Sat.Aug 08, 2020 - Fri.Aug 14, 2020

Uber CEO says service faces temporary shutdown in California over worker reclassification ruling

TechCrunch LA

Uber could be forced to shut down its ride-hailing app in California for several months if a court doesn’t overturn a recent ruling that classifies its drivers as full-time employees, CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said in an interview with MSNBC.

How Valence Aims to Provide Better Access and Funding for Black Founders & Executives

Both Sides of the Table

“I gotta say it was a good day.” I’m so fricking pumped today. Really, truly. Yeah, Valence announced > $5 million in funding led by GGV and Upfront. That IS a big deal, but I’ll get to that. But Kamala Harris was picked to be the Vice Presidential candidate for the Democratic Party.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Decoding and learning from a business failure


Have you experienced a business failure? Are you currently at risk due to events you cannot control? Not all companies are successful. Your end game could be a failure of the business.

5 Keys To Negotiating Your Fair Share Of Any Startup

Startup Professionals Musings

I always tell entrepreneurs that two heads are better than one, so the first task in many startups is finding a co-founder or two. You need to find the skills or experience you don’t have in business, technology, or money.

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.

Share Ventures, an LA-based studio for company creation, is MoviePass co-founder Hamet Watt’s next act

TechCrunch LA

Nearly eight years ago, Hamet Watt and Stacy Spikes launched MoviePass , the subscription-based movie ticketing service that captured the minds and dollars of investors and brought thousands of cinephiles a too-good-to-be-true deal for all-you-can watch movie passes.

Miso Robotics Names Bell as CEO

L.A. Business Journal

Miso Robotics Inc., the Pasadena-based robotics and artificial intelligence company, has appointed tech veteran Michael Bell as its new chief executive

More Trending

5 Keys To Reducing Startup Risk By Building On Trends

Startup Professionals Musings

It may not be as sexy, but starting a new business which builds on an existing technology or business model is usually less risky than introducing that ultimate new disruptive technology.

What do investors want to see before they write that check?

SoCal Tech Calendar

Monday, August 17, 2020 -- What do investors want to see before they write that check? Pismo Ventures. Join JJ Richa in fireside chat with Kathie Priebe and Roland Schumann about what investors look for. For first-time and experienced entrepreneurs, the lingering question is the same: How do I get an investor to write a check? Sometimes the process of raising money seems more like a mystery novel that takes months to unfold and concludes with disappointing results.

Tinder Helps Match Group Beat Earnings Expectations

L.A. Business Journal

Dating app owner Match Group Inc. beat analyst expectations for the second quarter thanks to strong user growth at Tinder, the company’s highest performing subsidiary

Help 130

Uber Threatens To Shut Down Service In California


Uber has threatened to shut down its service entirely in California, for at least a "several months", after a California superior court judge ordered both Uber and Lyft to reclassify its drivers as employees.

7 Keys To Being Viewed As Indispensable By Your Team

Startup Professionals Musings

In my experience at all levels within large organizations as well as small ones, the team members valued the most, and usually promoted first, are the ones seen by others as indispensable or “goto” people.

Bayer Boosts Women’s Health Drug Pipeline, Paying $425M for KaNDy


Bayer has been building up its women’s health drug pipeline by striking deals and on Tuesday the pharmaceutical giant unveiled its latest one : $425 million up front for KaNDy Therapeutics, a biotech whose experimental menopause drug is projected as a blockbuster seller.

TikTok Challenged by More Than Trump in the U.S.

L.A. Business Journal

Amid the most turbulent stretch in TikTok’s short history, the wildly popular social media platform is facing challenges that extend far beyond those posed by a hostile White House

ViewSonic Donates 300 Raspberry Pi Clients To Boys and Girls Clubs


Brea-based display products manufacturer ViewSonic has donated 300, Raspberry Pi thin clients to the Los Angeles County Alliance for Boys and Girls Clubs, the company said this week. According to the company, the donation is aimed at providing technology resources for programs such as STEM and STEAM labs, SCALE-UP classrooms, robotics workshops and esports clubs.

8 Ways To Stay Competitive In Today’s Technical World

Startup Professionals Musings

Technology is so key to every business these days that experienced business-smart but non-tech entrepreneurs are feeling deeper and deeper in the hole.

Bio Roundup: Seres Soars, MesoBlast Vote, Duchenne Decision & More


The road of drug development is rife with detours and disappointments but Seres Therapeutics showed this week that course corrections can work.

Study 60

TikTok’s Troubles Offer an Opening to Emerging Rivals

L.A. Business Journal

Video sharing platforms that offer variations on TikTok’s core features saw a surge in downloads at the beginning of August after President Donald Trump said on July 31 that he wanted to ban TikTok from operating in the United States

Micronoma Finds $3M For Early Cancer Detection


San Diego-based Micronoma , a startup working on early cancer detection, announced this morning that it has raised $3M in a seed financing round. The funding was led by SymBiosis, LLc. According to the company, it will use the funding to further advance its cancer detection technology. Micronoma said it is working on developing and commercializing a minimally invasive, microbiome-based method of early cancer detection.

6 Keys To Sizing Your Market For A New Business Plan

Startup Professionals Musings

Many entrepreneurs are so enamored with their product vision that they believe their own hype, and are convinced that the market for their solution is so huge that no one will ask them for independent market research data.

Ligand to Spend $438M to Add Protein Maker Pfenex to Technology Lineup


Ligand Pharmaceuticals plans to acquire recombinant protein therapeutics maker Pfenex for $438 million, the companies announced Monday. The larger company agreed to pay $12 per share for Pfenex (NYSE American: PFNX )—a 57 percent premium to its closing price Monday.

TipTags Launches Mobile Map System For Crowdsourced Pandemic Mapping


Los Angeles-based TipTags , which develops mapping software, says it has rolled out a new, mobile map-based system to help with the sharing of information about the pandemic. According to the company, its new system allows anyone to create, share, and access hyper-local information about such information as testing, local outbreaks and PPE availability. The company said it apps let anyone share information about local situation in a visual, map-based application using text, photos and links.

Mobile 116

MasonHub Links With Returnly


Los Angeles-based MasonHub , a provider of fulfillment technology and services which is backed by Canvas Ventures, says it has integrated with digital returns provider Returnly. According to the two, integration enables clients to automate RMAs and generate refunds within seconds, saving employees hundreds of hours of manual work and freeing up valuable time. MasonHub has received seed funding of $6.5M from Canvas Ventures; the company is led by founder and CEO Donny Salazar.

Ligand Acquires Pfenex


San Diego-based Ligand Pharmaceuticals anounced on Monday that it has acquired Pfenex , a develope rof recombinant protein production technology. According to Ligand, it will pay $12.00 per share in cash, or $438M in equity value, plus an additional $2.00 a share and $78M in milestones for Pfenex. The deal is worth up to $516M, pending those regulatory milestones.

Share Ventures, Led By Hamet Watt, Finds $10M For Startup Studio


A new, Los Angeles-based startup studio, Share Ventures --led by startup and investment veteran Hamet Watt --has raised $10M in funding, and outlined plans to launch two to four companies every year. Watt was most recently Entrepreneur in Residence at True Ventures, was at Upfront Ventures, and also founded NextMedium, in addition to founding subscription movie ticketing startup MoviePass.

ViaCyte Names VP


San Diego-based ViaCyte , a developer of regenerative medicine products based on stem cells, said this week that it has named Manasi Sinha Jaiman, M.D., M.P.H. as Vice President, Clinical Development. Dr. Jaiman was most recently at Covance Clinical Development Services, where she was Senior Medical Director. She also was an an attending physician at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital.

Monkey Knife Fight Links With Miami Marlins


Los Angeles-based fantasy sports site Monkey Knife Fight and the Miami Marlins announced on Thursday that Monkey Knife Fight has been named the official fantasy sport site for the Marlins. Financial details of the deal were not announced. According to the two, Monkey Knife Fight will be "prominently displayed" on the Marlins' in-stadium branding, online assets, radio, and television.

Sites 109

Watertower Ventures Raises $50M More


Los Angeles-based venture investment firm Watertower Ventures disclosed on Thursday that it has raised $50M in a funding round, for the firm's second fund. The firm is led by Derek Norton and Jeremy Milken. The second fund is a large boost from the firm's initial fund, which was only $5M. Watertower Ventures had raised that last fund back in March of 2017. READ MORE>>. norton derek capital venture ventures watertower

Lyft Joins Uber In Threat To Suspend Operations


On demand ride service Lyft has joined Uber , in saying it may be forced to suspend its operations in California, after a judge ruled that both Uber and Lyft must abide by Assembly Bill 5 (AB5). According to Lyft President Josh Zimmerman on its earnings call on Wednesday , Lyft would have "no choice" but to suspend its California operations, saying that California voters can "vote yes on Prop 22".

Demand 109

Omaze Raises $30M In Series B


Los Angeles-based Omaze , which operates an online fundraising platform for charities, has raised $30M in a Series B funding round. The funding was led by FirstMark Capital, and also included Causeway Media Partners, BDMI, Tusk Ventures, Inherent Group, Gaingels, Penni Thow's Copper and Guy Oseary. According to Omaze, it will use the funding to expand its "experience categories" and accelerate international growth.

.Net 109

Miso Robotics Names New CEO


Pasadena-based Miso Robotics --the robotics startup behind "Flippy", the robot aimed at use in fast food and restaurant chains--has named Mike Bell as its new CEO, the company announced this morning. Bell is the former COO of Ordermark. Existing CEO Buck Jordan has shifted to Chairman of the Board and President. According to the company, Bell will focus on scaling Miso Robotics' business.

Report: Snap In Talks To Acquire Dubsmash


Venice, California-based Snap , the parent company of Snapchat , has reportedly been in talks with New York-based Dubsmash on an acquisition, according to The Information, which says that Facebook also has been talking with the TikTok competitor. The Information cited "a person familiar with the matter". It's unclear how serious those talks are, or if--as is typical--an investment banker or executives are shopping Dubsmash.

Venice 109

AdGreetz Partners With TikTok


Los Angeles-based AdGreetz , which develops a video personalization software platform for advertisers, says it has partnered with social networking service TikTok. Financial details of the partnership were not announced. According to the two, the deal will allow advertisers to produce, deploy, and optimize "hyper-personalized" content and messaging in real time. AdGreetz is ledby CEO and Founder Eric Frankel.

Whistle Wins Four Sisters Boutique Hotel Chain


Los Angeles-based Whistle , which develops a platform for hotels to send messages and engage with their guests, said on Tuesday that it has signed up Four Sisters Inn, a boutique hotel chain in California. Financial details of the win were not announced. Whistle said that Four Sisters Inns runs such properties as the Kenwood Inn & Spa in Sonoma County. Christopher Hovanessian is CEO of Whistle Messaging READ MORE>>. whistle four sisters hotel boutique messaging hospitality

The Bake Market Launches Online Marketplace


Los Angeles-based The Bake Market said late Monday that it has launched a new, online marketplace for home bakers. The site offers up baking mixes, ingredients, and supplies, which it says are "professional-grade", featuring brands which are those that are used by the pros. According to the new site, it offers up yeast, baking mixes, fruit fillings, sprinkles, fondant, pastry bags, paper baking sheets, and more. READ MORE>>. bake market online marketplace baking cooking food

CoreLogic: Mortgage Delinquency Rates Climbing


Irvine-based property information provider CoreLogic , which tracks property information and data, says it is seeing mortgage delinquency rates climbing, with a high correlation to geographies most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the company, its Loan Performance Insights Report--which covers up to May--saw early stage and adverse deliquincy rates increasing, with all 50 states logged year-over-year increases in overall delinquencies this May.

Report 109

J2 Global Sees Record Second Quarter


Los Angeles-based J2 Global , which owns a large number of online brands--including IGN, Mashable,, BabyCenter, eFax, and iContact--says it saw record, second quarter 2020 results. The company said that, for its second quarter ended June 30, it saw second quarter record revenues of $331.0M, compared to $322.4M for Q2 of 2019. The company attributed the growth to the "strength and quality" of its business and "adaptability and focus" for the record breaking revenues.