Sat.Apr 10, 2021 - Fri.Apr 16, 2021

How You Can Achieve a Step Change in Your Fitness Before Summer

Both Sides of the Table

Just 21 months ago I couldn’t have jogged 2 miles in under 20 minutes and now I can run 3 miles in 21 minutes or more to the point I can pretty easily run 7.5 miles in an hour.

El Segundo Opposes LAX Terminal Plan

L.A. Business Journal

El Segundo, which sits on the airport’s southern edge, last month sent in comments opposing LAWA’s proposal to add two new terminals as part of the Airfield and Terminal Modernization Project

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Do you “over-welcome” your new employees?

Berkonomics

A story of a CEO attuned to creating great company culture. A CEO friend of mine who managed her one-hundred-person remote workforce as a virtual company told me her story of how she welcomed new employees as she grew her firm. Strike that. She over-welcomed her new employees.

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6 Keys to Attracting Customers Based On Social Needs

Startup Professionals Musings

As a logical and data-driven business advisor, I have long focused on facts, technology, and quantifiable pain in guiding entrepreneurs.

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.

Grocery startup Mercato spilled years of data, but didn’t tell its customers

TechCrunch LA

A security lapse at online grocery delivery startup Mercato exposed tens of thousands of customer orders, TechCrunch has learned.

Tagger Media Raises $9 Million for Influencer Marketing Service

L.A. Business Journal

Tagger Media, the Santa Monica-based developer of a software platform for influencer-based marketing campaigns, has raised $8.5 million in Series A funding

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10 Ways Leaders Must Change As The Business Matures

Startup Professionals Musings

Entrepreneurs often have formidable technical expertise, key to developing a new product or service, but a great naïveté in management skills. They run into difficulty when their business reaches the $1-2 million annual sales range, or their employee count exceeds 5-10.

Saltbox raises $10.6M to help booming e-commerce stores store their goods

TechCrunch

E-commerce is booming, but among the biggest challenges for entrepreneurs of online businesses are finding a place to store the items they are selling and dealing with the logistics of operating. Tyler Scriven, Maxwell Bonnie and Paul D’Arrigo co-founded Saltbox in an effort to solve that problem.

Zwift Riding High Thanks to Demand

L.A. Business Journal

Zwift has raised a total of $620 million. The company plans to use this funding to further develop its app as well as Zwift-branded hardware, which it sells online

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Amgen Completes Five Prime Therapeutics Deal

socalTECH

Thousand Oaks-based Amgen said this morning that it has successfully completed its $1.9 billion acquisition of Five Prime Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on developing immuno-oncology and targeted cancer therapies. Amgen paid $38.00 per share in cash for Five Prime Therapeutics. Five Prime's programs include bemarituzumab, a Phase 3 trial-ready, first-in-class program for gastric cancer.

8 Ways New Venture Founders Create Whole New Markets

Startup Professionals Musings

The ultimate compliment that any entrepreneur can get is that they can “see around corners.” This is a statement that they are willing and able (and successful) at projecting market and technology turns, not just straight-line innovations.

Cadiz Faces New Suit Over Water Pipeline

L.A. Business Journal

Another legal challenge has been launched against a project by downtown-based water infrastructure company Cadiz Inc. to pump and transport water from its desert aquifer

Players to Know in LA’s Fast-Growing Professional Esports Industry

L.A. Business Journal

Most Los Angeles residents are well-acquainted with local teams like the Dodgers, Lakers and Rams — as well as the massive venues where they play their home games

Startup Creates Concrete That Reduces Carbon Emissions

L.A. Business Journal

Westwood-based startup CarbonBuilt Inc. has a concrete plan for reducing carbon emissions

SpaceX Wins $2.9 Billion NASA Contract

L.A. Business Journal

The next astronauts to land on the Moon will likely do so in a spacecraft designed by SpaceX

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Virtualitics Raises $18 Million for Data Analytics Software

L.A. Business Journal

Pasadena-based data analytics software company Virtualitics Inc. has raised $18 million in a Series B funding round led by North Sound Ventures

Therabody Acquires PowerDot for $34 Million

L.A. Business Journal

Health and fitness technology company Theragun Inc., doing business as Therabody, has acquired PowerDot Inc. for $34 million

5 New Venture Mistakes That Can Cost You The Business

Startup Professionals Musings

Although every startup is unique, there are certain common avoidable mistakes that can lead to legal complications which jeopardize the long-term success of the business.

10 Tactics To Shorten Your Race To Cash-Flow Positive

Startup Professionals Musings

As I’m sure you are aware, surviving that first couple of years as a new business is a huge challenge, waiting for cash flow to turn positive.

SWARM Engineering Snags $2.7M For Food Supply Software

socalTECH

SWARM Engineering, a new startup which is focused on developing supply and demand forecasting software for the food supply chain, has raised $2.7M in its seed funding round. The funding was led by S2G Ventures, and also included Serra Ventures via their new AgTech fund, Harvard Business School Alumni, Wells Street Capital, VTC Seed Fund, and Rinvest, along with angel investor Soren Schroder (Bunge).

SpaceX Gets Approval For Another Crew Launch On April 22nd

socalTECH

Hawthorne, California-based SpaceX has gotten approval to launch another crew into space for NASA, with a launch targeted for April 22nd. According to NASA, it has given the "go" for an April 22 launch from Launch Complex 39A at NASA Kennedy Space Center. The launch time is set for 6:11 a.m., with NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and  Megan McArthur, JAXA astronaut Akihiko Hoshide, and ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet.

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FloQast Names Chief Marketing Officer

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based FloQast, which develops workflow automation software for the accounting industry, says it has named a new Chief Marketing Officer. According to the company, it has named Edward (Ed) Brice to the position, reporting to CEO mike Whitmire. Birce was most recently Chief Marketing Officer at Vendavo, and prior to that was at Lumension Security. FloQast has been in expansion mode.

Molecular Assemblies Picks Up $24M For DNA Synthesis

socalTECH

San Diego-based Molecular Assemblies said this morning that it has raised $24M in a Series A funding round, which came from Agilent Technologies, iSelect Fund, Codexis, Alexandria Venture Investments, and Argonautic Ventures, as well as LYFE Capital. According to the company, it will use the funding to advance the company's proprietary enzymatic DNA synthesis technology toward early commercialization efforts. Molecular Assemblies is led by President and CEO, Michael J. Kamdar.

UTA Ventures Names Clinton Foy As General Partner

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based talent and entertainment giant UTA said this week that Clinton Foy will join the company's venture capital arm, UTA Ventures, as General Partner. Foy is a longtime fixture in the Los Angeles startup world, having most recently served as General Partner and Managing Director at Crosscut Ventures. At Crosscut, he was lead investors in such companies Streamlabs, PlayVS, FitOn, plus esports franchises Immortals and IGC.gg. He also had served as COO of Square Enix.

TuSimple Prices IPO, Starts Trading Today

socalTECH

San Diego-based TuSimple priced its IPO last night, saying that it will sell 33,783,783 shares of its Class A common stock at the price of $40.00 per share, raising just over $1 billion for the company. The company--which develops self driving truck technology--said its underwriters also have a 30-day option to purchase an additional 5,067,567 shares of its Class A common stock at the IPO price. The company will begin trading this morning on the Nasdaq Global Select Market as TSP.

Triller Buys Two Companies

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based TrillerNet, the parent company of social video app developer Triller, has acquired two companies, including a live event and pay-per-view (PPV) company, and a conversational artificial intelligence (AI) company. According to TrillerNet, it acquired FITE, a global live-event and Pay-Per-View, SVOD and AVOD and streaming platform for sports and entertainment, and separately, also acquired Amplify.ai, a developer of conversational AI tools for brands and others.

Bridg Acquired By Cardlytics For $350M

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based Bridg, a venture backed company which develops software to help e-commerce retailers improve their sales, has been sold for $350M in cash to Cardlytics. Bridg, led by Amit Jain, was venture backed by Morpheus Ventures, March Capital, Wavemaker Partners, Karlin Ventures, Mucker Capital, Richard Wolpert, as well as other local investors and angels. The company's software uses artificial intelligence and big data to help retailers with their e-commerce efforts.

Bridg Acquired For Cardlytics For $350M

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based Bridg, a venture backed company which develops software to help e-commerce retailers improve their sales, has been sold for $350M in cash to Cardlytics. Bridg, led by Amit Jain, was venture backed by Morpheus Ventures, March Capital, as well as other local investors. The company's software uses artificial intelligence and big data to help retailers with their e-commerce efforts.

Belkin International Aims At Carbon Neutrality By 2025

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based consumer electronics giant Belkin International says it is now aiming to be 100 percent carbon neutral by 2025. The company said it made the commitment to align its corporate goals with the United Nations' 17 Sustainable Development Goals -- climate action, responsible consumption and production, and peace, justice and strong institutions.

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Lytx Sees Record Revenues

socalTECH

San Diego-based driver safety and monitoring equipment maker Lytx says it has set its all time record revenue in 2020, as a result of a 63% increase in new customers. According to the company, it secured more than 100,000 new and upgraded subscriptions. The company did not say what drove the increased adoption of its service in 2020, but the company received a big investment from private equity investor Permira earlier in the year.

BLAZE Snags $8M For Cannabis Software

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based BLAZE, a developer of enterprise resource planning and point-of-sale software for the legal cannabis market, recently raised $8M in a funding round, according to the company. The funding was led by Delta Emerald Ventures with participation from returning investor Act One Ventures and new investor SOJE Capital. According to the company, the new funding will go to expand, scale and build out its product, sales and marketing efforts. BLAZE is led by co-founder and CEO Chris Violas.

Slingshot Aerospace Selected By U.S. Air Force For $1.2M Contract

socalTECH

El Segundo, California- and Austin, Texas-based Slingshot Aerospace said on Tuesday that it has scored a contract from the U.S. Air Force, to develop a "next generation" tool for the military to streamline visualization of enemy missiles. According to Slingshot Aerospace, the $1.2M contract came in partnership with Culver City, CA-based Zoic Labs, a software and advanced visualization company, which is related to visual effects company Zoic Studios.

LA Solar Developer PermaCity Acquired By Catalyze

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based solar installer PermaCity--the company which installed the solar panels on the L.A. Convention Center--has been acquired by Colorado-based Catalyze, the companies said on Monday. Financial details of the deal were not announced. Catalyze is backed by EnCap Investments, L.P. and Yorktown Partners LLC, and develops, constructs, and operates renewable power and storage projects for the commercial and industrial market.

Material Acquires Aruliden

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based Material, a marketing services company that focuses on B2C and B2B brands, said this morning that it has acquired Aruliden, a global design agency also focused on brands. Financial terms of the acquisition were not announced. Material said that Aruliden was founded in 2006 by Rinat Aruh and Johan Liden, and serves both startups and Fortune 100 companies, with clients like Google, Bulgari, Marc Jacobs and Compass. Material is led by CEO Dave Sackman.

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Tagger Takes $8.5M

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based Tagger, a startup focused on influencer marketing and social listening, says it has raised $8.5M in its Series A funding round. The funding came from Five Elms Capital. The startup, led by CEO Dave Dickman, said it will use the capital to grow and scale its platform, features, and resources. Tagger said it provides tools to brands and agencies to connect with and hire influencers, and plan campaigns. tagger venture capital influencer marketing social

Creative Solutions Acquires Lightstream

socalTECH

Irvine-based Creative Solutions, which develops software for broadcasters, film and video production companies, independent content creators and others, has acquired cloud-native live video broadcasting platform and software developer Lightstream. Financial terms of the buy were not annoucned. Creative Solutions also owns the Teradek, SmallHD, Wooden Camera and Amimon brands.