Sat.Jun 27, 2020 - Fri.Jul 03, 2020

Top LA investors discuss the city’s post-COVID-19 prospects

TechCrunch LA

When it comes to venture capital, Los Angeles is a city on the rise. In the past year, it’s seen one of the most profitable venture-backed exits of any tech ecosystem (with the $4 billion sale of Honey to PayPal) and investors are minting billion-dollar companies in the region at a torrid pace.

Crowdsourcing, collaboration, support groups. Oh my.

Berkonomics

At the MIT Center of Collective Intelligence, professors and graduate students are wrestling with an important opportunity – and gaining ground. With new collaborative tools available for use in the cloud, people are no longer isolated in their creative endeavors.

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6 Keys To Measuring Return On Investment In Marketing

Startup Professionals Musings

Every entrepreneur knows that good demand generation marketing is the key to growth these days, but very few have the discipline or know-how to measure return in a world of a thousand tools and techniques.

8minute Solar to Build Plant

L.A. Business Journal

Mid-Wilshire-based 8minute Solar Energy has signed a contract to develop a 250-megawatt solar energy and storage project in Kern County

Elementary Robotics is making its quality assurance robots commercially available

TechCrunch LA

Two years and more than $17 million after it first began working on its robots for quality assurance, the Los Angeles-based Elementary Robotics has finally made its products commercially available.

Klio Studio Launches Cloud Production Management Software

socalTECH

Hollywood-based Klio Studio , a new startup, said this week that it has launched a new, cloud-based production management solution aimed at the film, television, and commercial production market. The company--led by Adrienne Lunson--said it has developed a system to handle such aspects of production as development, fundraising, pre-production, production, post-production and even release. Lunson--a former US Navy officer, talk show host, and film producer--said the tool starts at $11.99

9 Different Approaches For Motivating A Startup Team

Startup Professionals Musings

Entrepreneurs inherently understand that they have to be the initial leader of their startup, but often they don’t have the experience or the training to know where their leadership competencies lie, or how to build a leadership team.

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TCVN Fireside Chat with Sean Ellis: Growth Hacking in a Post Covid-19 World

SoCal Tech Calendar

Thursday, July 9, 2020 --.

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Science Inc. Backs Heavy Sound Labs

socalTECH

Santa Monica-based startup studio Science Inc. has backed a new company, looking to incubate startups from the music industry. According to Heavy Sound Labs , it is a music technology company looking for "today's next emerging stars" and helps them to develop themselves into creative entrepreneurs. The new venture is led by Jason Geter, a music industry veteran who co-founded Grand Hustle Records. Details of the financial arrangement between Science Inc.

7 Ways Your Day-To-Day Routine Drives Startup Success

Startup Professionals Musings

Most of the young entrepreneurs I know are classic proof of the old adage that people tend to overestimate what they can do in a short period, and underestimate what they can do over a long period.

8minute Solar to Build Plant

L.A. Business Journal

Mid-Wilshire-based 8minute Solar Energy has signed a contract to develop a 250-megawatt solar energy and storage project in Kern County

MEI Pharma, Helsinn Scuttle Cancer Drug Trial After Miss on Efficacy

Xconomy

MEI Pharma and its Swiss partner Helsinn are ending a Phase 3 study of an investigational cancer drug for patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) after an interim analysis indicated it was unlikely to meet the trial’s main goal of helping patients live longer.

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Scalefast Adds $22M For eCommerce Tools

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based Scalefast , a developer of direct-to-consumer, e-commerce software, has raised $22M in a Series B funding round. The funding came from Xplorer Capital, Stereo Capital, FJLabs, Benhamou Global Venture and Credit Mutuel Equity. According to Scalefast, it will use the new funding to expand its team, footprint, and product offering. Scalefast's software is specifically used by brands to scale direct-to-consumer sales. The company is led by CEO Nicolas Stehle. READ MORE>>.

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5 Challenges No Entrepreneur Anticipates In A Startup

Startup Professionals Musings

Every entrepreneur I know finds it a challenge to balance the joys of entrepreneurship against a set of frustrations they never anticipated. Of course, most of you expect that raising money will be difficult, as well as staving off competitors, and handling that occasional toxic customer.

4 Principles Guide Every Socially Conscious Business

Startup Professionals Musings

I’ve noticed that most young entrepreneurs are more socially conscious today than ever before, which is a great trend.

Guide 84

Aegis Technology Selected For NASA Grant

socalTECH

Santa Ana-based Aegis Technology , a developer of materials technology, has been selected for a $125,000 grant from NASA , to help develop low cost lithium-ion batteries with more desirable performance, including longer lifespans, NASA said on Tuesday. Aegis--one of a large number of companies selected for NASA SBIR and STTR grants this week--was highlighted as part of the announcement of $51M in awards for US small businesses.

Order For Me Launches Touchless Restaurant Ordering App

socalTECH

A new, Los Angeles-based startup, Order For Me , says it has launched a new, mobile platform aimed at helping restaurant customers order from menus in a "completely touchless" way. According to the startup, it has launched a new product which uses QR technology or designated restaurant codes, to let diners view menus, place their orders, and which goes directly to restaurants. The app also handles payments and splitting of bills between guests.

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NetObjex Acquires VitalGrid

socalTECH

Irvine-based NetObjex , which is developing products in the AI, IoT, and Blockchain area, said today that it has acquired VitalGrid , a provider of business technology and management consulting. Financial terms of the acquisition were not announced. According to NetObjex, the acquisition will help it expand capabilities in a number of vertical markets, including manufacturing, supply chain, smart cities, fintech, and others. NetObjex is led by CEO Raghu Bala. READ MORE>>.

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Airvet Finds $14M For Pet Telehealth

socalTECH

Culver City-based Airvet , which operates a pet telehealth service that lets veterinarians run virtual visits, has raised $14M in a Series A funding, the company said late last week. According to the company, the round was led by Canvas Ventures, and also included e.ventures, Burst Capital, Starting Line, TrueSight Ventures, Hawke Ventures, Bracket Capital, Michael Stoppelman, and others.

CoreLogic Rolls Out AI Tool For Home Buyers

socalTECH

Irvine-based property information provider CoreLogic says it has rolled out a new artificial intelligence (AI) tool today, which it says helps real estate agents and their clients looking to buy, sell, or make improvements to their home. According to the company, its new product, OneHome, currently has launched in Ohio, and eventually will launch nationwide.

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Mavenlink Names New CFO

socalTECH

Irvine-based cloud software developer Mavenlink has named a new CFO, saying this week that it has appointed Steve DeSantis to the position. DeSantis previously served at such companies as DATAllegro, Predixion Software, Cloudvirga, and Nexiant, and the company said DeSantis took ShiftPixy public in 2017, and TCI Solutions in 2004.

Stamps.com Powers Last Week Tonight Stamps Effort

socalTECH

El Segundo-based Stamps.com was behind the successful fundraising effort run by John Oliver on Last Week Tonight , saying it has so far generated sales of over $4M to help support the U.S. Postal Service.

Outstanding Foods Finds $5M

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based Outstanding Foods , a developer of plant-based snacks--known for its PigOut Pigless Pork Rinds--said the funding was led by SternAegis Ventures, and also included LA lakers player JaVale McGee. The company said it will roll out new products with the funding round, and also use the capital for faster R&D, nationwide marketing, retail expansion, and hiring. Bill Glaser is the CEO and co-founder of Outstanding Foods.

Hollar No More, As Five Below Rebrands Site

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based, low-cost e-commerce products site Hollar is no more, and will be swallowed up by new owner Five Below , six months after the acquisition of Hollar by Five Below. According to an email to current customers of Hollar--known for its "dollar store" style, grab bag of products--Hollar will "soon become Five Below" and continue to offer up its $1 to $5 products, and occasional products of up to $10.

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Arqlite Lands Investment From CEMEX Ventures

socalTECH

Santa Ana-based Arqlite SPC , a company which has developed a way to processes unrecyclable plastic waste into artificial gravel, has received an investment from CEMEX Ventures , the corporate venturing arm of the building materials giant. Size of the investment were not announced.

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J2 Global Target Of Short Seller

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based J2 Global , which operates a variety of Internet information and services businesses, appears to be the target of a short seller, saying late Wednesday night that a short seller has issued "false claims and distortions" about its business. J2 Global said that Hindenburg Research included the company in a short selling communications.

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Google Delays Office Reopenings On Virus Surge

socalTECH

Google appears to be pulling back on plans to reopen its offices after the July 4th weekend, after it has become apparent there is an ongoing surge in COVID-19 cases in the United States. According to Bloomberg, Google is now planning on keeping its offices closed until at least September 7th, at the earliest--a big change from plans to open them up in July. The move comes as California saw its largest jump in cases on Tuesday. Google has significant operations in the Los Angeles area.

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Jukin Media Hits $25M In Royalty Payments From Viral Videos

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based Jukin Media says it has surpassed $25M in total royalty payments to video creators which it represents, with $1M in royalty payments alone in Q1 of 2020. The company--best known for finding and representing the creators of viral videos--says it is seeing an uptick in interest from TV shows and commercials, as the global pandemic has slowed the entertainment industry to a halt.

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LA's Elementary Robotics Finds $12.7M For Industrial Inspections

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based Elementary Robotics , a new startup led by startup veteran Arye Barnehama, said on Tuesday that it has raised $12.7M in funding for its industrial robotics company. The funding was led by Threshold Ventures, and also included Fika Ventures, Fathom Capital, and Toyota AI Ventures. According to the company, it has now raised $15M in total. Elementary Robotics is working on robots it says will eventually augment human workers in complex tasks and for industrial inspection.

EDF Renewables North America Wins Cox Solar, Battery Deal

socalTECH

San Diego-based EDF Renewables North America reports that it has been selected by Cox Communications , to install both onsite solar as well as battery energy storage at a site in San Diego. Financial details of the deal were not announced, however, EDF Renewables said that Cox will install a 360 kilowatt (kW) solar photovoltaic and 560 kW / 1,360 kilowatt hour (kWh) onsite behind-the-meter battery storage solution at its corporate office on Federal Blvd.

Rubicon Project Becomes Magnite

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based Rubicon Project is no more, and has become Magnite , the company said this morning, after the completion of the merger between Rubicon Project and Telaria in April. According to Magnite, the newly named firm also will change its Nasdaq ticker symbol from RUBI to MGNI tomorrow, on July 1st. The company says it is now the "largest independent sell-side advertising platform".

LiveXLive Claims Growth In Pay-Per-View Concerts

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based LiveXLive , the livestreaming and on-demand live event operator, says that--despite the pandemic--it is seeing record pay-per-view concert ticket sales. The company says it has live streamed 59 live music events and over 1,200 artists since January of 2020, and now has 873,000 paid subscribers. The company said that is pay-per-view and digital touring efforts, announced in May, has resulted in the sale of over 17,000 PPV tickets in over 96 countries, at an average price of $27.

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Report: How Activision Blizzard Is Dealing With The Pandemic

socalTECH

How is Santa Monica-based Activision Blizzard navigating the pandemic--and how is another local company, Heal , a part of those efforts? A report , from VentureBeat, talks about how the videogame maker is navigating the pandemic, employees with COVID-19, and plans for reopening--and how CEO Bobby Kotick has been personally involved in the effort. READ MORE>>. activision heal pandemic covid19 videogame

Kyriba Wins Fluor

socalTECH

San Diego-based Kyriba , which develops cloud-based finance software for treasury and cash management, says it is now helping construction giant Fluor Corporation. Kyriba did not say how much the win was worth, but says it is helping Fluor to optimize payment terms and manage cash flow, as part of Fluor's supply chain finance efforts. Kyriba says it is helping Fluor to optimize payments terms and accelerate free cash flow, while offering early payments to suppliers. READ MORE>>.

SpaceX Scrubs Satellite Launch Mission

socalTECH

Hawthorne-based SpaceX scrubbed its plans for a launch of another 57 Starlink communications satellites on Friday, saying its team needed additional time for pre-launch checkouts. SpaceX did not announced a new target launch date for the mission--part of an ongoing set of missions designed to send thousands of its Starlink satellites into low earth orbit. The Starlink mission had been scheduled to launch on Friday from Florida, at pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center.

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Insights: Personal Liability Risks of Directors of Financially Stressed Start-Up

socalTECH

For today's Insights and Opinions section, we have an article on Navigating Turbulent Business Seas: Personal Liability Risks of Directors of Financially Stressed Start-Ups from Michael Sherman, Neil Elan and Karine Akopchikyan at Stubbs, Alderton, and Markiles LLP (www.stubbsalderton.com). The halcyon days of start-up companies and the venture community attraction to them hit a hard stop as the COVID-19 lock down spread across the U.S. earlier this year.

Roche Gets FDA OK for Injectable Version of Breast Cancer Drug

Xconomy

A new version of a combination drug marketed by Roche for early-stage and metastatic breast cancer with a specific genetic signature received FDA approval Monday for a formulation that can be delivered in minutes rather than an hour or more.