Sat.Jul 23, 2022 - Fri.Jul 29, 2022

Upfront Ventures Raises > $650 Million for Startups and Returns > $600 Million to LPs

Both Sides of the Table

Photo by Scott Clark for Upfront Ventures (no, Evan is not standing on a box) Last year marked the 25th anniversary for Upfront Ventures and what a year it was. 2021 saw phenomenal returns for our industry and it topped off more than a decade of unprecedented VC growth.

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Are you the leader if no-one follows?

Berkonomics

Here is a variation of the “tree falls in the forest” question. . In past insights, we’ve looked at leadership skills, ways to enhance effectiveness, and how to develop creative ideas that motivate and propel your organization to greatness. Here is the ultimate question for a leader….

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5 Ways To Make Innovation A Priority In Your Business

Startup Professionals Musings

In my experience with business leaders, real innovation thinking is rare, compared to the urge to add just one more feature to an existing product, or make a small tweak to an existing business model. I call this linear thinking , and it’s a sure way to be ultimately overrun by your competition.

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Kitchen United Raises $100M In Series C

socalTECH

Pasadena-based Kitchen United, which develops technology and operates "ghost restaurants" which exists only on food ordering apps, has raised $100M in a Series C fundraising. The funding came from Alimentation Couche-Tard / Circle K, The Kroger Co., Restaurant Brands International, B.

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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.

Holey Grail Donuts bites into $9M for Los Angeles retail expansion

TechCrunch

Holey Grail Donuts started selling its hand-fried, made-to-order taro donuts on Sunday mornings out of a little red burger trailer in Kauai in 2018.

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5 Keys To Building A Positive Culture In Your Startup

Startup Professionals Musings

Throughout my career in small companies and large, I’ve always been appalled by the number of people who have a negative attitude or complain all the time.

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More Trending

6 Motivations That Lead To Key Market Transformations

Startup Professionals Musings

Real innovation in the business world is still rare.

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10 Keys For Developing A Great Mentoring Arrangement

Startup Professionals Musings

Every entrepreneur can learn from a mentor, no matter how confident or successful they have been to date. Most people don’t know that billionaire Mark Zuckerberg , for example, gives real credit to the inspiring mentorship of Steve Jobs for Mark’s Facebook success.

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Kofax Now Owned By Clearlake, TA

socalTECH

Irvine-based document automation software developer Kofax is now owned by private equity investors Clearlake Capital and TA Associates, the companie said this week, after a sale of Kofax by prior owner Thoma Bravo. Financial details of the deal were not announced. Thoma Bravo has owned Kofax for the last five years. The deal was financed by J.P. Morgan, along with Credit Suisse, UBS, Jefferies LLC, Blackstone, PSP Partners, Security Benefit, and Brinley.

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VyTrac Adds Strategic Advisor

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based VyTrac Health, a developer of remote patient monitoring tools, said this week that it has named Dr. Venktesh Ramnath, MD as a strategic advisor to the company. Dr. Ramnath is an Intensive Care Unit Pulmonologist at UC San Diego Health. VyTrac is led by co-founder and CEO Zachary Fink. vytrac remote patient monitoring software executive venktesh ramnath

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LogicMonitor Names CIO

socalTECH

Santa Barbara-based LogicMonitor, a developer of software-as-a-service for managed service providers, says it named Ryan Worobel as the company's new Chief Information Officer (CIO). Worobel was most recently Executive Vice President and CIO at Incora, and also served at Maersk Line, Zuora, Dell and Salesforce. logicmonitor executive saas software ryan worobel

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Whatnot Links With Post Malone On $100K Match

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based live shopping service Whatnot--which is backed by DST Global, CapitalG, BOND, Andreessen Horowitz, and YC Continuity--said this week that it has linked up with Post Malone, on an opportunity to win $100k in a one-on-one battle with the recording artist. According to Whatnot, the opportunity gives fans an opportunity to play Magic: The Gathering against Post Malone, to be streamed live on its app on August 11th.

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DeciBio Ventures Backs Replay In $55M Funding

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based venture investor DeciBio Ventures ays it has made an investment in genomic medicine technology company Replay. According to the company, Replay raised $55M in a seed funding round, which was led by KKR & Co. and OMX Ventures, and also included ARTIS Ventures, Lansdowne Partners, SALT, and Axial. DeciBio Ventures did not say how much it contributed to the funding. Replay is based in San Diego and London. DeciBio Ventures says it invests in precision medicine startups.

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Effecto Launches Chronic Health Tracker

socalTECH

San Diego-based Effecto announced this morning that it has launched a new product, an app to help people with health issues or chronic illnesses track their symptoms and moods. According to the company, its app lets patients log different health aspects and activities, to help manage chronic illnesses. The company said it is looking to help patients with tracking mental health issues like depression, anxiety, stress, ADHD, etc.

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Rocket Lab Wins Solar Power Deal For Space Force

socalTECH

Long Beach-based Rocket Lab USA said late Wednesday that the company has been seleted by the United States Space Force, to provide solar cell assemblies for three, Lockheed Marting spacecraft. Financial details of the win were not announced. According to Rocket Lab, its high-efficiency, radiation-hardened Coverglass Interconnected solar Cell (CIC) assemblies will power the three Lockheed Martin Next Gen OPIR GEO (NGG) satellites for the United States Space Force (USSF).

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Rivian Cuts 6 Percent Of Workforce

socalTECH

Electric vehicle maker Rivian has cut six percent of its workforce, according to a report from the WSJ on Wednesday, citing inflation and a rapidly changing economy. The company had 14,000 workers, including a significant number in Orange County, before the layoffs. The WSJ cited an email from Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe, which pointed at "inflation reaching record highs, interest rates rapidly rising and commodity prices continuing to climb" as reasons for the layoffs.

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Warrantless Requests For Video From Ring, Google Nest Raises Questions

socalTECH

New, US rules that allow law enforcement to request video from Ring and Google Nest cameras are raising questions about privacy, and exactly how law enforcement officials can get access to private video taken by those cameras. The new rules are similar to existing rules which allow law enforcement to access cell phone records in an emergency which might involve immediate risk of death--such as kidnapping, attempted murder, or self harm.

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Docupace Integrates With Envestnet

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based Docupance, a developer of fintech software for the wealth management market, said it has integrated with Envestnet, a provider of financial software. The company said the integration includes real-time data exchange between the platforms. Both companies provide their software to the financial services industry. docupace envestnet wealth mangaement software fintech

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Mojix Bolsters Board

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based Mojix announced today that it has added a new member to its Board of Directors. The developer of software-as-a-service products for supply chain tracking said it added Marc Hafner, most recently the CEO of Revionics, to its board. Hafner previously also served at NEC< BroadCloud, and Westell. mojix executive board software saas supply chain

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LA Cryptocurrency CEO Pleads Guilty In Fraud Case

socalTECH

A Los Angeles area man has please guilty in a $21 million cryptocurrency fraud scheme, according to the US Department of Justice. According to the DOJ, Michael Alan Stollery, 54, of Reseda, California, was the CEO and founder of Titanium Blockchain Infrastructure Services Inc. TBIS), a purported cryptocurrency investment platform, which the DOJ says raised approximately $21M from investors in the US and overseas.

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Impulse Space Aims At Mars, Backed By $30M

socalTECH

El Segundo-based Impulse Space--founded by SpaceX veterans--says it is looking to go to Mars, and has been heavily recruiting engineers to help it reach its goal. The startup, founded in September of 2021, is backed by Founders Fund and Lux Capital, and has raised around $30M in funding. The company's CEO, Tom Mueller, is the former CTO of Propulsion at SpaceX. impulse space mars propulsion spaceflight

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Viasat Inks Deal With ESA

socalTECH

Carlsbad-based Viasat announced this morning that it has inked a deal with the European Space Agency (ESA). According to Viasat, it will conduct a multi-layered Satellite Communication (SATCOM) study involving Geostationary Equatorial Orbit (GEO), Medium Earth Orbit (MEO), Low Earth Orbit (LEO), High Altitude Platform Systems (HAPS) and others, as well as include various frequency bands, satellite operators and network designs. Financial details of the deal were not announced.

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Cordial Connects With $50M More

socalTECH

San Diego-based Cordial, a developer of cross channel marketing and data management software for brands, said today that it has raised $50M in a Series C funding round. The funding was led by NewSpring ,and als oincluded ABS Capital. Cordial also is backed by High Alpha and Upfront Ventures. The company says it has now raised $85M in total. Cordial is led by CEO and co-founder Jeremy Swift. cordial venture capital cross channel marketing data software brands

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Faraday Future Running Short Of Cash, Pushes Back FF91 Launch

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based electric car developer Faraday Future says that it is delaying the launch of its first vehicle, the FF91, and is warning that it is running short on cash, even as the company navigates its new status as a public company. According to the company, it has delayed its deliveries to the third or fourth quarter of the year--and needs $325M in order to continue funding its operations until the end of the year. automotive automobile cleantech ff91 future faraday

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Upfront Ventures Raises $650M In New Investment Funds

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based venture capital investment firm Upfront Ventures, one of the region's most active venture capital investors, announced that it has raised $650M across three venture capital funds, which it says will allow the firm to continue making investments for "many years ahead."

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Cypress Creek Renewables Buys Energy Storage Projects In Texas

socalTECH

Santa Monica-based renewable energy developer and producer Cypress Creek Renewables said this morning that it has acquired four, Texas energy storage projects from Black Mountain Energy Storage (BMES). Financial details of the acquisition were not announced. Cypress Creek Renewables said the projects are each 100MW, and total 400MW/600MWh of capacity. The four projects are in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) market and are currently under development.  

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Promenade Expands Tools To Meat, Seafood Stores

socalTECH

Santa Monica-based software developer Promenade--formerly known as Bloomnation--says it is expanding its e-commerce software to support local butcher shops, letting meat and seafood stores take online orders. According to the company, its new solution is called Promenade for Butchers, and is aimed at independent butcher and seafood shops, offering up a custom search engine-optimized website, online ordering, delivery options, marketing, back-office management, and online and in-store sales.

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Health Note Gets $17M

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based healthcare software developer Health Note says it has raised $17M in a Series A funding round for its pre-visit, clinical intake automation software. According to the company, the round was led by SignalFire, and also included UnityPoint Health, Northwell Holdings, the for-profit arm of Northwell Health focused on investment in early stage/growth opportunities, and Cedars Sinai Health Ventures.

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Chipotle Jumps On Crypto Bandwagon With Giveaway

socalTECH

Newport Beach-based Chipotle is jumping on the crypto bandwagon, saying this morning that it will give away $200,000 in free Bitcoin, Ethereum, Avalanche, Solana, or Dogecoin as part of a new, interactive game--and will also accept those cryptocurrencies for purchases. The company said its acceptance of cryptocurrency comes via a partnership with digital payments company Flexa, which will allow guests to use 98 different digital currencies to pay for food at the fast casual chain.

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Fifth Wall Raises $500M For Climate Fund

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based real estate technology venture investor Fifth Wall has raised $500M in a new, climate fund, aimed at decarbonizing the global real estate market. The company said last week that the Climate Fund's LPs include BBVA, British Land, Camden Property Trust, CBRE, Cosan, The Durst Organization, Equity Residential, Hilton, Host Hotels & Resorts, Hudson Pacific Properties, Invitation Homes, Ivanhoe Cambridge, Kimco Realty Corp.,

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Bobacino In R&D Partnership

socalTECH

El Segundo-based Bobacino, one of the crowdfunded, robotic companies backed by Wavemaker Labs, says it has inked a R&D partnership with Boba chain Boba Guys. Financial details of the partnership were not announced. According to Bobacino, Boba Guys will act as "strategic advisors" to Bobacino. Bobacino is led by CEO Darian Ahler. Bobacino is one of multiple, robotics-related and crowdfunded companies backed by Wavemaker Partners, Wavemaker Labs--its venture studio--and Embark Ventures.

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