Sat.Jan 02, 2021 - Fri.Jan 08, 2021

Have you heard the rule of the thirds?


It starts with sharing the opportunity and upside. Think of startups and early stage businesses whose entrepreneurs you know.

Equity 156

StartEngine Brings Crowdfunding to Startups

L.A. Business Journal

After selling his company, Acclaim Games, in 2010, video game industry veteran and former Activision Studios Chairman Howard Marks set his sights on a new goal


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Don’t Allow These Debunked Myths To Kill Your Dream

Startup Professionals Musings

Starting an entrepreneurial business, or maintaining the competitiveness of a mature business, requires innovation. Yet everyone I know seems to have a different perspective on what constitutes real innovation, and why is seems to happen so rarely.

Reflections on 2020: Andy Wilson, Alliance for SoCal Innovation


Every year, we feature the year end reflections of founders, CEOs, investors, sposors, and others in Southern California's high tech community. We've been posting these throughout the next two weeks. Today, we have Andy Wilson, Executive Director of the Alliance for SoCal Innovation ( You will be able to get to all of these posts on our 2020 reflections here. What was the biggest news for you/your company this year?

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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.

How to Overcome Crisis in Real Estate Market – Learning From Industry Professional Paul Daneshrad


Have you heard the old adage about the two mice who fell into the jug of cream?

Struum Streaming Service To Launch in 2021

L.A. Business Journal

Former executives at the Walt Disney Co. and Discovery Inc. announced a new streaming service called Struum

More Trending

Metawave Gets USAF Contract For Flying Car Radar


Carlsbad-based Metawave, a developer of radar equipment, says it has been awarded a contract from the United States Air Force (USAF) to modify its radar systems for next generation, autonomous "flying cars". The company said the Phase One contract goes for the USAF AGILITY PRIME initiative, which seeks to develop human-rated electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft. Size of the contract was not announced by the company.

The Quick Email I Sent to People Who Asked For All the Details

Both Sides of the Table

I’m sorry to write so much about losing weight. I promised people I would write a few posts about this and I wanted to cover eating, mental game, measurement, what gear I’ve used, sleep, water consumption / tracking, etc.

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Belkin Founder Chet Pipkin Steps Down as CEO

L.A. Business Journal

Playa Vista-based consumer electronics company Belkin International Inc. announced a leadership change Jan.

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8 Initiatives To Heighten Your Customer’s Experience

Startup Professionals Musings

Most leaders agree that poor customer service is a business killer today, in terms of lost customers, reduced profits, and low morale. Yet the average perception of customer experience has not improved.

Blacksmith Medicines Gets Seed Funding


San Diego-based Blacksmith Medicines, a new biotechnology company focused on creating medicines for immuno-oncology and inflammatory diseases by targeting human metalloenzymes, has raised a round of seed funding, and announced a research deal with Lilly. Financial details of that seed funding were not announced. The company--a spin-out of Forge Therapeutics--said the deal with Lilly potentially is worth up to $300M.

8 Strategies For Sustaining Momentum In Your Startup

Startup Professionals Musings

Every new business I know dreams of building momentum in their business, where growth continues to increase, customers become your best advocates, and employee motivation is high. The most common approach I see to achieving this is to do more of everything for everyone.

5 Actions To Convince Your Boss You Are Accountable

Startup Professionals Musings

Are you often frustrated that people reporting to you, or key peers, seem to dodge accountability for their actions? They are quick to claim the credit for things in their domain that work, but also quick to disclaim responsibility for problems that keep popping up.

Deluxe Buys Sundog Media Toolkit


Los Angeles-based Deluxe, which provides digital services to the motion picture, television, and digital media industry, said yesterday that it has acquired Sundog Media Toolkit, Ltd., a UK-based provider of a cloud platform for the industry. Financial details of the buy were not announced. UK-based Sundog offers up an automated, cloud-based platform that creates specialized multi format, multi-language files for theatrical distribution and streaming platforms, and was founded in 2013.

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Airgain Buys Nimblelink


San Diego-based antenna technology provider Airgain said Thursday that it has acquired NimbleLink, a provider of cellular industrial Internet-of-Things (IoT) products and services. Airgain said it acquired all of the outstanding stock of NimbleLink for $15M in cash, subject to adjustments, with $8M in cash earnout based on revenue targets. Airgain financed the deal from its existing cash. NimbleLink was headquartered in Plymouth, MN, and founded in 2013.

Monoprice Debuts New 3D Printer


Brea-based consumer electronics product company Monoprice--known for its low price but higher quality, generic products--says it has debuted a new, 3D printer, aimed at hobbyists, makers, podcasters, and others. The company said its new desktop Delta Mini V2 3D Printer will cost $199.99.

Belkin's Chet Pipkin Shifts To Board


Los Angeles-based consumer electronics giant Belkin announced on Thursday that founder and CEO Chet Pipkin is shifting his attention to the board, taking on the role of Executive Chairman. As a part of the move, the company has appointed Steve Malony, the company's former SVP and General Manager, to the CEO position. Pipkin has been CEO of Belkin for thirty seven years. Malony has been at Belkin for fifteen years.

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Umbra Lab Finds $32.37M


Santa Barbara-based Umbra Lab, which is developing synthetic aperture radar (SAR) microsatellites, has raised $32.38M in funding, according to a regulatory filing by the company. Details on the funding have not yet been announced by the company. The company's founders include David Langan and Gabe Dominocielo.

Ambrx Names CFO, COO


San Diego-based biopharmaceuticals developer Ambrx has named a new Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer, the company announced this morning. According to Ambryx, it has appointed Gary Young as CFO and COO, following a recent $200M funding round. Young was previously CFO and COO of Erasca, and also served at Guardant Health and Annexon Biosciences, among other companies. ambryx executive gary young biotech lifescience

Blackline Names Chief Revenue Officer


Los Angeles-based accounting software developer Blackline has promoted Mark Woodhams to the position of Chief Revenue Officer, the company said on Wednesday. Woodhams was previously Senior Vice President of Global Sales, and has been at BlackLine since 2018; he previously served at such companies as NetSuite, Oracle, Hyperion, Capgemini and Citicorp. BlackLine develops software which automates account reconciliation and other typically manual operations for accounting departments.

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Ultrahuman Launches Meditation, Workout, Sleep App, With $8M Funding


Los Angeles-based Ultrahuman, a startup developing an app focused on meditation, workouts, and sleep, said Wednesday that it has launched its first product, backed by $8M in funding. The company says the $8M, Series A funding round came from Nexus and Blume.

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Rivian Seeking New Funding At $25 Billion Valuation


Electric truck maker Rivian--which has operations in Southern California, despite being based in Michigan--is apparently in the midst of yet another funding, and is raising a round valuing the company at $25 billion, according to Bloomberg. The company just raised $2.5M over the summer from a number of investment companies, along with Amazon. Rivian has an office in Irvine.

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QAD Completes Allocation Network GmbH Acquisition


Santa Barbara-based QAD, which develops software for the manufacturing sector, said Tuesday afternoon that it has completed its acquisition of Allocation Network GmbH. Allocation Network GmbH was based in Munich, Germany. Financial terms of the acquisition were not announced. The company said the acquisition will strengthen its suite of products and services, plus support its cloud growth initiatives. QAD is led by CEo Anton Chilton.

LinQuest Completes TMC Design Acquisition


Los Angeles-based LinQuest, a provider of space systems and related technology for the defense and intelligence market, said it has completed its acquisition of TMC Design Corporation, a provider of engineering, development, and integration company with expertise in electromagnetics, digital signal processing, and radio frequency communications. Financial terms of the deal were not announced.

Alto Launches On-Demand Ridesharing, Delivery In LA


A Texas on-demand rideshare and delivery service is hoping to gain traction in Los Angeles, with an eye on the luxury market, saying on Tuesday that it has launched a new expansion into LA. The company says it offers up its rides in "five-star crash rated SUVs" and a team of "fully employed, rigorously vetted and trained uniformed" drivers.

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Green Dot Launches New Mobile Banking Effort, GO2bank


Pasadena-based Green Dot Corporation, which operates a number of prepaid payment cards and online banking services, says it is launching a new mobile bank called Go2bank. The company said the new bank is aimed specifically at Americans who are living paycheck-to-paycheck. The new banking offering--delivered via an app--offer up to $200 overdraft protection, early access to pay, credit tools, and more.

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J2 Global Buys Four More Companies


Los Angeles-based J2 Global, which owns a long list of online Internet services and publishers, has acquired four more companies, the company said today. According to J2 Global, it completed four acquisition in Q4 of 2020, including RetailMeNot, Inspired eLearning, The Aberdeen Group, LLC, and Logiva A/G. Financial details of the acquisitions were not announced, however, J2GLobal had said in September that it would pay approximately $420M for RetailMeNot.

Cameo Hits $100M In Transactions, Says Report


Los Angeles-based Cameo, which allows anyone to pay their favorite celebrities, athletes, actors, and many others to record personalized messages to them, had roughly $100M in transactions in 2020, according to a report, and has reached 200 employees. The app maker's offering has become very popular, allowing people to pay all kinds of celebrities for video messages of all kinds, ranging from birthdays, personal messages to friends, and much more. The company said sold 1.3 million videos in 2020.

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Topdser Extends Dropshipping Services To Product Storage


Los Angeles-based dropshipping startup Topdser has extended its offerings for drop shippers to sourcing and storing product, the company said on Monday. According to the company, its new offering, Topdser Private Storage lets the company manage storage of surplus products until they're sold, allowing dropshippers to save on product sourcing. The new service is on top of its existing, drop shipping offering.

IconOVir Gets $77M For Cancer Treatment Efforts


San Diego-based IconOVir bio, a biotechnology company focused on oncolytic virus therapy, has raised $77M in a Series A funding, the company announced this morning. The funding was co-led by Nextech and Vida Ventures, and also included Two River Group, Bellco Capital, Polaris Partners, GV, Wellington Partners Venture Capital and Logos Capital. According to the company, it is working on oncolytic virus therapy to improve the treatment of patients with cancer.

Quest Software Buys Erwin


Aliso Viejo-based software company Quest Software announced this morning that it has acquired erwin, Inc., a developer of data modeling, data governance, and business process modeling software. Financial terms of the acquisition were not announced. Quest said that Erwin has more than 3,500 customers across North America, EMEA, and Asia Pacific. Erwin had been owned by private equity investor Parallax Capital Partners. Erwin joins Quest's Information Systems and Management (ISM) business unit.

HG Insights Gets Funding From Riverwood Capital


San Barbara-based HG Insights, which provides information on technology installations, IT spend, and related areas, has received an investment from private equity investment firm Riverwood Capital. Size of the investment--which the companies said was a "significant growth investment"--was not announced. HG Insights provides information on the installation footprint and IT spending at enterprises, helping its customers with market sizing, whitespace analysis, and territory planning.

GeoLinks Completes TPx Communications Buy


Camarillo-based GeoLinks, which provides high speed wireless connectivity, says it has completed its acquisition of certain network assets of TPx Communications. Financial details of the deal were not announced. GeoLinks acquired certain network assets, including fixed wireless infrastructure and spectrum licenses from TPx. According to GeoLinks, the deal will deepen and expand its coverage area, and allow it to deliver higher capacity circuits. GeoLinks recently won a $284.5M

Quibi Seeks To Sell Content Library To Roku


Failed mobile video streaming service Quibi, which is based in Los Angeles, is in talks to sell its content to Roku, according to a report from the WSJ. The WSJ said that Quibi is in "advanced talks" to sell its content catalog to Roku, citing "people familiar with the matter". Quibi is in the midst of winding down its operations. The company raised an astounding $1.75 billion in funding, but failed to gain any traction when it launched last year.

LiveXLive Expands Board


Los Angeles-based LiveXLive, which hosts livestreaming, on-demand audio and video podcasts, and also owns PodcastOne and Slacker Radio, said over the holidays that it has added Maria Garrido to its board of directors. Garrido is Senior Vice President of Brand Marketing at Vivendi Group. She also is currently Chief Insights Officer for Havas Group, in addition to having service at such companies at Colgate-Palmolive and Mondelez.

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Netwrix Merges With Stealthbits


Irvine-based Netwrix, a provider of cybersecurity software, has merged with Stealthbits, a provider of software for protecting sensitive data and credentials from attackers. Financial details of the merger were not announced. The combined company says it will have over 500 employees and customers in more than 50 countries; the newly combined firm will be led by current Netwrix CEO Steve Dickson.