Sat.Jan 19, 2019 - Fri.Jan 25, 2019

Going long on LA, India, AI and tech infrastructure March Capital raises $300 million

TechCrunch LA

March Capital Partners , the Los Angeles-based venture capital firm, has raised $300 million for its latest fund.

What $1M in Bay Area Startup Dollars Buys You in 12 Other Cities

Xconomy

View the Slideshow The cost of doing business is always on the mind of startup executives. Salaries, rent, and other expenses like software licenses can often make or break a company.

Hyperloop Transportation Technologies Claims Commercial Travel By 2022

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Los Angeles-based Hyperloop Transportation Technologies , one of a number of companies in the LA area working on Elon Musk's concept of a high-speed transportation system, says it thinks it will have its first, commercial travel systems open to the public by 2022. In an interview with CNBC, the company's CEO, Dirk Ahlborn, said at Davos that it expects to have commercial lines open by 2022, with the ability to "try out" its systems before the end of this year.

What about your previous company non-compete?

Berkonomics

Entrepreneurs tend to remain in the business niche they know best. Usually that means one they once or recently spent time in as an employee or manager within a company where they had little or no ownership. Are you one of those?

Google partners with Sony Pictures Imageworks to launch an open source VFX render manager

TechCrunch LA

Google today announced that it has partnered with Sony Pictures Imageworks , Sony’s visual effects and animation studio, to launch OpenCue , an open source render manager.

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America Should Welcome Immigrant Entrepreneurs

Xconomy

When I came to America in 1987, as a wide-eyed University of Texas grad student, I arrived with just a suitcase and a few hundred dollars — money that my mother, back in India, had scraped together by selling her beloved jewelry collection.

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What about your previous company non-compete?

Berkonomics

Entrepreneurs tend to remain in the business niche they know best. Usually that means one they once or recently spent time in as an employee or manager within a company where they had little or no ownership. Are you one of those?

Preparing Your Company for Sale

SoCal Tech Calendar

Thursday, January 31, 2019 -- Preparing Your Company for Sale. CONNECT. Whether you are acquiring a company or looking to merge your company with another, there are significant operational, practical and legal steps you should take to ensure that your company maintains its value and remains an attractive partner through the transaction.

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LunaDNA Health Data Platform to Merge with Genetic Alliance Database

Xconomy

Virgin Galactic Cuts 40 Employees

socalTECH

Mojave-based spacecraft developer Virgin Galactic has cut 40 employees, saying that it is looking "to position our organization for the drive to commercial operations." The cuts-- first reported by NMPolitics.net, a New Mexico publication--also affected employees in Las Cruces, New Mexico. The layoffs at Virgin Galactic follow a 10 percent cut in employees by SpaceX just a couple of weeks ago.

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Two Bit Circus Expands Interactive Shows, Experiences

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Los Angeles-based Two Bit Circus , which operates its own "micro-amusement park" featuring immersive technology and entertainment experiences, says it has launched a number of new immersive experiences and interactive shows to its program. The company says it is creating an "ever-changing" experience for its park goers. The company said the new features include "mystery puzzles", a feature on science storytelling, a "music meetup" series, and more.

Trust and Will Finds $2M

socalTECH

San Diego-based Trust & Will , a startup which operates an online software tool to help people create their own estate plans, has raised $2M in a funding round, the company disclosed this week. The funding came from Techstars, Wolfpark Ventures, Rise of the Rest Seed Fund, Luma Launch, Halogen Ventures, Walket Capital, Western Technology Investment, plus angels.

Semtech Gets Smart Building Win

socalTECH

Camarillo-based analog and mixed signal semiconductor developer Semtech reported another win with its low power wireless technology, LoRa, saying today that it has deployed its products with Internet-of-Things (IoT) products developer Polysense Technologies. According to Semtech, Polysense is using its products for structural health monitoring for smart buildings. Deployment volumes and financial impact of the win were not announced.

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Lifeyo Acquired By SpotOn

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based Lifeyo , a developer of website development software aimed at small and medium-sized merchants, has been acquired by San Francisco-based SpotOn , SpotOn announced this morning. Financial details of the buy were not announced. According to SpotOn, the effort will help it offer up a platform and suite of tools for payment processing, customer engagement and more for small and medium-sized businesses. Lifeyo will be rebranded as SpotOnWebsite. LifeYo was founded by Mike Kai.

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REX Raises $45M For Home Buying, Selling Technology

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based REX , which is developing technology buying and selling homes, said on Monday that it has raised $45M in a Series C funding round. The funding came from Sun Microsystems' founder Scott McNealy, Best Buy founder Dick Schulze, Crate and Barrel founder Gordon Segal, Amit Singhal, former SVP search at Google, Diana Nelson, chair of Carlson, Jack Greenberg, former CEO of McDonalds and Muneer Satter, chairman of Satter Investment Management.

ID Analytics Targets Auto Lending Market With New Product

socalTECH

San Diego-based ID Analytics , which provides consumer risk management and analytics products, is expanding its offerings to the automotive lending market, the company said today. According to the company, it has launched a new product, Credit Optics Full Spectrum Auto, a new credit score it says is designed specifically to address the needs of the automotive lending industry.

LA's Slice Of Sauce Picked For Techstars Austin Program

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based food startup Slice of Sauce , which makes unique "slices" of ketchup designed to make it easier to put sauce on burgers and other foods, has joined Techstars Austin , one of Techstars' many accelerator programs around the world. Slice of Sauce becomes part of the Techstars Austin 2019 class, which is held in Austin for the next three months, with a Demo Day on April 10th. Techstars also has a similar, general startup accelerator effort in Los Angeles, Techstars Los Angeles.

Tinder Settles Lawsuit Over Age Discrimination

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based dating app developer Tinder has settled a lawsuit, filed against the company alleging age discrimination, and has agreed to stop charging different prices in California for its subscription services solely based on age. According to the settlement, Tinder will pay $17.25M to settle the lawsuit, which was filed shortly after the company introduced its "Tinder Plus" subscription service in 2015. That service had charged $9.99

Freebird Expands Safe Ride Service To Private Parties

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based Freebird , a startup which allows bars and restaurants to offer rewards and cash back to encourage users to use Uber and Lyft rides rather than drive themselves home, said Friday morning that it has launched its safe ride servie to and from privately hosted parties.

SpaceX Completes Static Fire Testing On Crew Dragon

socalTECH

Hawthorne-based SpaceX has moved one step closer to launching its first Crew Dragon into space, saying on Thursday that it has completed a "static firing" test for a planned February launch. The test--conducted at Cape Canaveral at Launch Complex 39A--is a step along the way to what will be the first demonstration flight for the new SpaceX spacecraft. SpaceX is hoping to prove out the design for NASA for its own space capsule, to deliver U.S.

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Interlink Electronics Abandons Nasdaq

socalTECH

Westlake Village-based electronics developer Interlink Electronics said late Thursday that it plans to voluntarily delist its stock from the Nasdaq Stock Market, and deregister its common stock. According to Interlink--which currently is listed on the NASDAQ as LINK--the move will help it "accelerate long-term profitable growth", and help it reduce its cost structure, including the costs of being Nasdaq listed and an SEC reporting company.

TaskUs Continues Rapid Growth, Hits 15,000 Employees

socalTECH

Santa Monica-based business process outsourcing provider TaskUs , which provides customer service/experience, business processing, and other services to companies like Tinder, Hootsuite, and Mailchimp, has hit 15,000 employees, as it continues its rapid growth. According to the company, it nearly doubled its number of employees in the past year, and saw 120 percent revenue growth. TaskUs CEO Bryce Maddock said in a statement that 2018 was the best year in the company's history.

March Capital Partners Raises Second Fund, Worth $300M

socalTECH

Santa Monica-based venture investor March Capital Partners said on Thursday afternoon that it has raised a second fund, worth $300M. According to March, its new Fund II includes both existing and new investors. The fund is larger than the firm's first fund, which was worth $240M. March Capital said it is looking to invest in AI in the enterprise, industrial IoT and infrastructure, next-gen consumer technologies, and growth in India, plus in esports and gaming.

Plankk Launches New Streaming Fitness Service

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based Plankk , a developer of custom apps for the fitness and exercise industry, said it has launched a brand new, live- and on-demand streaming service for fitness enthusiasts. According to Plankk, its new service, Plankk Studio , let users access both live and on-demand workout videos from a large roster of fitness influencers.

Anaheim Debuts Its Own On-Demand, Mini, EV Transit System

socalTECH

The City of Anaheim and Anaheim Resort Transportation are jumping on the on-demand and electric vehicle bandwagon, saying on Thursday that it has launched a brand new "microtransit" system, which uses smartphone apps and small electric vehicles to transport residents around its Center City area.

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GumGum Touts Growth In Employees, Clients

socalTECH

Santa Monica-based GumGum Sports , the developer of computer-vision software used for "sport media valuation", led by Ophir Tanz, said on Wednesday that it has doubled both its number of employees, and number of clients in 2018. The company did not announced how many employees it added, nor how many clients. GumGum Sports also claimed it more than quadrupled its revenues. GumGum did not elaborate on those revenues.

Modulated Imaging Finds $7M For Tissue Health Assessment

socalTECH

Irvine-based Modulated Imaging , a developer of optical imaging products used for noninvasive assessment of tissue health, has raised $7M in a Series B funding, according to the company. The new funding was led by Pangaea Ventures and also included Fresenius Medical Care Ventures GmbH, Grey Sky Venture Partners, Mitsubishi UFJ Capital Co. Ltd and Fouse KK.

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Wheels Enters Last Mile Transportation Fray With $37M

socalTECH

A new, Los Angeles-based startup, Wheels --founded by the founders of dog walking marketplace Wag--has jumped into the crowded "last mile" transportation fray, saying it has raised $37M and launched its services in San Diego. The startup, which offers up dockless, electric bicycles to customers, said the funding round came from Tenaya Capital, Bullpen Capital, Crosscut Capital, 3L Capital, Naval Ravikant, and a number of strategic investors from the entertainment and sports communities.

Final Round Takes On Esports News

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based Final Round said on Wednesday that it is looking to provide news coverage for Esports fans, with its brand new platform, which it has just launched into beta. Final Round said it will provide coverage of such games as Fortnite, League of Legends, Call of Duty and others, giving fans the "latest news, twitch streams, and tournament results" through its website. The site's co-founders include Doug Millett and Drew Bolles. READ MORE>>.

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NEXT Picks Up $97M For Shipping, Logistics Marketplace, Apps

socalTECH

Lynwood, California-based NEXT (formerly, NEXT Trucking), has raised $97M more in a funding round for its development of an online marketplace for shippers and carriers, the company said on Wednesday. The startup, led by Lydia Yan, said the funding came from Brookfield Ventures, Sequoia Capital, and GLP. The startup has now raised $125M in total.