Sat.Oct 24, 2020 - Fri.Oct 30, 2020

Kara Nortman Was Just Promoted to Co-Managing Partner at Upfront Ventures. Here’s What it All Means

Both Sides of the Table

Today we’re announcing that my partner Kara Nortman is becoming Co-Managing Partner at Upfront Ventures and I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to welcome her to her new role.

Investors back Pacific Consolidated Holdings to merge leading LA-based liquor and weed delivery companies

TechCrunch LA

There’s a new company that’s sitting on top of some of the fastest growing consumer-facing businesses in the world — liquor and marijuana delivery — and its name is Pacific Consolidated Holdings Group.

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Can you build a company, not just a product?

Berkonomics

Some businesses are built around a single idea. . And sometimes that idea is just too small a slice of the big picture to be interesting to investors. There was a recent investor event where I was keynote speaker, on stage only after several panels of experts had wowed the audience with their predictions and observations. One of the panelists made a point that resonated with me. Just a button, on a feature, in an app”.

Gulfstream to Relocate Employees to Van Nuys Airport

L.A. Business Journal

Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. will move jobs to Van Nuys Airport from Long Beach as part of a streamlining and modernizing of its customer service

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.

5 Factors Which Define The Scope Of Your Competition

Startup Professionals Musings

As the business economy is expected to rebound from the pandemic, many entrepreneurs are thinking that life will soon get easier, and their opportunity can only grow.

Postmates is launching a new retail delivery feature as brick and mortar stores face 14% drop in sales

TechCrunch LA

Postmates is now rolling out what could be the biggest update to the company’s service in a long time — adding a retail option for users to shop local stores and for local merchants to set up a virtual on-demand storefront in the app.

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Relativity Space Signs Rocket Contract With Lockheed

L.A. Business Journal

Rocket builder Relativity Space Inc., a Long Beach-based startup, signed a contract to build a 3D-printed rocket for aerospace and defense contractor Lockheed Martin Corp. as part of an upcoming experimental NASA mission

Should An Entrepreneur Seek Out An Investment Bank?

Startup Professionals Musings

The name “investment bank” somehow always sounded like a place where I could deposit my investments, and maybe even earn a little interest. Then I learned that these banks really negotiate investments and collect fees on the transactions, sort of like commercial banks do with loans to businesses.

LA’s Replicated looks to increase R&D and hiring for its operations management software after raising $25 million

TechCrunch LA

The Los Angeles-based operations and security management software service, Replicated has raised $25 million to ramp up its staffing and scale its sales and marketing efforts.

Slingshot Aerospace Finds $8M More

socalTECH

El Segundo, California- and Austin, Texas-based Slingshot Aerospace , a developer of situational awareness technology that brings together imagery and data from satellites, drones, airplanes, and other sensors, has raised $8M in its Series A funding, the company said this morning.

SpaceX Launches 60 More Satellites

L.A. Business Journal

Hawthorne-based Space Exploration Technologies Corp. sent 60 more Starlink satellites into orbit using the company’s Falcon 9 rocket during an Oct. 18 launch from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida

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9 Success Principles To Propel Your Next New Venture

Startup Professionals Musings

Every aspiring entrepreneur I know is talking about the fact that there are over 2,000 billionaires in the world today, and how their innovative idea could make them one of the next ones.

Scopely raises $340 million at a $3.3 billion valuation as gaming grabs investors’ interest

TechCrunch

In a move to shore up institutional support in what’s likely to be it’s last fundraising as a private company, the Los Angeles-based mobile gaming behemoth Scopely has raised $340 million in its latest eye-popping round of funding.

Beachbody Launches Running Program

socalTECH

Santa Monica-based fitness and nutrition content provider Beachbody announced it has launched a new, running program for its customers, with the goal of getting its customers to be able to complete a 5K on day 30. The new program, "30 Day Breakaway" is being made available through Beachbody's "On Demand" platform. Pricing ont he new program was not announced. The company said the fitness program is its very first for runners. READ MORE>>. fitness exercise content runner 30day running beachbody

Activision Blizzard Beats Earnings Outlook in Third Quarter

L.A. Business Journal

Activision Blizzard Inc. outperformed earnings projections in the third quarter, reporting $1.95 billion in net revenue

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5 Steps To A Winning Strategic Plan Execution Process

Startup Professionals Musings

In my years of advising business leaders, from entrepreneurs to enterprise executives, I often hear a passion for strategic change planning, but seldom see the same commitment to strategic execution.

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LA-based MarketerHire upgrades its service matching remote marketers with companies

TechCrunch

MarketerHire , a Los Angeles-based startup backed by a slew of executives from some of the city’s hottest startups, launched its new service matching freelance marketing experts with open jobs listed on its platform. . Today’s startup economy depends on the expertise of industry specialists as much or more than full-time generalists,” said Nick Green, co-founder and CEO Thrive Market, MarketerHire customer and investor, in a statement.

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OnSite Waste Technologies Finds $3.5M

socalTECH

Newport Beach-based OnSite Waste Technologies has raised $3.5M in a Series A funding round, according to the company. The funding round was led by Mark IV Capital, which also is based in Newport Beach. The startup says it is developing technology for immediate sterilization of medical waste. The firm reported the funding was oversubscribed.

Software Security Company Replicated Raises $25 Million

L.A. Business Journal

Replicated, a Culver City-based company that provides security and operations services to software vendors, closed a $25 million Series B funding round

5 Key Elements Of A Business-To-Business Dating Site

Startup Professionals Musings

People tell me there may be over 8,000 dating sites with scientific matchmaking algorithms worldwide, but I couldn’t find one that focused on scientifically matching companies and people for business-to-business (B2B) relationships.

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Gwyneth Paltrow, Rebel Wilson, Darren Criss, and Baron Davis are backing an LA-based weed soda company

TechCrunch

Celebrity investors including Gwyneth Paltrow, Rebel Wilson, Ruby Rose, Darren Criss, Baron Davis, Tove Lo, and Casey Neistat have come together to back the Los Angeles-based thc-infused drink company, Cann , the company said. It’s the latest in a string of deals that show the strength of the market for alternative intoxicants — at least in California.

Famous Birthdays Launches Portuguese Language Site

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based Famous Birthdays , which operates a network of sites which provide information about celebrities, social media stars, TV shows, movies, and more, has expanded its service to serve Portuguese speaking countries. According to the company on Friday, its new site is at Famous Birthdays Portugus. The company now offers up English, Spanish, and Portuguese websites.

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Snap Earnings Surge Beats Expectations

L.A. Business Journal

Snap Inc. revenue soared 52% in the third quarter, blowing through Wall Street estimates and continuing the company’s comeback from a rocky 2017 start as a publicly traded company

How the New Shopify-TikTok Partnership Helps Small Businesses

Tech.Co

A just-announced partnership between the social giant TikTok and the ecommerce giant Shopify could mint a brand-new class of TikTok-friendly ecommerce stores. The two platforms are both huge in their respective markets: By connecting TikTok's audience with small businesses online everywhere, this team-up could offer a lifeline to business owners amid a rocky economy. How the Partnership Works.

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Cannabis, Alcohol Delivery Services Merge

L.A. Business Journal

Newly formed holding company Pacific Consolidated Holdings announced the merger of alcohol retailer Saucey and cannabis vendor Emjay

The Bouqs Company Names New Board Member

socalTECH

Marina del Rey-based The Bouqs Company , the direct, farm-to-consumer, online floral delivery service founded by John Tabis, said this week that it has named Rosemary Turner to the company's board of directors. The company said Turner is a veteran logistics leader, having served as president of UPS for 22 years.

LegalZoom Names New CFO

socalTECH

Glendale-based LegalZoom announced this week that it has appointed Noel Watson as the company's new Chief Financial Officer. Watson was previously CFO of TrueCar, where the firm said he led financial operations including financial planning & analysis (FP&A), accounting, and investor relations. He also served at Chief Accounting Offier at TripAdvisor, in addition to serving at such companies as ArrAy Inc, Way Systems, and Arthur Andersen LLP. Watson also sits on Zynga's board of directors.

NFL Players Association Takes Stake In Monkey Knife Fight

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based daily fantasy sports gaming site Monkey Knife Fight and the NFL Players Association said late Thursday that the NFL Players Association has taken an ownership stake in the gaming site. Financial details of the deal were not announced. According to the two, the NFLPA will become a strategic owner in Monkey Knife Fight, in a deal that involves OneTeam Partners.

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Fisker Goes Public On NYSE via SPAC

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based electric vehicle developer Fisker Inc. announced Thursday afternoon that it has completed the business combination deal it had with Spartan Energy Acquisition Corp. SPAQ), a special purpose acquisition company formed by Apollo Global Management, nad will start trading this mroning on the New York Stock Exchange. Fisker says it will commence trading this morning under the ticker symbols FSR, with its warrants trading as FSR WS.

SUMA Wealth Gets Funding For Latino Financial Literacy

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based SUMA Wealth , a startup which operates an online platform designed to help U.S.-born, born, Millennial Latinos with financial literacy, has raised a round of funding, the company announced this week. According to the company, it received a pre-seed funding round from a number of female investors.

Inphi Acquired By Marvell In $10 Billion Deal

socalTECH

Semiconductor maker Inphi , which develops high speed interconnect semiconductors--and which was started in Westlake Village, where it continues to have major operations--is being acquired by fellow semiconductor company Marvell. Marvell said it would pay $66 in cash and 2.323 shares of stock of the combined company for each Inphi share. Inphi has been a public company since 2010, trading as IPHI on the NYSE.

MarketerHire Gets $3M

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based MarketerHire , a startup developing a talent marketplace and hiring platform aimed at providing remote, marketing talent to companies, has raised $3M in a funding round, the company said this morning. According to the company, the funding came from founders and senior executives at several leading digital brands, including Zillow, Thrive Market, FabFitFun, Seamless, Notion and others. The investors in the company include Nick Green, co-foudner and CEO of Thrive Market.

LiveXLive Acquires E-Commerce Company For $6M

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based LiveXLive Media , which operates a livestreaming and on-demand audio, video, and podcasting service, says it has signed an agreement to acquire Custom Personalization Solutions, LLC , in a deal worth up to $6M. According to LiveXLive, it signed a binding Letter of Intent to acquire CPS in an all stock deal, which is expected to close by December 31st, 2020. LiveXLive said that CPS had approximately $19M in revenue in 2019.

Fair Links With Honda For Flexible Leases

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based Fair , which provides a way for consumers to access a pre-owned car using very flexible, month-to-month and other leases, has inked a deal with Honda. According to Fair, it is in a pilot program that allows customers to select Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) Honda vehicles from participating dealers for a lease through Fair.

Pacific Consolidated Buys Saucey, Emjay

socalTECH

A new, Los Angeles-based operating and holding company, Pacific Consolidated Holdings Group Inc. PCH) announced on Wednesday that it has acquired both alcohol delivery and logistics platform Saucey , as well as cannabis delivery and retail software developer Emjay. Financial terms of the acquisition were not announced. Pacific Consolidated Holdings said it is focused on "cannabis and analogous vice industries".

Happy Returns Links With Inmar Intelligence

socalTECH

San Monica-based Happy Returns , which operates services to help online, e-commerce retailers handle and accept returns, and retail and e-commerce returns processing company Inmar Intelligence said this morning that the two have entered into an agreement where Inmar Intelligence will be a reseller of Happy Returns' Returns Bar and Online Returns Exchange Services (ORES). Financial terms of that agreement were not announced.