Sat.Feb 09, 2019 - Fri.Feb 15, 2019

Techstars and Starburst Aerospace are launching a space industry accelerator in Los Angeles

TechCrunch LA

With the help of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab, the U.S. Air Force, Lockheed Martin, Maxar Technologies, SAIC and the Israel Aerospace Industries company, Techstars and Starburst Aerospace are launching an accelerator focused on the space industry in Los Angeles.

Activision Blizzard To Slash Almost 800 Employees

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Santa Monica-based game developer Activision Blizzard says it is slashing 8 percent of its staff, or nearly 800 employees, as a part of a restructuring effort at the company. The move comes even as Activions Blizzard reported record net revenues in 2018 of $7.50 bllion, up from the $7.02 billion it had in revenues for 2017.

Why Has Seed Investing Declined? And What Does this Mean for the Future?

Both Sides of the Table

Seed investments are down by any measure (funds, deals, dollars) over the past 3 years in deals < $1 million AND in deals between $1–5 million. What gives?

Invest 407

Once again: Is it the jockey or the horse?

Berkonomics

Early stage investors have been arguing over this for years. Do they bet on the entrepreneur (jockey) or the business idea and plan (the horse)? This is serious stuff.

Former Snap employees are launching Forge Platform for Ethereum devs

TechCrunch LA

Chris Lorenz, Geoffrey Anderson, and James Borow may have spent their days over the past few years working at Snap, but on nights and weekends Anderson and Lorenz were laboring on a different project — improving Ethereum development tools. .

TigerConnect Rolls Out New Software Product

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Santa Monica-based TigerConnect , the developer of healthcare communications software, has rolled out a new set of products and product enhancements, all aimed at communications between healthcare providers, patients, and health systems. According to the company, it has rolled out a new product called TigerTouch, which it says allows health systems to communicate directly with patients through video, voice, and text.

More Trending

Once again: Is it the jockey or the horse?

Berkonomics

Early stage investors have been arguing over this for years. Do they bet on the entrepreneur (jockey) or the business idea and plan (the horse)? This is serious stuff.

Finding True Love Can Be Ruff, But This Startup Could Have Your Match

Xconomy

Too many people treat pet adoption like a one-night stand. You look at a dog, and see his eyes, and think he’s cute,” says Tama Lundquist, co-president of Houston PetSet, an organization that works with about 70 animal shelters in the Houston area.

Rivian, With Operations In Irvine, Raises $700M From Amazon For Electric Pickups

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Rivian , a developer of electric powered pickups and SUVs--which has significant operations in Irvine--has raised $700M in a funding round, the company announced Friday morning. The funding was led by Amazon. According to Rivian, its first two vehicles--the R1T and R1S--provide over 400 miles of range, and are expected to be delivered in late 2020. The company is led by founder and CEO RJ Scaringe.

LAEDC Economic Forecast 2019

SoCal Tech Calendar

Wednesday, February 20, 2019 -- LAEDC Economic Forecast 2019. Panel discussion: Agents of Innovation: LA County Businesses Shaping The Future Economy. One of the first events of its kind in Los Angeles, The LAEDC's annual Economic Forecast has long been a lightning rod for cultivating meaningful economic advancement within our city.

Press 100

Avetta Merges With BROWZ

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Irvine-based Avetta , a provider of supply chain management software, has merged with another supply chain risk management company, BROWZ , the companies said this week. Avetta is owned by private equity investor Welsh Carson Anderson & Stowe. The combined firm says it has more than 85,000 customers in over 100 countries. Financial terms of the merger were not announced. The combined company will be led by John Herr, the CEO of Avetta.

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TrueCar Buys Stake In Accu-Trade

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Santa Monica-based TrueCar announced late Thursday that it has acquired a 20 percent stake in Accu-Trade , a provider of vehicle apparisal technology. Financial terms of the deal were not annoucned. Accu-Trade, which is based in Manheim, Pennsylvania, and provides a mobile app which offers up vehicle appraisals and valuations for dealers and consumers.

TuSimple Takes $95M For Autonomous Trucking Technology

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TuSimple , a developer of autonomous trucking technology which has offices in San Diego and in China, said on Wednesday that it has raised $95M in a Series D funding round. The funding came from Chinese investors SINA Corp. and Composite Capital. TuSimple says it has now raised a total of $178M. The new funding values the company at $1 billion. The company was founded in 2015.

TigerConnect Teams With OpenTempo

socalTECH

Santa Monica-based healthcare communications software developer TigerConnect has inked a partnership with physician scheduling and labor analytics software developer OpenTempo , the two announced today in a deal which will provide closer integration between their tools. Financial details of the deal were not announced.

Amazon Lockers Head To Coachella

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Need something for the annual music festival at Coachella ? Amazon is looking to cater to the crowd of tech-savvy visitors to the popular festival, and said on Tuesday that it will be offering up its Lockers at on-site locations at Coachella during the two weekends of the festival in April.

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Greylock-backed Robotics Startup Nuro Snags Big $940M Funding Round

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Nuro , a self-driving, delivery robot developer backed by Los Angeles-based venture investor Greylock Partners, has raised a huge, $940M funding round from SoftBank Vision Fund, the company said on Monday. Nuro said the new funding brings its total raised to more than $1 billion. Other investors in Nuro include Greylock Partners and Gaorong Capital.

HyperX Signs Pittsburgh Knights

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Fountain Valley-based gaming accessories maker HyperX said this morning that it has become an official sponsor of the Pittsburgh Knights , the esports team that is associated with the Pitssburgh Steelers. According to HyperX, which is the gaming division of Kingston Technology, it will become the "Exclusive Peripherals Sponsors" of the Knights, providing gaming headsets, keyboards, mice, mousepads and internal memory products to the team. Financial details of the arrangement were not announced.

Virgin Galactic Donates Rocket Motor To Smithsonian

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Virgin Galactic and its sister company, The Spaceship Company (TSC), said last week that it has donated a rocket motor to the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum , for the Smithsonian's efforts to create a new gallery focused on commercial space flight. The hybrid rocket motor was used on SpaceShipTwo, VSS Unity last year. The rocket motor was designed and built by TSC. The 3,000 pound motor is what is used to send Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo spacecraft into space.

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JibJab Acquired By Catapult Capital

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Los Angeles-based JibJab , which provides animated, personalized greeting cards and other social content, has been acquired by private equity investor Catapult Capital LLC , Catapult Capital announced this morning. Financial terms of the deal were not announced. JibJab's stable of electronic greeting cards allow users to send personalized videos for such things as birthdays, holidays, and other events.

Cornerstone OnDemand Opens New Office In Utah

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Santa Monica-based cloud-based human capital and resources management software developer Cornerstone OnDemand announced this morning that it has opened up a new office in Utah, where it expects to hire up to 350 people. According to Cornerstone OnDemand, the new, 26,000 square foot office is in Sandy, Utah, which is a suburb of Salt Lake City in an area where the tech industry refers to itself as the "Silicon Slopes".

Startup Boost Los Angeles Opens Apps For Spring Program

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Startup Boost Los Angeles , the early stage startup program which is led in LA by Matt Stoddard, says it has opened up applications for its Spring 2019 program. According to Stoddard, it is looking for nine early stage startups to participate in its eight-week program. The program includes six weekly workshop sessions and one demo night hosted by Google in Venice. Applications for the program will close on March 15th.

Samsung To Open First Retail Stores, Including One In LA

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Smartphone maker Samsung is making its first foray into the retail environment, saying on Thursday that it is opening up three new retail stores, including one in Los Angeles. According to Samsung, the new Samsung Experience Stores will open on February 20th, with a store at The Americana at Brand in Los Angeles, plus stores in Garden City New York, and Houston, Texas.

Pulse Electronics Acquired By Yageo

socalTECH

San Diego-based Pulse Electronics , a provider of electronic components, said Thursday afternoon that it is now 100 percent owned by Taiwanese company Yago Corporation. Financial details of the deal were not announced. The deal to acquire Pulse occurred in May of 2018, and completed in December, according to the companies.

Netflix LA Locked Down After Disgruntled Employee Makes Threat

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The Los Angeles offices of online movie streaming service Netflix were briefly locked down late Thursday afternoon, after a disgruntled, recently fired employee allegedly said he had a gun and was in the company's parking lot. The lockdown was later lifted, after the disgruntled former-employee was taken into custody. No gun was found, and according to KTLA the man was ultimately released. The man apparently had been fired on Wednesday from Netflix. READ MORE>>.

REX Expands AI Powered Real Estate Brokerage To Orlando, Florida

socalTECH

Woodland Hills-based REX , an online real estate brokerage, says it has opened up for business in Orlando, Florida, and hopes to expand to additional Florida cities over the next few months. According to REX recently raised a big $45M Series C funding round, and has raised $75M in total for its real estate brokerage efforts. The company now has operations in California, Colorado, Florida, New Jersey, New York, Oregon and Texas. READ MORE>>.

Interview with Skyler Lucci, HeyTutor

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Skyler Lucci is co-founder and CEO of Los Angeles-based HeyTutor (www.heytutor.com), a startup which has created an online platform which connects and matches students with in-person tutors. The company recently raised a round of funding from Santa Barbara-based ScOps Venture Capital. We caught up with Skyler to hear about HeyTutor, which already has 25 employees and is growing rapidly.

Skylar Finds $8M For Perfume Startup

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Los Angeles-based perfume startup Skylar has raised $8M in a Series A funding round, for a "natural" beauty and perfume brand, the company said this week. The funding was led by FirstMark Capital, and also included Upfront Ventures, Amplify LA, and Gingerbread Capital. Skylar is led by CEO Cat Chen, a veteran of the Honest Company. As part of the funding, FirstMark's Beth Ferreira will join the company's board of directors. READ MORE>>. honestco chen brand beauty capital venture perfume skylar

Tech Coast Angels Hails Exit At CaseStack

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The Tech Coast Angels said this morning that its members said a 16x return from their investment in CaseStack , the logistics and supply chain company led by Dan Sanker, after its acquisition last year for $255M. CaseStack as acquired by Hub Group, Inc. in November of 2018. According to the Tech Coast Angels, this is the company's sixth highest ever. The Tech Coast Angels were investors in CaseStackf or nearly 15 years.

HauteLook Hacked, Millions Of Account Details Leaked By Hackers

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The personal account details of nearly 28 million users of HauteLook , the private sales site founded in Los Angeles and now owned by Nordstrom , have been hacked and have just shown up for sale on the "dark web" , according to security researchers. According to a report from The Register, HauteLook's data--along with that from Dubsmash, Myfitnesspal, MyHeritage, and many others--just went up for sale on the "dark web" for less than $20,000 in Bitcoin.

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Veritone Deploys At College Football Playoffs

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Costa Mesa-based Veritone says its artificial intelligence software was deployed for the 2019 College Football Playoff (CFP) National Championship, and was used to produce transcriptions, automated facial recognition of players and coaches, logo identification, and other tasks for the CFP's Media Day. Financial details of the deployment were not announced.

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