Sat.Jun 13, 2020 - Fri.Jun 19, 2020

Anthos Capital and NBA All-Star Baron Davis back LA-based college tuition savings service, UNest

TechCrunch LA

UNest , a Los Angeles provider of financial planning and savings tools for parents including college savings plans and other beneficial investment vehicles for various life events, has raised $9 million in a new round of funding, the company said. .

Traditional marketing vs. social engagement


Woe to those teaching yesterday’s methods. We all know that the world of marketing has turned upside down these past years through the power of the Internet. College professors teaching marketing must be having a real challenge keeping up with the new channels of communication, the relative values of advertising buys in this new world and explaining how to make the most out of these cheaper and more powerful channels. The new power model of marketing.

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L.A. Business Journal

Century City-based AECOM has named Troy Rudd to become its new chief executive, replacing longtime CEO Michael Burke

5 Reasons Two Founders As A Team Are Better Than One

Startup Professionals Musings

It seems like every entrepreneur I meet these days is quick to proclaim themselves a visionary, expecting that will give more credibility to their startup idea, and improve their odds with investors.

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Los Angeles-based childcare and co-working startup Bümo adds more virtual classes for kids at home

TechCrunch LA

When Bümo co-founders Joan Nguyen and Chriselle Lim began planning for the rollout of their business, a combination daycare and co-working space for professional women on the go, they never expected to be offering daycare services virtually.

Bhavuk Kaul, How Gift a Plate Is Trying To Help Local Restaurants, Hungry


Recently, A new, nonprofit organization, Gift A Plate (www.giftaplate,org), launched effrts in Los Angeles, to allow people to donate to help both restaurants and families in need. The organization said it is looking to help aid restaurants and families who have been greatly impacted by COVID-19 in LA. The new nonprofit is was created by software company PlateIQ (, and is led by Bhavuk Kaul, who who chatted with about the new effort.

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Techstars Announces Participants

L.A. Business Journal

The Techstars Starburst Space Accelerator, an aerospace-focused incubator based in El Segundo, has announced the participants for its 2020 program, which will be conducted virtually this year because of the coronavirus pandemic

More Trending

Investors based in San Francisco? That’s so 2019

TechCrunch LA

As coronavirus keeps offices closed, wealthy venture capitalists are moving out of apartments in San Francisco and New York and decamping to other vacation-friendly zip codes. In San Francisco, a city known for high housing costs, rates for a one-bedroom apartment have dropped 9% from a year ago.

One LA Company Hiring: Jam City


Even as the global pandemic has thrown growth plans into question, apparently, at least one Los Angeles company is ramping up its hiring: Jam City. According to a report, the LA mobile games developer has "dozens of positions" open at the company. Jam City is behind a large number of popular, casual mobile games, including the recently launch game World War Doh, the Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery mobile game; Panda Pop; Cookie Jam, and many others. READ MORE>>.

Why Telecom Companies Should Leverage Carrier-Grade Networks

Southern California Edison Blog

Telecom carriers require reliable networks to provide telecommunications services to their customers. Without the proper capacity or availability to carry the necessary traffic, telecoms will have trouble attracting new business and remaining competitive.

7 Positive Ways To Highlight Your Competitive Clout

Startup Professionals Musings

Most entrepreneurs spend far too much time thinking negatively about competitors, and can’t resist making derogatory statements to their own team, to investors, and even to customers.

DroneBase nabs $7.5 million in a slight down round to double down on its work in renewable energy

TechCrunch LA

DroneBase , a Los Angeles-based provider of drone pilots for industrial services companies, has raised $7.5 million during the pandemic to double down on its work with renewable energy companies.

Qualcomm Launches Small Business Accelerator


San Diego-based Qualcomm Technologies has launched a new program to help small businesses move towards the "mobile-first" world, the company said last week. According to Qualcomm, its Qualcomm Small Business Accelerator Program will offer up products powered by Qualcomm Technologies solutions, plus collaboration tools and technical and integration support, so they can continue to maintain operations throughout the current global pandemic and beyond.

Engrail Therapeutics Launches With $32M to Develop New Neuro Drugs


Typically a new biotech assembles a group of investors that collectively puts in the money a fledgling company requires to develop or acquire potential therapies.

8 Keys To Hooking Investors, Even If They Are Sharks

Startup Professionals Musings

As an advisor to entrepreneurs and active angel investor, I often get questions about the realism of the Shark Tank TV series, compared to professional investor negotiations. The simple answer is that with all the staging of TV lights and billionaire investors, it’s nothing like Silicon Valley.

Los Angeles-based Open Raven raises $15 million from KPCB for its security tech to secure hybrid clouds

TechCrunch LA

Open Raven , the Los Angeles-based security startup founded by a team of cybersecurity veterans from CrowdStrike and SourceClear, has closed on $15 million in new financing only four months after emerging from stealth and in the middle of a pandemic. .

Esri Powers New COVID-19 Dashboard In Saudi Arabia


Redland-based Esri reports that it has been selected by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), to power a the country's first coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) dashboard. Financial impact of the win were not announced. Esri said the dashboard was created in cooperation with Esri Saudi Arabia and the country's Ministry of Health (MoH), and is the official source of data for tracking COVID-19 cases throughout the kingdom.

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Exec Search Underway at PacBio After CEO, CFO Announce Plans to Retire


Gene sequencing company Pacific Biosciences of California is seeking two new leaders in the wake of retirement announcements by a pair of longtime top executives.

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5 Ways To Validate Your Technology As Market Driven

Startup Professionals Musings

Technical entrepreneurs love their technology, and often are driven to launch a startup on the assumption that everyone will buy any solution which highlights this technology. Instead, they need to validate a customer problem and real market need first.

Brian Grazer and Ron Howard’s Imagine Impact entertainment “accelerator” inks deal with Netflix

TechCrunch LA

Imagine Impact , the entertainment accelerator launched by Brian Grazer and Ron Howard to try and bring Silicon Valley-style mentorship and project development techniques to Hollywood, has inked a development deal with Netflix and is looking for submissions. Under the agreement, Impact will identify and develop film ideas in four specific genres over the next year that they will then bring to Netflix to produce and distribute, through a global submission process.

Procore Debuts New Features


Carpinteria-based Procore Technologies , which develops construction management software, says it has launched a number of new features, aimed at greater collaboration and communications. The company--one of the Central Coast's fastest growing companies--says it launched the new features at its own virtual construction industry event, Next Steps Summit.

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Bio Roundup: A Royal IPO, Akili Arrives, Orca Bio Surfaces & More


The biggest life sciences deal this week involves a company that doesn’t discover or develop drugs, or even sell them. Yet its mark is found on pharmaceutical products spanning the entire sector. Royalty Pharma (NASDAQ: RPRX ) acquires the royalty rights for drugs.

Honk: Many American Drivers Still Not Driving


Los Angeles-based HONK , an app-based service which connects motorists with roadside assistance and towing, says that American drivers are still not driving as much as they did--even as most lockdowns have been loosened. According to HONK, it ran a survey showing that 45 percent of American drivers are fueling their vehicles no more than once a month.

Red 6 Finds Funding From Lockheed Martin Ventures


Santa Monica-based Red 6 , a startup which is developing augmented reality training systems for the aerospace and defense market, said it has received a strategic investment from Lockheed Martin Ventures. Size of the funding was not announced. According to Red 6, the funds will go towards development and commercialization of its ATARS (Airbone Tactical Augmented Reality System). The system allows real pilots flying actual airplanes to see and maneuver around virtually generated enemies.

GoodRx Names CFO and President, Healthcare


Santa Monica-based GoodRx says it has named Karsten Voermann as Chief Financial Officer and Bansi Nagji as President, Healthcare, saying that it is in the midst of rapid growth. The company said it hired 65 new full-time employees since March, increasing its headcount by 22 percent. The company says it now has a total of 350 employees.

Rubicon Project Loses President


Los Angeles-based advertising exchange operator Rubicon Project has lost its President and COO, Mark Zagorski, the company said early this morning. According to Rubicon Project, Zagorski, currently President and Chief Operating Officer, will resign at the end of June to "pursue a new opportunity". The company said that its CEO, Michael Barrett, will re-assume the President role as a result of Zagorski's departure. READ MORE>>. rubiconproject rubicon project advertising executive mark zagorski

Engrail Therapeutics Finds $32M


San Diego-based Engrail Therapeutics , a biopharmaceuticals company developing treatments for diseases of the nervous system, has raised $32M in a Series A funding, the company announced this mroning. The funding was led by Nan Fung Life Sciences (NFLS). The company said the funding will go towards clinical development of its first pipeline asset, ENX-101, a sub-type selective GABA A modulator. Vikram Sudarsan, Ph.D. is CEO and President of the new company. READ MORE>>.

Illumina Acquires BlueBee


San Diego-based life sciences giant Illumina said late Wednesday that it has acquired BlueBee , a developer of cloud-based software for genomic analysis. Financial terms of the acquisition were not announced. BlueBee was a spinoff from Delft University of Technology (TU Delft), and was venture backed by Buysse & Partners, Korys, Quest for Growth, Capricorn Partners, Heran Partners, Delft Enterprises and Participatie Maatschappij Vlaanderen.

Tinder's Parent Company Criticizes Apple's App Store Fees


Match Group , the parent company of Los Angeles-based dating app developer Tinder , has joined in on criticizing Apple for its fees--saying that Apple "squeezes industries" like like e-books, music and video streaming, cloud storage, gaming and online dating for 30% of their revenue. The statement comes as a major antitrust case against Apple was filed in the EU.

8minute Solar Energy Wins 250MW Solar Project


Los Angeles-based 8minute Solar Energy reports that it has signed a contract to develop a new, 250MW solar power plus storage project in California. According to the company, the contract, with Monterey Bay Community Power Authority (MBCP) and Silicon Valley Clean Energy (SVCE), will supply Community Choice Energy (CCE) providers. The company said the project will include 150 megawatt hours (MWh) of energy storage, providing enough power for 93,000 homes.

Trust & Will Hits 100K Members


San Diego-based startup Trust & Will , which offers up online estate planning, says it has hit 100,000 members to its service. According to the company, the recent pandemic doubled the volume of individuals seeking its estate planning services. The company was founded in 2017, but only raised its Series A in December of 2019, when it raised $6M in funding. The startup said it never predicted an unprecedented event such as COVID-19 would bring end-of-life state planning to front of mind.

Allset Launches New App, Website After $8.35M In Funding


Los Angeles-based Allset , a startup which allows users to book a table and pre-order food at restaurants, said it has launched a new app and website. The company said the upgraded app and website will make it easier for its users to find and gte food they want from local restaurants. The new app works on both iOS and Android. Allset also said it recently raised $8.35M in new funding, and has now raised $16.6M

DroneBase Lands $7.5M In Series C


Santa Monica-based drone data management software developer DroneBase announced on Wednesday morning that it has raised $7.5M in a Series C funding. The funding round came from invest investors Valor Equity Partners and Razi Ventures, and also included prior investors Union Square Ventures (USV), Upfront Ventures, Hearst Ventures, Pritzker Group Venture Capital, and DJI.

NVCA's Venture Forward Aims At More Inclusive VC Community


The National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) says that it is launching a brand new nonprofit Venture Forward , which it says will help advance initiatives around diversity, education, research, and history within the venture capital industry, to help promote a strong and inclusive community.

Open Raven Finds $15M


Los Angeles-based Open Raven , a cybersecurity startup focused on preventing enterprise data leaks, has raised $15M in a new funding round, the company disclosed on Tuesday. The funding came from Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers (KPCB), along with Upfront Ventures, Signal Sciences, as well as angels Phil Venables (Chief Information Risk Officer, Goldman Sachs) and Niloo Razi Howe (former RSA Chief Strategy Officer). Kleiner will take a seat on the company's board of directors with the funding.

UNest Nabs $9M For College Savings App


Los Angeles-based UNest , which develops a mobile app to help parents with financial planning as well as college savings, has raised $9M in a funding round, the company said Tuesday. The funding came from Anthos Capital, Northwestern Mutual Future Ventures, Artemis Fund, Draper Dragon and Unlock Ventures. The investment also includes Baron Davis, the NBA player. UNest was founded by Ksenia Yudina; the company charges $3 a month for its app, which runs on iPhone and Android. READ MORE>>.

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FameBit No More, Now YouTube BrandConnect


FameBit , the online marketplace which had allowed advertisers to connect with YouTube influencers, is no more, and has been renamed YouTube BrandConnect , Google said on Tuesday. FameBit--which was based in Los Angeles, and was acquired by Google in 2015 --will continue to operate, and will continue to serve Youtube creators in the U.S. with over 25,000 subscribers.