Sat.Aug 21, 2021 - Fri.Aug 27, 2021

The shocking truth about employee loyalty

Berkonomics

How we often handle employment issues today. When we accept the work commitment from a person we hire, we make a pact with the new employee that often stops at agreeing to pay for service rendered and to provide a safe working environment. There should be more than that. .

Long Beach Reemerges as an Aerospace Hub

L.A. Business Journal

From startups to established titans, aerospace companies are expanding their presence in Long Beach

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7 Ways Your Marketing Needs To Meet Today’s Customers

Startup Professionals Musings

Every business I know is intimately familiar with outbound marketing, or pushing your message out to customers through email, newspaper, and television advertising. Only a few really understand the process and value of inbound marketing, for pulling customers to your brand.

Judge Rules Gig Worker Law Proposition 22 Is Unconstitutional

Tech.Co

A California judge has ruled that Proposition 22 violates the state's constitution. Under the less-than-a-year-old measure, gig-economy app companies like Uber and DoorDash could classify their workers as independent contractors rather than employees as they would otherwise be considered.

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.

Kyriba Ties With Australia's Openpay

socalTECH

San Diego-based cloud-based finance software provider Kyriba said this week that it has tied with Openpay Group Ltd, a payments fintech company, to provide new B2B payment options to Kyriba's clients. Financial details of the deal were not announced. Openpay's software is used by B2B management of payments to buyers and suppliers. The two said that the partnership is Openpay's first expansion into the United States. kyriba openpay cloud finance software fintech financial

Fisker to Raise $625 Million to Fund Second EV Model

L.A. Business Journal

Manhattan Beach-based Fisker Inc. is lining up capital to start production on a second electric vehicle in late 2023 after unveiling a debt offering of $625 million

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Twitch, Zynga Founders Back ForeVR in $7 Million Raise

L.A. Business Journal

Hollywood-based virtual reality gaming studio ForeVR Games Inc. raised $7 million in additional seed financing to grow its studio and slate of offerings

7 Personal Decisions That Delineate Your Best Startup

Startup Professionals Musings

Most aspiring entrepreneurs I know are just waiting for that unique idea to strike them that will kickstart their new venture, put them in control of their lifestyle, achieve financial independence, and maybe even change the world.

9 Mindset Indicators of a High Potential Entrepreneur

Startup Professionals Musings

In my role as mentor to business professionals, I often get the question about your potential of going out on your own as an entrepreneur, versus your current role of working for a boss at an established company.

7 Keys To Scaling Your Startup To Be The Next Unicorn

Startup Professionals Musings

When you see startups like SpaceX and Pinterest grow from a low valuation to a billion dollars in just a few years, it’s easy to assume that if you just keep doing what you are doing, you can get there as well.

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Headspace, Ginger.io Plan Merger

L.A. Business Journal

Wellness company Headspace will merge with on-demand mental health platform Ginger.io.

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Sketchy Expands Online Learning Platform for Undergrads

L.A. Business Journal

Saud Siddiqui and Andrew Berg said they shared an uncommon way of studying for their classes at UC Irvine School of Medicine

Emotive Hires Matt Cooley As President, COO

L.A. Business Journal

317 Labs, which does business as Emotive, named Matt Cooley as the company’s new president and chief operating officer

Protect Your Organization From Cyber Threats

L.A. Business Journal

What’s keeping executives up at night these days? Cyber attacks and IT breaches

Rocket Lab Inks 2 Rideshare Deals

L.A. Business Journal

Long Beach-based Rocket Lab USA Inc. is gearing up for its next rideshare mission

Bird Revenue Rebounds From Pandemic Lows

L.A. Business Journal

Bird Rides Inc. is starting to rebound from the deep financial blows caused by the pandemic

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UTA Ties With Rally On Social Tokens

socalTECH

UTA, the talent, entertainment, and sports agency, said this week that it has linked with Rally, a new "social token fan engagement and monetization platform", to help its creators, artists, celebrities, athletes, and to launch their own social tokens. According to UTA, UTA Marketing will UTA Digital Assets division to educate and facilitate talent onboarding onto the Rally platform. Financial details of the deal were not announced.

Bright Rounds Up $15M For Online, Live Classes From Celebrities

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based Bright said on Thursday that it has raised $15M in a celebrity-packed funding round, for its online, livestreamed classes.

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Coco Connects With $36M For Delivery Robots

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based Coco, a new startup focused on delivery robots, said this week that it raised $36M in a Series A funding round. The funding came from Sam Altman, Silicon Valley Bank, Founders Fund, Sam Nazarian, Ellen Chen, and Mario Del Pero. The company, led by co-founder and CEO Zach Rash, is developing autonomous delivery robots, and wa sformerly known as Cyan Robotics. The company says it has now raised $43M in total funding.

Phase Four Wins US Space Force Contract

socalTECH

El Segundo-based space thruster developer Phase Four says it has won a U.S. Space Force contract, as a result of its participation at the SpaceWERX Pitch Day. According to the company, the contract calls for the company to use a US air force developed propellant and its radio-frequency thruster in a demonstration effort. Size of that US Space Force contract was not announced. Phase Four is led by CEO Beau Jarvis. phasefour space satellite aerospace defense spaceforce aviation spacewerx

Avidity Biosciences Shuffles Board

socalTECH

La Jolla-based biopharmaceuticals developer Avidity Biosciences has shuffled its board, saying today that it has named Eric Mosbrooker to its board, with Roderick Wong, M.D. departing. Mosbrooker is the chief operations officer for Cognoa. He also has served as chief commercial officer at Audentes Therapeutics overseeing the gene therapy business unit, in addition to serving at Horizon Pharmaceuticals.

Invest 109

Happy Money Names Interim CEO

socalTECH

Orange County-based fintech startup Happy Money, which operates a service to help consumers better manage their money and pay off credit card debt, says it has named Jeff Winner as the company's Interim CEO. The company said its founder, Scott Saunders, will remain Chairman of the company. Winner previously served at such companies at Twitter, Stripe, and also was Chief Technology Officer for Marcus, Goldman Sachs' Consumer Business.

Immortals Names New Exec

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based esports organization Immortals said this week that it has named Robert Yip as Head of Player Performance at the organization, in addition to making a number of promotions. Yip returns to Immortals, having previously been there in 2017 working with its League of Legends team. According to Immortals, Yip works with both the LCS and VALORANT teams on their physical, mental, and emotional well-being.

AllVoices Takes $9.6M

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based employee feedback management software developer AllVoices said this week that it has raised $9.6M in its Series A funding round. The funding was led by Silverton Partners, and also included M13 Ventures and Crosscut Ventures. According to the company, the funding will go towards growth of its platform. The company's software allows for anonymous two-way communication, a whistleblower hotline, pulse surveys, and a case management system.

Headspace Merges With Ginger

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based mindfulness app developer Headspace is merging with mental health app developer Ginger, in a deal that reportedly values the combined company at around $3 billion. Financial terms of the merger were not announced. Ginger is backed by Blackstone Group. The new company will be led by Ginger CEO Russell Glass, with current Headspace CEO CeCe Morken shifting to become President of the combined company.

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involve.ai Gets $16M

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based involve.ai, a startup developing artificial intelligence-based customer retention software, said today that it has raised $16M in its Series A funding round. The funding was led by Sapphire Ventures, and also included Bonfire Ventures, Greycroft, Launch Capital, BDMI plus new investors GTMfund, Fenwick, Gokul Rajaram, Stanford University and Michael Whitmire. The company said the new funding will go to scale product development.

Shield AI Finds $210M

socalTECH

San Diego-based Shield AI, a startup developing AI and self driving technologies for aircraft, has raised $210M in a Series D investment round, according to the company. The funding was led by Disruptive, and also included Point72 Ventures, Breyer Capital, and Andreessen Horowitz. Shield AI says it is focused on the defense market. The company said the new funding round will go towards accelerate its plans for growth across both the defense and commercial industries.

Energy Vault Scores $100M For Gravity-Based Energy Storage

socalTECH

Westlake Village-based Energy Vault, which is developing gravity-based, grid-scale energy storage systems, has raised $100M in its Series C funding round, the company announced this morning. The funding was led by Prime Movers Lab, and also included SoftBank Vision Fund, Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures, Helena, and Idealab X plus new investors, including Pickering Energy Partners through its Energy Equity Opportunity Fund, SailingStone Global Energy Transition, A.T.

Rocket Lab Hits The Nasdaq

socalTECH

Long Beach-based Rocket Lab is the region's newest, public company, after completing a deal with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) this morning. The company--which rang the Nasdaq opening bell this morning--merged with Vector Acquisition Corp., which had been trading as VACQ on the Nasdaq. The company is now trading this morning as RKLB and RKLBW. The new, combined company has been renamed Rocket Lab USA, Inc.

Greenfly Gets $8.4M For Influencer Marketing Software

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based Greenfly, a developer of marketing software for brand ambassadors, athletes, and sponsors, said on Tuesday that it has raised $8.4M in a strategic growth round. The funding included NBA player Chris Paul, as well as Verance Capital, Higher Ground Labs, DD Venture Capital, SW19 Ventures, LinkinFirm and Allievo Capital plus previous investors Go4it Capital, Elysian Park Ventures, Alpha Edison and Iconica Partners.

Infinite Canvas Snags $2.8M

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based Infinite Canvas, a startup which is combining esports with game publishing, has raised $2.8M in a funding round, the company disclosed today. The funding was led by Lightshed Venture Partners, and also included Bitkraft Ventures, Emerson Collective, Day One Ventures, and Crossbeam. The startup was founded by Tal Shachar and Sebastian Park. Shachar was most recently at Immortals and Park was previously VP of esports for the Houston Rockets.

Educational Insights Launches Coding Robot

socalTECH

Gardena-based toy maker Educational Insights said this morning that it has launched a new product, a "coding robot" which is designed to help kids learn how to write their own software. According to the company, its new robot, Artie Max, helps kids learn five coding languages (Blockly, Snap!, JavaScript, Python and C++), learning how to code line-by-line.

GoDocs Finds Funding For Legal Document Prep

socalTECH

Irvine-based GoDocs, a developer of legal document preparation software, said today that it has raised round of investment from private equity investor M33 Growth, and appointed a new CEO. Size of the investment round was not announced. According to the company, it has appointed Steve Butler as CEO of the company. Butler was previously the founder of AI Foundry, a mortgage technology company, and was most recently President of the technology subsidiary of Guaranteed Rate.

Tango Takes $5.7M For Documentation Management

socalTECH

A new, Los Angeles-based startup, Tango, said this morning that it has raised $5.7M in a seed funding, for its software for streamlining the process of creating documentation. The company said the round was led by Wing Venture Capital, and also included General Catalyst, GSV Ventures, Outsiders Fund, and Red Sea Ventures.

OpenGate Capital's Kongsberg Precision Cutting Systems Makes Acquisition

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based private equity investor OpenGate Capital said that one of its portfolio companies, Kongsberg Precision Cutting Systems, has acquired another company, MultiCam, from private equity investor Rosewood Private Investments. Financial terms of the acquisition were not announced. MultiCam is a manufacturer and distributor of Computer Numerical Code (CNC) cutting machines.

Millennium Space Systems Shows Off Satellite Deorbiting Technology

socalTECH

El Segundo-based Millennium Space Systems, which was acquired by Boeing in 2018, said this morning that it has demonstrated its technology, which allows companies to "deorbit" their satellites in significantly less time than normally required after a satellite's usable life. The company said it demonstrated use of its deployable tape technology in de-orbiting a satellite in only eight months, rather than allowing a satellite to deorbit by itself in what is expected to take at least seven years.