Sat.Aug 15, 2020 - Fri.Aug 21, 2020

As it adds Jeremy Milken to the partnership, Watertower Ventures nears $50 million close for its new fund

TechCrunch LA

Derek Norton and Jeremy Milken have known each other for twenty years. Over their longtime personal and professional relationship, the two Los Angeles-based serial entrepreneurs have invested in each other’s companies and investment firms, but never worked together until now.

A million things can kill the deal.

Berkonomics

So, you’ve found the buyer, received a letter of interest, signed it, and exclusively tied your company up for a period to complete the deal. Everyone on the board is anxious to close this. You’ve committed time to do whatever is needed.

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TikTok Remains Active While Weighing Its Options

L.A. Business Journal

The clock is ticking for TikTok

7 Critical Resources For A Thriving Startup Community

Startup Professionals Musings

As a mentor to aspiring entrepreneurs, I often feel the frustration of someone trying to build a startup in the wrong place and time, and wrongly attributing their struggle to personal limitations.

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.

GroWrk Launches Remote Office Management Service

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based GroWrk Remote , which is backed by Act One Ventures, says it has launched a new, smart remote office management platform designed to help companies manage their team's home office needs. The company said it automates equipment issuance, providing everything from sit-stand desks and ergonomic chairs, information technology resources, and more on a subscription basis.

11th Annual Women In Green Forum

SoCal Tech Calendar

Thursday, August 27, 2020 --.

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7 Characteristics Of Startup Founders Who Enjoy Life

Startup Professionals Musings

As an angel investor and a mentor to aspiring entrepreneurs, I’m always disappointed to see founders who seem stressed out most of the time, and more annoyed than energized by the abundance of challenges they see in building their startup.

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OpenX Launches New Product

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based OpenX said this week that it has launched a new product, Apollo, which it says helps publishers maximize their programmatic revenue. The company said the new tool integrates with the open source Prebid offering, allowing such features as configuration management and a/b testing capabilities. Pricing on the new tool was not announced. OpenX develops software for online publishers, helping them to manage online advertising on their properties. READ MORE>>.

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Getting an ROI on Your Digital Assets

Steve Reich

Bankers have a huge asset on their balance sheet that they are not managing: the traffic that flows daily to desktop and mobile Digital banking platforms.

Influencer Campaign Platform Boosts CreatorIQ

L.A. Business Journal

Igor Vaks, the founder and chief executive at Culver City-based Social Edge Inc., doing business as CreatorIQ, understands that his company’s complex platform can be difficult to describe to potential investors

7 Due Diligence Checks On Your Idea To Save Some Pain

Startup Professionals Musings

In my experience, consummate entrepreneurs tend come up with more startup ideas than they can ever implement, and some of the ideas may not even make business sense. But how does any entrepreneur know which ideas to implement, and which ones are best left behind?

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American Medical Technologies Acquired By Private Equity Firms

socalTECH

Irvine-based American Medical Technologies , a provider of wound care program for Long Term Care facilities, has been acquired by a group of private equity companies. According to American Medical Technologies, it was acquired by One Equity Partners and The Silverfern Group. Financial details of the buy were not announced. AMT says it has been providing its services since 1994, and serves residents in more than 6,250 facilities nationwide. The company is led by CEO Sam Muppalla. READ MORE>>.

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Bio Roundup: J&J Buyout, BioMarin Rebuffed, Poseida on Hold & More

Xconomy

While business is historically slow in August, this month seems to be bucking the trend, just like so many other unexpected developments in 2020.

Swoop Platform Targets Small Transportation Operators

L.A. Business Journal

Hawthorne-based Swoop Inc. wants to bring digital order and ease of use to the group transportation industry, a fragmented market populated with small operators who keep their books manually

6 Keys To Translating Technology Into Business Value

Startup Professionals Musings

Young entrepreneurs often are so excited by new technology or their latest invention that they forget to translate it into a value proposition that their customers or potential investors can understand and relate to.

Uber, Lyft Get Stay On Injunction, Stay Online

socalTECH

Uber and Lyft has received a stay on an injunction late Thursday, staving off a complete shutdown of both of the services at midnight. An appeals court in California granted the two companies the stay, holding off the injunction which would have forced the two companies to reclassify all of its drivers in the state to employees.

Harmony Bio and Inhibrx Raise Combined $247M in Public Market Debuts

Xconomy

Two biotechs this week topped the $100 million mark in their respective initial public offerings, both of which were able to offer more shares than planned.

TrueCar Gains on Earnings, ALG Sale

L.A. Business Journal

TrueCar Inc., the Santa Monica-based online car-buying marketplace, has managed to gain investors’ trust even as it adjusts to the market under Covid-19

5 Ways To Conserve Investor Cash And Ensure Survival

Startup Professionals Musings

Cash flow is a basic survival metric for every startup. Investors check your burn rate to assess your efficiency, and project your remaining runway before you run out of money and into a brick wall.

HireRight Adds COVID-19 Screening

socalTECH

Irvine-based HireRight said this week that it is adding COVID-19 screening to its menu of offerings, on top of existing background check, drug testing, education verification, and other services. According to HireRight, the new COVID-19 antigen testing is being made available via its Drug & Health Screening services. HireRight said its test option is one of the COVID-19 antigen tests which has received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the FDA, and which uses a saliva sample.

Patient Death in Poseida Prostate Cancer Study Prompts Clinical Hold

Xconomy

A Phase 1 trial testing a Poseida Therapeutics cell therapy in men with prostate cancer is on hold after a patient enrolled in the study died of liver failure nearly three weeks after receiving the treatment.

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Ingram Micro Tightens Up E-Waste Efforts

socalTECH

Irvine-based IT distributor Ingram Micro Commerce & Lifecycle Services , the arm of Ingram Micro which helps companies manage IT asset disposition, says it has teamed up with Closing The Loop, a sustainable solution provider that extracts electronic waste from developing countries and ensures that it is responsibly recycled, to remove the phone weight-equivalent of its employee notebooks from e-waste streams.

Lyft Suspends Services In California

socalTECH

Ridesharing service Lyft announced in a blog post on Thursday morning that it is immediately suspending its services in California, in response to a recent ruling that said the company--as well as Uber--must treat its drivers as employees. According to Lyft, it will suspent its rideshare operations at 11:59pm PT in California.

FarmSense Launches Automated Insert Monitoring System

socalTECH

Riverside-based FarmSense has launched an artificial intelligence-powered, automated, pest monitoring system, aimed at helping farmers monitor insects to make crop and pest control decisions. The company--which has received $7.5

PeerStreet Launches Real Estate Investment Fund

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based real estate loan marketplace PeerStreet announced on Wednesday morning that it is launching a new fund, called the Peer Street Credit Opportunity Fund LP , which will provide another way for its customers to diversify, expand, and customize their real estate debt portfolios. PeerStreet said the new fund will allow people to take advantage of opportunities in distressed debt, warehouse financing and subordinate investments.

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Sootchy Debuts College Savings Service

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based Sootchy , which develops an app to help family and friends of students help students avoid student debt, said on Wednesday it has launched a new mobile and desktop college savings platform. According to Sootchy, its service lets parents set up and manage a 529 account in their state, and lets parents, friends, family, and acquaintances contribute to a child's 529 college savings plan. The company says its service will be available as a mobile or desktop app on iOS and Android.

LinQuest Finds $76M From U.S. Space Force

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based LinQuest , a developer of space systems for the defense and intelligence market, reported on Wednesday that it has received $76M from the U.S. Space Force's Space and Missile Systems Center. LinQuest said it will be the prime contractor to support a satellite communications (SATCOM) effort for the U.S. Space Force. READ MORE>>. linquest space force defense intelligence

SpaceX Launches More Satellites, Breaks Reuse Record

socalTECH

Hawthorne, California-based SpaceX has once again successfully launched another set of Starlink satellites into space on Tuesday morning, breaking a re-use record for the first stage of a Falcon 9 booster rocket in the process. SpaceX launched 58 Starlink satellites and three Planet SkySats in the launch from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, at 10:31AM EDT.

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Google's Nest Takes Aim At Sonos

socalTECH

Santa Barbara-based Sonos is getting some additional competition from Google's Nest , as Google announced new, whole-home music features to its products. According to Google's Nest, it is now launching multi-room control, so its users can group together speakers, Smart Displays, and Chromecasts into multiple rooms, which can all be controlled together. Sonos rose to prominence specifically from its whole home music features.

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SpaceX Adds $1.9M In New Funding, Says Report

socalTECH

Hawthorne-based SpaceX has raised another, $1.9 billion in funding, according to Reuters , which says the funding was disclosed in regulatory filings. Source of the new funding was not announced. The new funds reportedly value SpaceX at $46 billion, according to Bloomberg. SpaceX recently launched two astronauts into space for NASA, and just set a new record for re-use of a Falcon 9 booster Tuesday morning. READ MORE>>. spacex venture capital private equity space spaceflight aerospace

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Ways2H Partners With Local Power On Hydrogen Microgrids

socalTECH

Long Beach-based Ways2H , a developer of waste biomass-to-hydrogen technology, says it has partnered with Massachusetts-based Local Power , to develop hydrogen-fueled community microgrids for Community Choice Aggregators and municipalities.The two said they have partnered to develop community microgrids powered by renewable hydrogen produced from waste, plus solar and battery storage. Financial details of that partnership were not announced.

SmartAction Names Gary Davis As CEO

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based software developer SmartAction , which develops conversational, AI-powered virtual agents for contact centers, said this morning that it has named Gary Davis as its CEO. Davis was previously the company's President, and earlier had served as Chief Operating Officer. SmartAction is backed by private equity firms Staley Capital and TVC Capital. The company went through a management recapitalization in February of 2018.

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Slope Agency Acquires Abacus Growth

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based Slope Agency , a marketing firm focused on TikTok and founded by Y-Combinator alumni, says it has acquired Los Angeles-based Abacus Growth , a marketing agency focused on TikTok. Financial terms of the acquisition were not announced. According to Slope Agency, Abacus Growth was focused on running TikTok ads, and counts such clients as Forbes, LEGO, and Gravity Blanket. Abacus Growth was founded by Phillip Hui-Bon-Hoa in 2019.

Deposit Defender Launches To Help Renters Save Their Security Deposits

socalTECH

Are you a renter, tired of landlords always claiming damages and never returning your security deposit? San Diego-based Deposit Defender says it has launched a new app, which helps renters photo-document rental property inspections, in order to prevent future loss of their security deposits.

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Canoo Hits Public Markets Via Reverse Merger

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based electric vehicle manufacturer Canoo is going public via a reverse merger, in a move that it says will provide it with approximately $600M to help support production and launch of its electric vehicles. According to Canoo, it has entered into an agreement with special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Hennessy Capital Acquisition Corp. IV --which trades on the NASDAQ as HCAC--for the business combination.

Neel Grover: How Indi Is Helping People Earn Money For Their Knowledge

socalTECH

Our interview today is with serial entrepreneur Neel Grover , the CEO and founder of Indi (indi.com). Indi operates an app which lets people get paid for sharing their social content, making product recommendations, and more. Neel was most previously the Chairman and CEO of Bluefly.com, CEO and President of Buy.com and Rakuten North America and an Executive Officer of Rakuten Inc. What is Indi? Neel Grover: We spun Indo out of our prior business, last June.

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