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

LA Companies Give Renters More Ways to Charge EVs

L.A. Business Journal

Electric vehicles are touted as the future, especially in Los Angeles where the city’s climate goals call for 80% of vehicles sold to be electric by 2028 — seven years ahead of the state’s 2035 cutoff for gasoline-powered auto sales

Are you killing innovation in your company?

Berkonomics

First, let’s recognize the problem. Here’s one for executives of any company with next generation products in mind.

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GrubMarket gobbles up $120M at a $1B+ pre-money valuation to take on the grocery supply chain

TechCrunch LA

When people talk about “online food delivery” services, chances are that they’ll think of the Uber Eats, Instacarts and Getirs of this world.

Illumina Accelerator Backs Seven Startups

socalTECH

San Diego-based life sciences giant Illumina says it has made investments in seven startups, as part of its accelerator program, the Illumina Accelerator. The company said that the investments were made as part of two different programs, the Illumina Accelerator Cambridge, UK, and the Illumina Accelerator San Francisco Bay Area. Illumina's startup efforts are led by Amanda Cashin, PhD, co-founder and Global Head of Illumina For Startups.

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.

SpaceX’s Historic Week Ushers in New Possibilities for Space Exploration

L.A. Business Journal

Inspiration4 proves that the company is making headway on its mission of opening space travel to all

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7 Advantages For Being A Socially Responsible Startup

Startup Professionals Musings

More entrepreneurs want to be socially responsible these days, but fear a negative impact on profits, growth, and the ability to find an investor. In the short run, there are real costs associated with the “triple bottom line” of maximizing profit, people (social), and planet (environment).

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GreenPower Delivers First Electric Bus

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Los Angeles-based zero-emissions heavy-duty vehicle company GreenPower Motor Company has delivered its first, all-electric school bus to a district in Santa Maria, according to the company. According to the company, its first BEAST school bus was just delivered to the Santa Maria Joint Union High School District. The company said the new school bus is an all-electric, 40-foot battery powered electric school bus with a range of up to 150 miles; the bus can seat up to 90 passengers.

HopSkipDrive, a Ride-Hailing App for Kids, Rolls into the School Year

L.A. Business Journal

When Joanna McFarland grew frustrated that she couldn’t drop her son off at karate practice because she had to be at work, she started commiserating with other moms

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9 Messages From Sales Training May Save Your Startup

Startup Professionals Musings

Most aspiring entrepreneurs believe that a great idea alone will assure business success. Experts argue that it’s more important to have a great plan, and personal business acumen. Hardly anyone mentions selling principles.

Steve Reich - Untitled Article

Steve Reich

A fun conversation with Dave and Tanner

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Truepic Takes $26M For Photo Verification

socalTECH

San Diego-based Truepic, a startup that provides photo verification technology, said today that it has raised $26M in a Series B funding round. The funding was led by M12, and also included Adobe, Sony Innovation Fund by IGV1, Heart Ventures, and individuals from Stone Point Capital. According to the company, the funds will go to secure its technology.

Omaze Raises $85 Million for Fundraising Platform

L.A. Business Journal

Individual investors include Bono, Kerry Washington, Tom Brady and Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian

5 Keys To The Survival And Success Of An Entrepreneur

Startup Professionals Musings

You can’t survive as an entrepreneur without resilience, because you are going to fail at least once, maybe multiple times. That’s the nature of trying something that’s never been done before. Resilience means not giving up, and being energized by what you have learned.

7 Scenarios Where A Business Plan Is Still An Asset

Startup Professionals Musings

As a startup mentor and investor, I am approached regularly by aspiring entrepreneurs who assert that business plans take too much time, are inaccurate, and rarely add value. They cite sources like Profitable Venture Magazine, “ Why Business Plans are a Waste of Time ” and this Forbes article.

SpaceX Deploys 51 Starlink Satellites From Vandenberg

L.A. Business Journal

Space Exploration Technologies Corp. completed its first Starlink launch from the West Coast

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7 Ways To Preclude The Most Common Investor Rejection

Startup Professionals Musings

Almost every early-stage startup who has approached investors for funding has heard the innocuous sounding rejection “I love your idea, but come back when you have more traction.” What does traction really mean to investors, and how much is enough?

Ad.net Names Bizdev VP

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based digital performance advertising company Ad.net announced this week that it has named Brandon Caudill as the company's new Senior Vice PResident of Business Development. The company--which serves brands and agencies--said that Caudill was previously an early employee at ZergNet. Ad.net is led by CEo Jon Waterman and backed by Clarion Capital Partners. adnet executive brandon caudill business development brands marketing

Whatnot Connects With $150M More For Live Shopping

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based live shopping streaming marketplace operator Whatnot said on Thursday that it has raised $150M in a Series C funding. The funding came from Andreessen Horowitz, YC Continuity, and new investor CapitalG, along with angel investors Andre Iguodala, Logan Paul, Gokul Rajaram, and Nilam Ganenthiran. Whatnot offers up a live stream shopping platform and marketplace aimed at collectors and enthusiasts. The company said it has raised a total of $225M now in funding.

Outer Finds $50M In Funding For Outdoor Living Brand

socalTECH

Santa Monica-based direct-to-consumer brand Outer, which sells outdoor living furniture and related products, has raised $50M in a Series B funding round, the company said this week. The funding was led by Capital Today, and also included Tribe Capital, C Ventures, TRAC VC, and Upfront Ventures plus Sequoia Capital China, Mucker Capital, Mantis VC, Unpopular Ventures, and Reimagined Ventures. The company said it has now raised a total of $65M in funding.

Tradesy Gets $67M For Secondhand Fashion

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Los Angeles-based secondhand, luxury fashion goods marketplace Tradesy has raised $67M more in a Series D funding round, according to the company. The funding was led by Foris Ventures, the family office of venture capitalist John Doerr. Tradesy is led by founder and CEO Tracy DiNunzio. The company sells pre-owned, luxury fashion products, many of which are worn only a few times. Tradesy's good range from multi-thousand dollar Rolex watches to clothing and shoes.

CoreLogic Acquires Next Gear Solutions

socalTECH

Irvine-based property information provider CoreLogic says it has acquired Next Gear Solutions, a provider of a digital workflow platform for the property restoration industry. Financial details of the buy were not announced. Next Gear Solutions was based in Oxford, Miss., and is used by property insurers and restoration contractors trust to manage claims handling workflow. The companies said that Jefferies LLC served as exclusive financial advisor to Next Gear Solutions.

SpaceX Successfully Launches Space Tourism Flight

socalTECH

Hawthorne-based SpaceX successfully launched four, non-professional astronauts to space on Wednesday, the first time a SpaceX capsule has been used to take private citizens to space. The company's Inspiration4 mission was bankrolled by one of those citizens, billionaire Jared Isaacman, who made his fortune as the founder and CEO of Shift4 Payments. The four are expected to spend three days orbiting the earth before returning to the planet.

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Chargezoom Finds $2M

socalTECH

Irvine-based billing and payments software startup Chargezoom has raised $2M in a seed funding round, the company said on Wednesday. The funding was led by Okapi Venture Capital and also included Saas Ventures. Chargezoom develops a software platform that helps businesses automate accounts receivable, billing, and payments. The startup is led by CEO Matt Dubois. Chargezoom said the new funding will go to continue scaling its product and team.

LiveXLive Plans Rebranding, Spinout

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based LiveXLive Media, which operates both an online livestreaming and pay-per-view business, says it is going through a major rebranding, and plans to spin out its pay-per-view business as a separate company. According to LiveXLive, it plans to change its name to LiveOne, and will spin out its PPV business as a public company called PPVOne.

Indi Launches Live Events Feature

socalTECH

Newport Beach-based Indi, which operates an app and platform which helps individuals make money through direct sales to their social connections, says it has added a new "live events" feature for its app. According to the company, the new Live Events feature collaboration, sharing a product or service, hosting a Q&A session or serve as a meetup place for like-minded individuals.

Appetize Acquired By SpotOn

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based Appetize, the developer of point-of-sale ordering apps serving the restaurant, sports, entertainment, and hospitality business, has been acquired by San Francisco-based SpotOn, the companies said on Tuesday. Financial details of the acquisition were not announced. SpotOn announced the buy along with a $300M, Series E funding round. Appetize was venture backed by such investors as 32equity, the investment arm of the NFL, as well as Oak View Group and Shamrock Capital Advisors.

CreatorIQ Connects With $40M More

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based influencer marketing startup CreatorIQ has raised $40M more in funding, according to the company. According to CreatorIQ, the new funding round came from existing investors TVC Capital, Kayne Partners Fund, the growth private equity group of Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors, Affinity Group, and Unilever Ventures, plus new investor Silver Lake Waterman. CreatorIQ is led by founder and CEO Igor Vaks. The company says it has now raised over $80M in funding.

SpaceX Space Tourism Launch Set For Today

socalTECH

Hawthorne, California-based SpaceX is getting set to launch its first ever, space tourism focused mission today from Florida. According to SpaceX, there's a give-hour launch window today opening at 8:02 p.m. for the Inspiration4 mission, which it says will be the world's "first ever all-civilian human spaceflight". The mission is thanks to billionaire Jared Isaacman, founder of Shift4 Payments, who paid for the entire launch.

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Quibi To Give Up Mobile Video Technology After Lawsuit

socalTECH

Quibi, the short-lived, short-form-mobile-video startup run by Jeffrey Katzenberg, is transferring its mobile video technology to another company, Eko, after Eko filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Quibi. Quibi--which shut down its operations last year--continues to exist as a legal entity, despite no longer operating as a company. According to the two, QBI Holdings, the current owner of Quibi's assets, will transfer the intellectual property behind its mobile video technology to Eko.

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i2020 Accelerator Launches Two Oncology Startups

socalTECH

San Diego-based i2020 Acclerator, a startup accelerator company which is backed by Torrey Pines Investment, announced this morning that it has launched two new startups. The company said that it has launched Gwynant Therapeutics and Celyn Therapeutics, both of which will focus on oncology, bringing proprietary small molecule products to the clinic targeting cancer.

symplr Acquires Halo Health

socalTECH

Symplr, the enterprise healthcare software company owned by Santa Monica-based private equity investor Clearlake Capital Group, said this morning that it has agreed to acquire Halo Health, a provider of clinical communication and collaboration software. Financial details of the transaction were not announced. The deal was backed both by Clearlake and Charlesbank Capital Partners. Clearlake has been rolling up a number of companies underneath the symplr brand.

SpaceX Plans First Billionaire Space Tourism Launch Today

socalTECH

Hawthorne-based SpaceX is planning its first ever, all-civilian space launch today, saying it is targeting a five hour launch window opening at 8:02 p.m. The company said it the "Inspiration4" mission will launch aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft from Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The mission purports to be focused on the "study of the human body in space", but is one of a series of space tourism efforts by a number of companies.

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Retrospec Launches New E-Bike

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based e-bike brand Retrospec said on Tuesday that it has launched a brand new product, the Valen Rev, a "moto-style" electric bike it says has a 50 mile range and is aimed at the "everyday rider". The company said the new e-bike costs $1799.99, and features a 48v motor, 6 levels of pedal assist, and a 50 mile range. Retrospec sells both e-bikes and more traditional bicycles, along with paddleboards, longboards and skateboards, and other active lifestyle products.

Grow Credit Scores $106M In Equity, Debt For Consumer Credit

socalTECH

Santa Monica-based fintech startup Grow Credit, which helps consumers build their credit score through payments for subscription services, said on Tuesday that it raised $106M in a combination of equity and debt. The funding included $6.3M in equity, and $100M in debt.

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Levine Leichtman Portfolio Firm Makes Acquisition

socalTECH

One of the portfolio companies of Los Angeles-based private equity investor Levine Leichtman Capital Partners has made a big acquisition, the company said this morning. According to Levine Leichtman, Monte Nido & Affiliates, its portfolio company, has acquired Walden Behavioral Care. Financial terms of the deal were not announced. Monte Nido & Affiliates is based in Miami, Florida; Walden Behavioral Care is based in Waltham, Massachusetts.

MasonHub Extends Footprint On East Coast

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based MasonHub, a venture-backed provider of fulfillment technology and services, is extending its footprint on the East Coast, saying this morning that it has opened up a 200,000 square-foot East Coast fulfillment center in Wilkes-Barre, PA. The company said the new fulfillment center will enable it to offer up two-day ground shipping to 90 percent of U.S. customers. MasonHub is backed by $6.5M in venture funding from Canvas Ventures, having raised a seed funding back in 2018.