Tech Calendar

Wednesday, May 27, 2020 -- CARES Act w/Moss Adams. CONNECT. Get key information regarding the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act in this Webinar presented by Moss Adams Partner in Charge, Gerardo Godinez and Tax Senior Manager, Desiree Klassen. See [link].

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Saalex Acquires Arctic MSP

socalTECH

Camarillo-based Saalex Information Technology (SaalexIT), a provider of managed services, says it has acquired Eugene, Oregon-based Arctic MSP. Financial terms of the acquisition were not announced. Saalex said the deal will expand its footprint in its western region. SaalexIT said it also recently acquired Scottsdale, Arizona-based Valeo Networks.

Fair Names Stewart as New CEO

L.A. Business Journal

Fair Financial Corp., a Santa Monica-based car leasing and financing provider backed by SoftBank Vision Fund, has named Bradley Stewart as the company’s new chief executive

8 Questions You Should Ask Before You Join A Startup

Startup Professionals Musings

Every startup founder loves to prompt for questions from investors and potential key team members about their vision, and the huge opportunity that can be had with their disruptive technology.

The Mindset of an Investor Today: A Webinar Series with Arlan Hamilton

SoCal Tech Calendar

Wednesday, May 27, 2020 -- The Mindset of an Investor Today: A Webinar Series with Arlan Hamilton, Founder and Managing Partner, Backstage Capital. Join Peter Cowen (Managing Director, Sutton Capital Partners) as we explore what investors are looking for in the current climate. Presented by Sutton Capital Partners and the Recurring Revenue Conference. See [link] (more

Section 32 Names New Execs

socalTECH

San Diego-based venture capital fund Sectoin 32 says it has made a number of key appointments, as it expands its human resources, staffing, and communications efforts. According to Section 32, it has named Sarah Larson as Chief People Officer; Alice Cheung as Head of Talent; Kenzo Fong Hing as Advisor; Claire Stapleton as Writer in Residence; Kimberly Shih as Talent Specialist; and Anna Bullard as Executive Assistant.

Miller Steps Down at Cornerstone

L.A. Business Journal

Cornerstone OnDemand Inc., the Santa Monica-based talent management software developer, said founder and Chief Executive Adam Miller will step down and transition to co-chairman, effective June 15

10 Traits Demonstrate Entrepreneur Character Strength

Startup Professionals Musings

As I was watching the investor show, Shark Tank , on TV the other night, I was struck by how quickly and how extensively the sharks focused on the background and character of the entrepreneurs, compared to time spent evaluating their products.

FDA Approves Evofem?s ?On-Demand? Non-Hormonal Birth Control Gel

Xconomy

While treatments for many health conditions have undergone reinvention in the past two decades, birth control options haven’t changed much.

ChromaCode Snags $10M In Series C

socalTECH

Carlsbad-based ChromaCode , which is developing molecular testing equipment, announced today that it has raised $10M in a Series C extension round. The funding came from Adjuvant Capital. As part of the funding, ChromaCode said that it will add Adjuvant Capital's Managing Partner, Jenny Yip, to its board. The company has now raised $38M in the Series C round. ChromaCode said the new funds will go to support global expansion and continued development of ChromaCode's high-definition PCR platform.

Esri Offers Up Solutions In Latin America For COVID-19 Tracking

socalTECH

Redlands-based geographical information system (GIS) software developer Esri says is offering up its technology to help address the COVID-19 pandemic in Latin America and the Caribbean, as part of a partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). According to Esri, the effort will allow governments in the region to use a COVID-19 solution to track critical equipment and asset availability, manage supply chains, and maintain business continuity.

Ingram Micro Offers Up Financing, Credit To Partners In Europe

socalTECH

Irvine-based technology distributor Ingram Micro is looking to help its technology channel partners in Europe, who have been hit by cash flow challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with a new suite of financing options. According to Ingram Micro, it has rolled out new low interest and long term financing, extended credit terms, deferred payments, as-a-service models, and pay-as-you-go options for its customers.

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Zadara Partners with Cyxtera

socalTECH

Irvine-based storage-as-a-service provider Zadara said this week that it has partnered with data center colocation and interconnection provider Cyxtera. According to Zadara, its fully managed storage-as-a-service is now available in 62 of Cyxtera's data centers worldwide. Financial details of the partnership deal were not announced.

PatientPop Adds New Telehealth Features

socalTECH

Santa Monica-based healthcare practice management software developer PatientPop is adding a new set of telehealth features to its software suite, saying this week that it has launched a new product called PatientPop Pro. According to PatientPop, the new software offers telehealth, digital communications, and patient intake tools, allowing healthcare practices to deliver virtual care, connect with patients, and streamline office tasks. Pricing on the new tool was not announced.

SiFi Networks Finds $50M

socalTECH

SiFi Networks , which develops open access fiber optic networks, which it offers up to Internet Service Providers (ISPs), says it has received $50M to build out its network in the United States. The company--which has one of its offices in El Segundo--said it will use the funding for recruitment and training of industry specialists, to help it expand its deployments. The company said it will receive up to $400M in additional support for project funding.

Aspiration Draws $135M More In Funding

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based Aspiration , which offers up financial services, no-fee checking accounts, and a debit card focused on socially conscious spending, has raised $135M in funding, the company said Thursday. The Series C funding came from Alpha Edison led, along with UBS O'Connor Capital Solutions, DNS Capital, Radicle Impact, Sutter Rock, Jeff Skoll, Joseph Sanberg, Social Impact Finance, the Pohlad Companies, and AGO Partners. The company says it has now raised $200M in total.

Modern Trust Launches Online Estate Planning Service

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based Modern Trust said this morning that it has launched a new online site to help people create and maintain living trust and estate planning documents. The startup, led by Daniel Hales, said it is tackling the time-consuming, tedious and expensive process of creating a trust and dealing with estate planning, which the company says has traditionally involved numerous in-person meetings with lawyers, advisors and lots of paperwork and paper documents.

K1 Investment Management Sells San Diego's FMG Suite

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based private equity investor K1 Investment Management said this morning that it has entered into an agreement to sell San Diego-based FMG Suite to another private equity ivnestor, Aurora Capital Partners. Financial terms of the deal were not announced. FMG Suite is a developer of cloud-based marketing automation software specifically for financial services professionals and advisors.

Virgin Orbit Plans Demonstration Mission This Weekend

socalTECH

Long Beach-based Virgin Orbit is planning a demonstration launch of its small satellite delivery vehicle this weekend, saying it is hoping to launch a satellite into space on Sunday, May 24th at 10 AM PT. The launch--which will be made from the Mojave Air and Space Port is intended to put the LauncherOne rocket into space, launched from Virgin Orbit's modified 747 launch platform.

Insightful Science Acquires Cytapex

socalTECH

San Diego-based Insightful Science has acquired Cytapex , a bioinformatics contract research organization. Financial terms of the acquisition were not announced. According to Insightful Science, Cytapex focuses on helping pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device companies to improve and automate high-throughput and high-dimensional cytometry informatics for basic and clinical research, biomarker discovery, and clinical trials. Insightful Science is led by CEO Thomas Swalla. READ MORE>>.

Happy Returns Links With BigCommerce

socalTECH

Santa Monica-based Happy Returns , which provides return management for e-commerce and other retailers, said today that it has partnered with BigCommerce , a developer of e-commerce software. According to Hppy Returns, it will offer up its full suite of returns software and reverse logistics services to BigCommerce merchants.

XPRIZE Launches New Video Game Design Challenge

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based XPRIZE said it has launched a new initiative, which will provide "thousands of dollars" in prizes that invites the next generation to develop video games which "depict a better future for humanity". According to XPRIZE, the new effort, XPRIZE Connect , aims to "democratize access to learning through technology" and will be open for entrants between the ages of 10 and 18 years old.

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Brainbase Snags $8 In Series A

socalTECH

Los ANgeles-based Brainbase , a new startup developing software to help manage licensing, partnership and sponsorship agreements, has raised $8M in a Series A funding round, the company said this morning.

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RelayCars Offers Up Virtual Showroom For Cars

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based RelayCars , which provides a library of immersive and virtual reality content for the automotive industry, says it has launched a "virtual showroom" for individuals looking to shop and research a new car, as a result of more people being stuck at home. According to RelayCars, the website now features high quality, virtual realty (VR) content which lets users take virtual tours of any vehicle category, year, make, and model from its database of content.

United Dwelling Picks Up $10M

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based United Dwelling , a startup that helps homeowners convert garages or unused backyard space into newly allowed "Accessory Dwelling Units" which they can rent out to others, has raised $10M in a Series B funding round, the company said this week. The startup--led by longtime Southern California startup and venture capital veteran Steven Dietz--said the funding was led by Alpha Edison, and also included Lightspeed Venture Partners.