Sat.Apr 02, 2022 - Fri.Apr 08, 2022

Sometimes your gut is the best you’ve got.

Berkonomics

How I didn’t follow my own advice. Years ago, I led a deal and invested in a company that looked like it had lots of promise to disrupt the women’s clothing industry with special algorithms and an online store. But something had bothered me from the very start – unsalable inventory.

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Robocalls Ramping Up Again, Says YouMail

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Think you're getting more robocalls than usual? According to Irvine-based YouMail, which provides a robocall blocking and voicemail service, you are. The firm said that its tracking found that U.S. phones received nearly 4.4 billion robocalls in March, up 16.1 percent from February call volumes. YouMail said that robocalls had declined earlier this year due to new rules for call authentication, but have since recovered; the company said call volumes are still below the peak of 5.7

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10 Ways Of Thinking That Brand You As An Entrepreneur

Startup Professionals Musings

Most people agree that entrepreneurs have to think differently and take risks to have much chance of building a successful business.

Playhouse is TikTok meets Zillow for the next generation of homeowners

TechCrunch

We’re all guilty of it: sometimes, even when we’re not looking to move, it’s fun to look at home listings on Zillow just to see what’s out there. If that sounds weird to you… I don’t blame you, but I also recommend watching more HGTV.

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.

Rocket Lab Looks To Catch Returning Rocket Using A Helicopter

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Land a rocket on a barge? Drop your rocket into the ocean with a parachute? Nope-- Long Beach-based Rocket Lab says it is planning to make an attempt to capture one of its Electron Rockets mid-air using a helicopter, during its next mission. According to Rocket Lab, the effort to catch its rocket by helicopter is part of its program to make its Electron rocket a reusable.

6 Key Principles For Inducing Customers To Buy Today

Startup Professionals Musings

Many entrepreneurs think that adapting to the new technologies, like smart phones and Internet commerce, are the key to attracting new customers. In fact, businesses need to adapt even more completely to the changes in the buying and social behavior of consumers.

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Don’t Be Too Busy To Collaborate For Business Results

Startup Professionals Musings

Whether you are trying to motivate your team, close a deal with a customer, or get funding from an investor, a casual conversation is usually a waste of your valuable time. These result is a founder who is always “too busy,” but never seems to get the business done and the team moving.

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LiveOne Jumps On NFT Bandwagon

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Los Angeles-based music and entertainment event and online streaming platform operator LiveOne says it is launching a new NFT platform, in a partnership with DaVinci. According to the company, it is launching a new platform called GamifyOne, which will allow users to trade music stocks, include "gamified crypto trading", NFTs, and its own token. The company said the platform will feature a slate of new interactive original show formats based on music, entertainment and artists.

5 Reasons Why You May Not Want To Grow Your Business

Startup Professionals Musings

It seems like every entrepreneur and business owner I meet is highly focused on fast growth to a large business, and becoming the next unicorn. They don’t realize the running a large business brings a whole new set of problems, and may not be all that much fun, compared to their small business role.

Faraday Future Gets Another Nasdaq Delisting Warning

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Los Angeles-based electric vehicle developer Faraday Future said Thursday evening that it has received a letter from the Nasdaq Stock Market, informing the company that it does not comply with Nasdaq Listing Rule 5250(c)(1) for continued listing. The ruling comes as a result of failure to file Faraday Future's Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021.

HUDDL3 Names Strategy VP

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Irvine-based HUDDL3 Group, which says it invests in companies in the professional service and technology area, says it has named Merrick Miranda as the Executive Vice President of Strategy & Development. The company said Miranda has 15 years of technical and sales experience in engineering, procurement, construction, and maintenance, and a background in chemical process engineering.

Jurny Wins Luxury Wellness Brand

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Los Angeles-based software developer Jurny, which develops hospitality automation software for hotels, says it has signed on The Yanko Group, a boutique luxury real estate development firm, to power a new luxury wellness lodging brand. Financial impact of the win was not announced. According to Jurny, it will be the technology and software provider for the developer's newest hotels set to open starting in April under the brand. Jurny is led by founder and CEO Luca Zambello.

Loaded Picks Up $20M For Streaming Agency

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Los Angeles-based Loaded, an agency which represents online streamers and content creators, has raised $20M in a funding round, the company said this week. The company said the funding was led by Coral Tree partners. As part of the funding, Alan Resnikoff and Henry Shapiro of Coral Tree have joined the company's board of directors. Loaded also said it is now being headed by Josh Swartz, who was the company's COO. loaded streaming online content venture capital

Activision Blizzard Clashes With Raven Software Union

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Santa Monica-based Activision Blizzard looks to be in a clash with the newly organized union at the company's Raven Software arm, according to reports. Activision Blizzard announced a move to convert temporary and contract QA employees to full time there, but reportedly will not include workers at Raven Software as part of the effort. activision union blizzard raven software

Docupace Wins Michigan Wealth Manager

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Los Angeles-based fintech operations software developer Docupace said this morning that its has been selected by Farmington, Michigan-based GLP Financial Group, a provider of wealth management services to non-profit professionals, public education employees, and their families. Financial details of the win were not announced. docupace fintech software financial wealth management

Zest AI Signs Big Credit Union

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Los Angeles-based artificial intelligence-driven lending software developer Zest AI said today that it has signed Redstone Federal Credit Union, a Huntsville, Alabama-based credit union, as a customer. The company said Redstone is one of the 20 largest federal credit unions in the US, with more than $8 billion in assets. Financial impact of the win was not annoucned. Zest AI's software will be used for auto and personal loan approvals.

Camino Financial Raises $150M In Debt

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Los Angeles-based Camino Financial, which develops artificial intelligence lending software, says it has raised $150M in a debt funding round. According to the company, the debt came from Community Investment Management (CIM). The company said that debt will go towards its loan origination efforts. Camino Financial is led by CEO Sean Salas. camino financial debt lending artificial intelligence funding fintech

Emmeline Ventures Launches Female Led Venture Fund

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Los Angeles-based Emmeline Ventures said this morning that it has launched a new, all-female led venture fund, which will focus on seed and early stage, female-founded companies. The new firm said it is in the midst of raising $5 to $8M in its initial fund, which it says it plans to invest in up to 20 businesses. The new firm is led by General Partners Azin Radsan van Alebeek, Naseem Sayani, and La Keisha Landrum Pierre.

SpaceX Expansion Effort In Texas Sees Hiccup

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An effort by Hawthorne, California-based SpaceX to expand its Starbase operations has seen a major hiccup, after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers withdrew the company's application to expand. The withdrawal apparently was a result of a failure by SpaceX to provide environmental information requested by the agency.

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Classy Taps Salesforce Exec For Sales Head

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San Diego-based nonprofit software provider Classy said on Tuesday that it has hired a former Salesforce executive to head up its sales efforts. According to the company, Marc Ferris has been appointed Chief Growth Officer, and will lead the company's sales and customer growth team. Classy said Ferris spent 12 years at Salesforce, working on Salesforce.org, a social enterprise focused on providing nonprofit and education organizations, and most recently serving as SVP of Growth for the Americas.

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Nuvve Ties With Toyota Tsusho, Chubu Electric Power In Japanese Effort

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San Diego-based Nuvve, which is developing vehicle-to-grid energy technology, says it has partnered with Toyota Tsusho Corporation (Toyota Tsusho), the trading arm of the Toyota Group, and Chubu Electric Power Miraiz Company (Chubu) to link into the Japanese power grid. According to the company, it is developing a joint solution with Toyota Tsusho and Chubu to developing a solution to serve as a power source and absorb demand fluctuations using its technology.

Qualcomm Finally Gets Victory In Long Running Patent Case

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San Diego-based Qualcomm has finally gotten victory in a very long running battle over patent infringement with a company called ParkerVision. A ruling in the US District Court for the Middle District of Florida granted a motion for summary judgment in the case, which involved a series of patent infringement lawsuits filed over 10 years by ParkerVision. ParkerVision had initially claimed infringement on 11 patents by Qualcomm. qualcomm patent infringement legal lawsuit parkervision

Cue Health Ties With BioReference Laboratories

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San Diego-based Cue Health, a provider of COVID-19 tests, and BioReference Laboratories said this morning that the two are working together to offer up a point-of-care product for BioReference's clinical customers. Financial details of the deal were not announced. The two said Cue's products will be offered through BioReference, including test results from the Cue Health Monitoring System, virtual care capabilities, scheduling, e-prescriptions, reporting, and more.

Alorica Names CEO

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Irvine-based Alorica, which develops customer experience software, says it has named Greg Haller as the company's new CEO. Haller has been Chief Operating Offier of the company since 2018. Alorica said its founder and former CEO, Any Lee, becomes Executive Chairman. Lee founded Alorica in 1999. alorica customer experience software greg haller executive

Pacsun Taps thredUP for Resale Platform

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Anaheim-based clothing retailer Pacsun says it is tapping Oakland-based online resale platform thredUP to launch a brand new, online resale platform for women's and kids' apparel, shoes, and accessories Pacsun said its customers can clean out their closets for Pacsun credit and shop "pre-loved" clothing directly through Pacsun's website and its new "Pre-Loved Pac" resale platform. Terms of the detail between Pacsun and thredUP were not announced.

USC Viterbi, Embedded Ventures Launch Venture To Promote STEM Careers

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Los Angeles-based venture capital investment firm Embedded Ventures, which invests in dual use space startups, and USC Viterbi School of Engineering said today that the two are in a collaboration to relaunch Project Payload, a program which shows middle school aged-girls what it's like to have a science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) through the design of rockets, payloads, and satellites, along with programming.

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MeridianLink Completes StreetShares Buy

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Costa Mesa-based MeridianLink, which develops software for financial instutions and consumer reporting agencies, said late last week that it has completed its previously announced acquisition of StreetShares, which develops fintech software for banks and credit unions. Financial details of the deal were not announced.

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Frontier Water Systems Acquired By Evoqua Water Technologies

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San Diego-based Frontier Water Systems, a developer of equipment for removing selenium, nitrate, and metals in water and wastewater, has been acquired by Pittsburgh-based Evoqua Water Systems. Financial details of the acquisition were not announced. Evoqua had already a majority position in Frontier Water Systems, via an investment in October of 2019. Evoqua said Frontier delivers a biological process that safely removes metals in a proprietary, modular bioreactor.

Finhabits Aims 401k Plans At Minority Owned Businesses

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Los Angeles-based fintech provider Finhabits says it has launched new, 401k plans specifically aimed at minority owned business in California. The fintech company--which says it was developed "by Latinos for Latinos" says it offers up a simple, bilingual and affordable alternative to California's state-mandated 401K plan. The new fintech company is led by CEO and founder Carlos Garcia. finhabits latino 401k fintech minority business

Elon Musk Buys 9.2 Percent Of Twitter

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Elon Musk, the CEO of Hawthorne, California-based SpaceX, has just acquired 9.2 percent of Twitter, according to a regulatory filing. The Schedule 13G filing by Musk indicates he now owns 73,486,938 shares of Twitter's common stock, which might make him the largest outside individual shareholder of Twitter. elon musk twitter stock twit social media

Plex Takes On Streaming Video Aggregation

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Los Angeles-based Plex is taking a swing at the online streaming video aggregation market, saying this morning that it has launched an app which allows users to "find any movie or show" for both free and paid streaming services. According to Plex, its app allows users to find free ad-supported movies, shows, and live TV, along with titles that users are interested in, regardless of platform. The company said it is like an "Amazon Wish List for movies and TV shows".

Cake adds newest ingredient to sexual wellness recipe: Entrance into Target

TechCrunch

Following a successful launch into Walmart stores last year, sexual wellness startup Cake is expanding its mainstream presence into Target. The move is buoyed by a $2.5 million bridge round to bring its total funding to date to $8.3 million.