Sat.Dec 18, 2021 - Fri.Dec 24, 2021

Jeff Bezos asked a question that blew me away!


Here’s the question: This piece of wisdom came from Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, during a board meeting for one of the companies where he sits as board member. Jeff asked the question “Is there anything big or small, which is working better than you expected?

5 Practices For Developing A World-Class Startup Team

Startup Professionals Musings

It takes an effective team to attract and serve a community in business these days.

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GoSecure Acquires Covail


La Jolla-based GoSecure, a provider of managed security services, said today that it has acquired Covail, a security and risk optimization and automation company. Financial terms of the acquisition were not announced. GoSecure said it will use Covail's expertise in artificial intelligence (AI) to augment its platform. GoSecure is led by CEO Neal Creighton. gosecure covail managed security services merger acquisition software

9 Keys To Group Participation, Alignment, and Results

Startup Professionals Musings

Based on my experience in business, it takes a team that works together to be successful, in conjunction with leadership from the top.

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.

10 Tips For Crafting An Investment Grade Venture Plan

Startup Professionals Musings

If you want people to invest in your idea, then my best advice is first write a business plan, and keep it simple. Don't confuse your business plan with a doctoral thesis or the back of a napkin. Keep the wording and formatting straightforward, and keep the plan short.

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7 Keys To Sustainably Enriching Your Customers’ Lives

Startup Professionals Musings

As I talk to many of you in my role as business advisor, I still often hear the concern for maximum return to the business and stakeholders, more than a passion for sustainably enriching the lives of your customers and team.

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SkySafe Gains $30M More For Drone Defense


San Diego-based SkySafe, which develops drone defense and airspace security systems, has raised $30M in a Series B funding round, according to the company. The round was led by Kingfisher Investment Advisors, and also included Gaingels, Castor Ventures, plus Andreessen Horowitz. The company says it has now raised $45M in total. The company will use the funding for hiring, R&D, and expanded production. SkySafe is led by CEO and founder Grant Jordan.

Virgin Orbit In Partnership With Intelligence Firm


Long Beach-based Virgin Orbit, which is developing satellite launch systems, says it has partnered with signals intelligence provider Horizon Technologies. Financial details of the deal were not announced, however, Virgin Orbit said it will become Horizon's preferred launch partner, will take an equity stake in the company, and will appoint a Virgin Orbit representative to Horizon's board.

Amazon, Twitter, Meta, And Others Pull Out Of CES


In a blow to the return to normal for the tech industry, a number of companies--including Amazon, Meta, and Twitter--announced yesterday that they will not be attending what had been expected to be the first, in-person Consumer Electronics Show since the beginning of this pandemic. CES--which had run an online event early in 2021--had announced they would be going back to in-person events for 2022. The show had been requiring people to show proof of vaccination to attend.

AWS Glitch Takes Down Slack, Hulu


Another glitch in Amazon Web Services this morning briefly took down a large number of services this morning, including Slack, Hulu, and others, due to what AWS reported was a power outage at a data center. According to the Amazon Web Services Dashboard a power outage at a data center affected its US-EAST-1 region, with continuing issues now with the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud.

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VRYNT Gets $1.5M In Seed Funding


Los Angeles-based VYRNT, a startup developing an e-commerce platform for NTFs, says it has raised $1.5M in an initial funding. The company said the funding came from Jaycen Joshua (owner of Canton House Studios), and Steve Miller, (co-founder of Anomaly Create). The company said it is working on a "next-generation e-Commerce platform for NFTs focused on the Metaverse". The company said it is in the midst of raising additional money very its own token. vrynt seed funding binance metaverse

Sketchy Takes On MCATs In Partner Deal


Los Angeles-based Sketchy, an educational technology company known for creating visual study tools, says it is taking aim at the MCAT (Medical College Admission Test) in a deal with Blueprint, a provider of MCAT prep products. Financial details of the deal were not announced. The companies said the two have partnered to help students prepare for the MCAT. Sketchy is backed by TCG and Reach Capital, who invested $30 million in the company in 2020. Both companies are based in Los Angeles.

Novea Raises $50M For Warranty, Service Contracts Fintech


Los Angeles-based fintech startup Novea, the parent company of Novea, Jacana Warranty, and Jacana Insurance, says it has raised $50M in equity funding, along with $5M in debt. The funding came from Newpoint Financial Group, a Swiss investor. According to the company, the funding will go to support its proprietary user platform, which is aimed at the consumer warranty and service contracts industry. Novea is led by CEO Jim Quinlan. novea jacana warranty insurance venture capital fintech financia

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Yardi Acquires


Santa Barbara-based Yardi announced this morning that it has acquired, an online marketing platform for tenants and brokers. Financial details of the acquisition were not announced. Yardi announced that it has redsigned 42Floors to include a new, commercial property search engine featuring more than 320,000 listings nationwide across multiple verticals. 42Floors will become part of Yardi's CommercialEdge network of marketplaces.

TeleSign To Go Public Via SPAC


Los Angeles-based TeleSign, which provides two factor authentication and other related services to businesses--which has been running as a unit of Belgian telecom firm Proximus--is going public via a SPAC, the companies said on Friday. The two said that TeleSign will be acquired by North Atlantic Acquisition Corporation (NAAC), in a deal worth $487M. The deal will value the new company at $1.3 billion. Telesign was acquired by Proximus back in 2017.

Solotech Buys XR Studios For Virtual Reality


Los Angeles-based XR Studios, an agency specializing in augmented and virtual reality production, has been acquired by Solotech, a provider of audio, video, lighting, rigging, soft goods, control and collaboration solutions and services for the entertainment industry. Financial details of the acquisition were not annoucned. Solotech said it will use the acquisition to expand its virtual production services in LA, with a dedicated campus for "extended reality" efforts.

Diversis Capital Backs SalesRabbit, Eyes Acquisitions


Los Angeles-based private equity investor Diversis Capital Management said this week that it has backed field sales software developer SalesRabbit. Financial details of the investment were not announced, however, Diversis said it provided a "significant growth investment" to SalesRabbit. SalesRabbit offers up both native mobile and web-based software aimed at field sales organizations. The company is based in Utah.

Viasat Wins Contracts With US Navy


Carlsbad-based satellite communications services provider Viasat says it received two new contracts wih the U.S. Navy this morning. According to Viasat, the contracts came from the Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM), to provide Wi-Fi, voice, and TV in Guam plus managed Wi-Fi in Poland. The win is an expansion of existing work that Viasat provides for Unaccompanied Housing (UH), Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) facilities and Navy lodging facilities.