Sat.Sep 04, 2021 - Fri.Sep 10, 2021

The Changing Venture Landscape

Both Sides of the Table

The world around us is being disrupted by the acceleration of technology into more industries and more consumer applications. Society is reorienting to a new post-pandemic norm?—?even even before the pandemic itself has been fully tamed.

Why would you ever “fire yourself?”


To start: “new source of energy” and “new ideas.”. When a new CEO or manager is hired into a company, for a while lots of energy flows from the top and new ideas seem to be generated daily.

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Trust Aims to Help Small Businesses Make Smarter Ad Buys

L.A. Business Journal

As an alum of social media giant Snap Inc.’s s revenue product strategy team, James Borow said he has seen firsthand the struggles that small businesses face in advertising and marketing

Help 219

5 Attributes To Look For In Your Perfect Startup Idea

Startup Professionals Musings

Every entrepreneur wishes that he could predict whether his idea could be the “next big thing,” before he spent his life savings and years of energy on it.

Ideas 118

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.

Spireon Expands To India


Irvine-based telematics company Spireon said today that it is expanding into India, and has hired 40 engineers in Bengaluru, to help it with its product innovation and engineering capacity. Acording to the company, the new unit--Spireon Telematics India--will be headed by Pranab Das. Bengalaru is part of India's equivalent of Silicon Valley. Spireon said the new unit folds in all of the employees of a managed service provider it has been partnered with for the past five years in India.

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COVID-19 Conversation: Navigating Variants, Vaccines and Boosters

SoCal Tech Calendar

Thursday, September 9, 2021 -- UCLA Fielding Focus. COVID-19 Conversation: Navigating Variants, Vaccines and Boosters. In the Thursday, Sept.

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5 Ways To Solve More Problems And Grow Your Business

Startup Professionals Musings

As a long-time business advisor, and an investor in startups along the way, I’m always on the lookout for an entrepreneur who is responding first to a problem in the marketplace , rather than bringing a new technology to the market, assuming it will find a problem to solve.

Sonos Continues To Battle Google Over Patents


Santa Barbara-based smart speaker manufacturer Sonos is continuing to battle Google over patents, asking the U.S. International Trade Commission this week to reject a judge's blessing of a software design change to avoid infringing on Sonos patents. Sonos called the Google changes "half-baked" and "trivial". Sonos sued Google in January of 2020, alleging patent infringement on a number of its patents, as Google's smart speakers have cut into Sonos sales.

Performance marketing agency MuteSix bets on content and data to boost DTC e-commerce


Warby Parker filing to IPO last week was one more sign that direct-to-consumer (DTC) is an extremely powerful e-commerce trend. But LA-based performance marketing agency MuteSix didn’t wait that long to build its business around scaling DTC brands.

PlantWave Uses Plants to Make Music

L.A. Business Journal

PlantWave, a device created by Marina del Rey-based Data Garden Co. that turns a plant’s biorhythms into music, is starting to blossom

5 Ways To Plan for Business Change Before the Crisis

Startup Professionals Musings

Based on my experience as a business advisor, most businesses don’t think about the need for change until a crisis occurs. This might be the recognition that competitors are surpassing your own results, financial growth has disappeared, or the pandemic has eliminated loyal customers.

Motive Companies Backs GenXComm In Strategic Investment


Fountain Valley-based Motive Companies, which provides renewable energy and infrastructure products, says it has made a strategic investment in GenXComm, a developer of dynamic filtering and Radio Frequency (RF)-photonics systems. GenXComm said it has raised $20M in its Series B funding round, which was led by Motive Companies, along with Raine Next-Gen Communications and BMW iVentures. GenXComm previously also received funding from Intel Capital, Azure Capital, and Bandgap Ventures.

Bank/FinTech Cooperation

Steve Reich

FinTechs are a major business opportunity for Bankers


Trust Aims to Help Small Businesses Make Smarter Ad Buys

L.A. Business Journal

As an alum of social media giant Snap Inc.’s s revenue product strategy team, James Borow said he has seen firsthand the struggles that small businesses face in advertising and marketing

Help 202

5 Startup Environments That Can Spiral Out Of Control

Startup Professionals Musings

Most entrepreneurs start their company with the highest of ideals, and wouldn’t dream of building one with a culture of indifference or downright unethical behavior. Yet all too many succumb to the pressures of survival, driven by demanding investors or a cutthroat competitive environment.

MediaKits Aims At Influencers


A new, Los Angeles-based startup, MediaKits, says it has launched a new platform aimed at helping influencers, musicians, and athletes manage their brands. The company said its platform lets its users create their own custom media kits online. The startup was founded by Kieran O'Brien and Casey Adams.

Can Riot Build a New Game as Big as ‘League of Legends’?

L.A. Business Journal

It’s hard to imagine a video game developer getting off to a stronger start than Riot Games Inc

10 Keys To The Teamwork Required To Run Your Business

Startup Professionals Musings

Any entrepreneur with a vision can postulate a new business, but it takes a collaboration of many people to make it a success. Today the complexity of forces required for success include multi-disciplinary skills, competencies, and experiences in which the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

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Sam Altman-Backed Coco Scores $36 Million for Food Delivery Robots

L.A. Business Journal

Cyan Robotics Inc., better known as Coco, has raised $36 million in Series A funding for its food delivery robots

Energy Vault To List On NYSE Via SPAC


Westlake Village-based gravity-based energy storage technology developer EnergyVault says it will list on the NYSE, via a merger with a special purpose acqisition company (SPAC), Novus Capital Corporation II. According to the two companies, they are in a definitive agreement for a business combination, where the combined company will trade on the NYSE under the symbol GWHR. The two said the combined firm will have an implied pro-forma enterprise value of $1.1

Immortals Launches New, More Affordable Clothing Line


Los Angeles-based e-sports organization Immortals said on Thursday that it has launched a new clothing line, which it says it will sell at zero profit. According to the company, the new Immortal Essentials line includes to a unisex line of t-shirts, hoodies, hats, and more. The company said the new line of clothing is a way to be "more accessible" to fans. The company said its new product line--which replaces an earlier attempt at merchandising--range from $17 to $40.

Crexi Adds New CFO, Legal Head


Los Angeles-based commercial real estate marketplace operator Crexi said this week that it has added both a new CFO, Tim Laehy, and a new Chief Legal Officer, Kris Cheh Beck. According to the company, the new additions are in preparation for accelerated growth. Laehy has previously served as interim CEO at Coinbase. Beck was most recently Chief Legal Officer at United Capital, which was acquired by Goldman Sachs in 2019 for $750M.

ADARx Takes $75M For RNA Therapeutics


San Diego-based ADARx Pharmaceuticals, a biotechnology company which is developing RNA targeting therapeutics, said Wednesday that it has raised $75M in a Series B funding. The funding was co-led by SR One Capital Management and OrbiMed Advisors, and also included Sirona Capital and Lilly Asia Ventures. According to the company, the funding will go to advance and expand its pipeline of RNA targeting therapeutics. AdaRx is led by President and CEO Zhen Li, Ph.D.

Jam City Raises $350M, Acquires Ludia For $165M


Los Angeles-based mobile games developer JamCity is continuing its growth, saying on Wednesday that it has raise $350M in new funding, and acquired mobile game studio Ludia. According to the company, it paid $165M to acquire Ludia from Fremantle. Ludia is behind the Jurassic World games, including Jurassic World: The Game and Jurassic World Alive.

GoFormz Raises $20M In Series A


San Diego-based mobile form and data capture app developer GoFormz said this morning that it has raised $20M in a Series A funding. The company said it recently close the final allotment in the financing round. The round was led by Shasta Ventures, and also included existing investors Cloud Apps Capital Partners and Glynn Capital.

Replicate Biosciences Gets $40M


San Diego-based Replicate Bioscience, which is looking to use self-replicating RNA (srRNA) to treat cancer, autoimmune, inflammatory disorders and other diseases, has raised $40M in its Series A funding. The funding was led by life sciences venture capital investor ATP. According to the companies, Replicate will use that funding to advance multiple novel srRNA programs into clinical development. Replicate is led by CEO Nathaniel Wang, Ph.D.

Tiled Takes $13.7M For Content Authoring Software


San Diego-based Tiled, which develops "no code" software to allow sales, marketing, creative, and HR teams to create interactive content without software development, has raised $13.7M in a Series A funding round. The funding was led by Signal Peak Ventures, and also included Seismic, Adobe, and University Growth Fund, among others. The company is led by CEO Darrell Swain. Tiled says its customers include such brands as HubSpot, Paycor, Instructure, Skullcandy, and CHRISTUS Health.

Whole Foods Customers In Sherman Oaks To Pilot Amazon Technology


Customers of the Whole Foods Market in Sherman Oaks will soon get a new option for purchases: they will be able to "just walk out" the door and have their grocery purchases automatically charged based on computer vision and other sensors. According to Amazon, two stores--one in Washington D.C.,

Jobot Hits $100M In Revenues


Newport Beach-based Jobot, the technology-based staffing and recruiting firm led by Heidi Golledge, says it has hit its first $100M in revenue. The company--which says it uses artificial intelligence software to power its recruiting efforts--says it now has over 300 recruiters at the company. The company says it has placed more than 5,000 people in jobs across the nation.

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Wavemaker Three-Sixty Health Gets Exit At Ciitizen


Los Angeles-based healthcare venture capital investor Wavemaker Three-Sixty Health has scored an exit in its portfolio, through the acquisition of Ciitizen by Invitae. According to Wavemaker Health, Ciitizen was its third investment in its fund. Ciitizen is a consumer health technology company, and also was backed by a16z, Section 32 and Verily.

FDH Aero Acquires Madison Aerospace


El Segundo-based aerospace and defense products distributor FDH Aero said last week that it has acquired Madison Aerospace, a Texa-based manufacturer of aerospace hardware. Financial details of the acquisition were not announced. FDH saaid the acquisition will help broaden its reach with additional product offerings in the OEM segment. Madison Aerospace was founded in 2000 by Brian Hutchins and is based in Haltom City, Texas. aero aerospace madison defense military merger acquisition

Firefly Aerospace Rocket Explodes After Vandenberg Launch


Space flight company Firefly Aerospace had a dramatic end to its first test flight of its rocket last week at Vandenberg Air Force Base, after its vehicle tumbled out of control two minutes, 30 seconds after launch. The company said last week that it range terminated its own flight after its one of the engines on its rocket shut down. The flight was the first for Firefly Aerospace, which is based in Texas.

EcoFlow Turns To HSN To Debut New Power Station


Los Angeles-based EcoFlow, a developer of high end portable power station, said last week that it launched a new product, the "DELTA mini" via a launch on HSN, the Home Shopping Network. The company got its start hawking its products on Kickstarter. The company's new DELTA mini portable power station was offered up on HSN for $799, but the company says it is selling the new device on its own website for a retail price of $999.

Jobot Hit $100M In Revenues


Newport Beach-based Jobot, the technology-based staffing and recruiting firm led by Heidi Golledge, says it has hit its first $100M in revenue. The company--which says it uses artificial intelligence software to power its recruiting efforts--says it now has over 300 recruiters at the company. The company says it has placed more than 5,000 people in jobs across the nation.

Google 109 Gets $4M For Social Music


Santa Monica-based social media app startup has raised $4M in a seed funding, and launched its social music app, the company said this morning. The funding came from Greycroft, Chicago Ventures, Slow Ventures, firstminute, plus angel ivnestors Steven Galanis, Randi Zuckerberg, Mr. Beasts' Night media, Sophia Bendz (Spotify), Cyan Banister, T-Pain and Zach Katz, plus others.

Whiplash Acquires Enlinx


Los Angeles-based omnichannel fulfillment provider Whiplash said on Wednesday that it has acquired Enlinx, a 3PL fulfillment provider based in Salt Lake City, Utah. Financial terms of the acquisition were not announced. According to Whiplash, the deal will give it a foothold in the Intermountain region, and help expand its U.S. coverage as it sees accelerated demand for direct-to-consumer (D2C) ecommerce and omnichannel services.

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