Sat.Jun 23, 2018 - Fri.Jun 29, 2018

Bird Now Officially Worth $2 Billion After Closing $300M Funding

socalTECH

Santa Monica-based electric scooter startup Bird is now officially worth $2 billion, after saying on Thursday that it has completed a $300M venture funding round, led by Sequoia Capital, and also including Accel, B Capital, CRV, Sound Ventures, Greycroft and e.ventures. Bird is battling Lime, plus a host of other competitors including Uber and Lyft, to establish a beachhead in the growing "last mile" electric scooter market. Bird has been working on the new funding round all month. READ MORE>>.

All The Questions You Wanted Answered about Bird Scooters and Their Recent $300 Million Funding

Both Sides of the Table

My friend Michael Broukhim, founder & co-CEO of FabFitFun and I recently had a catch-up meeting for 3-miles on the Santa Monica “Bird Trail” No company has ever elicited so many questions by friends, colleagues, entrepreneurs, fellow VCs and journalists as has Bird, the company that pioneered the electronic scooter as a service market. Until recently it was headquartered 2 blocks from our offices in Santa Monica so we literally saw it emerge under our feet and we proudly invested in the last 3 rounds of financing. Today the company officially announced its most recent round of capital ?—?having raised $300 million?—?less than 18 months from when the company was created so I thought it was probably a good time to weigh in on the questions I get asked most frequently and why we’re so excited about Bird. How could Bird really be worth the reported $2 billion valuation that I read about in this press? While I promised not to comment on the exact valuation you can assume that it is very large and perhaps the fastest rise from zero to what some have called a “unicorn” valuation. I understand that this has caused some journalists and many an arm-chair Twitter commentator to shake their collective heads that some of us may have lost ours. While this reaction to such a valuation is understandable, to anybody who has seen the meteoric rise in consumer demand and actual revenue the valuation is much less surprising and may turn out to be quite conservative. As I like to tell people who ask about Bird, “consumers have literally voted with their feet.” The company has done zero paid marketing. Count me in the initial skeptics. The company launched a trial service in Santa Monica just last year and when I first saw the scooters (parked literally outside of our office) I was convinced nobody would want to ride them. Over the course of the first few months I saw a few people out on the street taking Birds and then a steady uptick in riders. The initial usage ramped up to such a heavy level that I would stare out of my 6th floor office while on phone calls and literally watch 5 Birds pass our office every 2–3 minutes. The volume grew so steady that I finally hopped on one, rode down to Bird’s offices and pleaded with Travis to take money from us. I had literally never seen a consumer phenomenon take off so quickly. Forget the valuation?—?I think it’s quite possible that Bird could be the fastest growing company to reach a billion dollars in run rate revenue. I’m not providing actual financial information or predicting a number or a date but I will tell you that the revenue growth to date has been astounding. And since the consumer demand has been insatiable it is really only supply that is currently a limiting factor on how fast the company can grow. Is Bird really defensible? Couldn’t anybody launch a competitor? This is the gut reaction of many of my friends and many commentators I’ve seen on Twitter and is the first question any skeptic will ask me. Since I see many companies in their earliest days I can tell you that I’ve heard people say this about nearly every great company / market created. People said this about Ring (which went from startup to selling to Amazon > $1 billion in around 5 years), Facebook, YouTube, Airbnb, Uber, Twitter, Instagram and many other great behemoths of the technology industry. Ah, but Bird doesn’t have network effects! There is nothing viral! Anybody can launch a scooter service! Not really. Capital. Because Bird was first to market, extremely innovative, quick to hire talented leadership and an experienced founder it was able to raise $125 million in an extraordinarily short period of time. That has allowed the company to launch in many markets, build amazing applications, design future versions of the scooter and monetize while many companies are still just drawing up their go-to-market plans. This allowed Bird to then raise $300 million from some of the top VCs in the country. Capital of course drives scale advantages and when you have “winner take most” markets it also has a way of scaring away some investors from investing in the 3–5th “me too” competitors. You can expect some strong competition, but it’s unlikely that there will be 5 great scooter companies. Density. One huge advantage the early-movers have is “density.” A dockless eScooter solution is only compelling if you believe that you’ll always be able to find a scooter in a relatively short walking distance or it defeats the purpose. If Bird has thousands of scooters in a neighborhood (and if it can acquire these scooters at cheaper prices due to scale advantages) then it’s significantly more difficult for new entrants to launch without serious capital and it’s hard to get serious capital from investors who perceive you’re late to the game. Design. As of today, commentators are imagining a world of undifferentiated scooters that all sort of look and feel the same. That’s a bit like imagining Apple launching the 2007 iPhone and then not having 10-years of constant improvements to maintain its market leadership position. Of course Bird already has many generations of scooters planned so if a competitor wants to launch today’s status quo, they can expect Bird to use its head-start and market knowledge to launch its next-generation vehicles. Data. Bird already has an enormous lead in data collection. What appears as just an electric-powered scooter is really a computer with wheels. Between our on-board CPUs and your mobile phone companions we have an enormous amount of data on transportation routes, where riders want to pick up scooters in the morning and where they leave them in the evening. This not only allows Bird to have advantages in right-sizing city inventory levels and proper placement to maximize yield, but the company has already been providing this data to cities to help them better plan their cities of the future. We clearly need a world in which gas cars don’t dominate dense city environments and providing this data to cities is a great start in that direction. Chargers. Many people assume that Bird has a team that picks up scooters in the evenings and charges them but one of the beautiful early innovations was to allow people in each local market to charge the scooters themselves and be financially compensated and then they place them in pre-determined locations in the morning. Of course you can have a few competitors and still find enough charges but once you’ve gotten 2–3 big players in any city it’s hard to imagine many more players building out as efficient of a charger network as the early innovator. Mechanics. What is even more remarkable than “chargers” is how Bird has build out local teams of mechanics in each market, providing large legions of skilled labor the ability to earn meaningful dollars for repairs to wheels, brakes, cables, batteries, electronics, etc. Local politicians wanting to see local job creation rather than jobs at tech firms all migrating to San Francisco should be heartened. Because each market won’t have unlimited labor suppliers of repair people and because the largest services can pay the best, there is inherent advantage in capturing the early pools of mechanics. Batteries. The biggest limiting factor of growth to date has been the supply of scooters in markets and this $300 million capital raise goes a long way to solving the supply challenge. As the scooters are electronic, they do require charging at the end of the day. To the extent that Bird can design scooters with longer-life batteries while others are perfecting the last generation of scooters, Bird can deliver a better daily revenue yield per scooter. Brand. Another obvious advantage is a term that often feels amorphous?—?“brand.” When you think about the category of scooters you think about Bird and that becomes a brand your friends want to try. The more people that see your brand as the innovator the more “earned media” the company gets and the product becomes synonymous with the category. You don’t “Bing” information or “Hulu and chill.” Brand matters. How does the Bird service work? How do they make money? I am in New York today and several people asked me how Bird actually works. “Do you buy one? How do you get access?” So if Bird isn’t in your area yet I’ll point out that you download an app, open the app to find the nearest Bird (as you would an Uber) and when you find one you scan the QR code to rent it. You enter your credit card information and driver’s license once and then it’s $1 to start in and currently 15 cents per minute. I get why it works in Santa Monica, but will it really work in …. [name your city]? Yeah, I know your first thought. That’s what we all thought about Uber, too. Turns out that there are many more markets where scooters are already working and booming. It’s obvious that in some markets they will be useable 365 days / year and in others it might be just 9–10 months but the footprint of where scooters will work (and is already working) is much broader than you’d initially think. Does it surprise you that the fastest-growing “unicorn” was launched in Los Angeles and not San Francisco? No. Not at all. Leave aside that we’re the second largest market in the United States with the third-largest tech ecosystem and the fastest growing startup market in the country, LA is clearly a pioneer in transportation solutions and has been for the past 100 years having led the way in freeways (highways), aerospace, rocket propulsion, deep water ports and now space flights (with SpaceX) it is no wonder that Bird was started in LA. Bird is the natural evolution in billion-dollar++ outcomes in LA. This is why so many great LA funds like Upfront, Greycroft and B Capital Global have all backed Bird. And with such a strong and experienced founder in Travis and great local executives like Paige Craig whom we’ve all known and worked with for the past 10 years, we are confident that this team can out execute. Why scooters? Can’t people just ride bikes or walk? Yes, I get this a lot. Walking is great and I love to walk around Santa Monica, San Francisco and New York City but there are sometimes I need to be 1.6 miles away and I don’t have the time to walk there and back. Uber or Lyft would sit in a wall of congestion and perhaps public transportation lines aren’t set up between my point A and point B. Scooters crush this situation. Or perhaps you’re commuting daily on the Caltrain to SF, the Amtrak to NYC or the MetroLine from Downtown LA to Santa Monica … scooters provide an excellent “last-mile” commuting solution. If more broadly adopted, they should help reduce urban traffic congestion and help reduce carbon emissions. And sure, I love riding bikes. Mostly I love my Peloton bike. But if I judge by the usage around Santa Monica I can tell you that scooters are crushing bikes for short-haul (< 3 miles) and bikes are probably the only real solution for 5+ miles if you don’t want to take a car or public transportation. But don’t just take my word for it?—?below is a regular scene in Santa Monica while behind me there must have been 50 Birds riding by in a 3 minute period and I expect many other markets when scooters are fully deployed. As I said, consumers have “voted with their feet.” Are the scooters safe? Shouldn’t everybody wear helmets? Yes, everybody should wear helmets and of course Bird reminds riders of this. In fact, Bird has already given out more than 30,000 free helmets. Of course Bird can’t monitor every rider and to date many don’t wear their helmets. We notice this because scooters are new and stand out. To everybody who has mentioned this to me I walk out into Santa Monica and point out just how many bicyclists aren’t wearing helmets. I point out that they’re there but we have become invisible to them because bicycles have exited our whole lives. Yes, both Bird riders and bicycles should wear helmets. I can tell you that Bird is currently limited to a maximum speed of 15 miles / hour and takes rider safety very seriously. Summary Bird has created a brand-new transportation sector that has captured the imagination of riders and investors alike. It is clear that this level of success will breed strong competitors, likely including Uber, who can’t afford not to have an answer to the success of the scooter market. I like Bird’s chances because it has not only been the clear market innovator but is also incredibly focused on execution in this core market rather than having to be excellent in many solutions simultaneously. Yes, it is unprecedented for a company to start from scratch and be worth billions of dollars in less than 18 months. But it is even more rare for a company to do that while also scaling its revenue at such an impressive clip and with no paid customer acquisition. All The Questions You Wanted Answered about Bird Scooters and Their Recent $300 Million Funding was originally published in Both Sides of the Table on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. startup uber venture-capital scooters

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California Passes Data Privacy Bill

L.A. Business Journal

Lawmakers in California passed a data privacy bill in both chambers June 28 that would require major companies to disclose the data they collect from consumers and also allow consumers to elect not to have their data sold by the company to ad agencies. Governor Jerry Brown signed the bill into law Thursday afternoon

Big tech companies are looking at Hollywood as the next stage in their play for the cloud

TechCrunch LA

This week, both Microsoft and Google made moves to woo Hollywood to their cloud computing platforms in the latest act of the unfolding drama over who will win the multi-billion dollar business of the entertainment industry as it moves to the cloud.

Is your company or department as efficient as it should be?

Berkonomics

Close. There is more money lost in businesses today from inefficient processes than any other single area. Yet this is not a place where most managers feel comfortable deconstructing and rebuilding.

DDN Acquires Intel's Lustre File System Business

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Chatsworth-based DataDirect Networks (DDN), which develops data storage equipment and software, has acquired the Lustre File System business from Intel , according to DDN late Sunday evening. Financial details of the acquisition were not announced. DDN said the acquisition included both Intel's Lustre File Systems business and related assets. Intel's Lustre File System is heavily used in the cluster computing market, which DDN's storage hardware is also used.

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Aclima sucks in $24M to scale its air quality mapping platform

TechCrunch LA

Aclima , a San Francisco-based company which builds Internet-connected air quality sensors and runs a software platform to analyze the extracted intel, has closed a $24 million Series A to grow the business including by expanding its headcount and securing more fleet partnerships to build out the reach and depth of its pollution maps. The Series A is led by Social Capital which is joining the board. Also participating in the round: The Schmidt Family Foundation, Emerson Collective, Radicle Impact, Rethink Impact, Plum Alley, Kapor Capital and First Philippine Holdings. Three years ago Aclima came out of stealth, detailing a collaboration with Google on mapping air quality in its offices and also outdoors, by putting sensors on StreetView cars. Though it has actually been working on the core problem of environmental sensing and intelligence for about a decade at this point, according to co-founder Davida Herzl. “What we’ve really been doing over the course of the last few years is solving the really difficult technical challenges in generating this kind of data. Which is a revolution of air quality and climate change emissions data that hasn’t existed before,” she tells TechCrunch. “Last year we announced the results of our state wide demonstration project in California where we mapped the Bay Area, the Central Valley, Los Angeles. And really demonstrated the power of the data to drive new science, decision making across the private and public sector.” Also last year it published a study in collaboration with the University of Texas showing that pollution is hyperlocal — thereby supporting its thesis that effective air quality mapping requires dense networks of sensors if you’re going to truly reflect the variable reality on the ground. “You can have the best air quality and the worst air quality on the same street,” says Herzl. “And that really gives us a new view — a new understanding of emissions but actually demonstrated the need for hyperlocal measurement to protect human health but also to manage those emissions. “That data set has been applied across a variety of scientific research including studies that really showed the linkages between hyperlocal data and cardiovascular risk. In LA our black carbon data was used to support increased filtration in schools to protect school children.” “Our technology is really a proof point for emerging and new legislation in California that’s going to require community based monitoring across the entire state,” she adds. “So all of that work in California has really demonstrated the power of our platform — and that has really set us up to scale, and the funding round is going to enable us to take this to a lot more cities and regions and users.” Asked about potential international expansion — given the presence of strategic investors from south east Asia backing the round — Herzl says Aclima has had a “global view” for the business from the beginning, even while much of its early work has focused on California, adding: “We definitely have global ambitions and we will be making more announcements about that soon.” Its strategy for growing the reach and depth of its air quality maps is focused on increasing its partnerships with fleets — so there’s a slight irony there given the vehicles being repurposed as air quality sensing nodes might themselves be contributing to the problem (Herzl sidestepped a question of whether Uber might be an interesting fleet partner for it, given the company’s current attempts to reinvent itself as a socially responsible corporate — including encouraging its drivers to go electric). “Our mapping capabilities are amplified through our partnerships with fleets,” she says, pointing to Google’s StreetView cars as one current example (though this is not an exclusive partnership arrangement; a London air quality mapping project involving StreetView cars which was announced earlier this month is using hardware from a rival UK air quality sensor company, called Air Monitors, for example). But flush with fresh Series A funding Aclima will be working on getting its kit on board more fleets — relying on third parties to build out the utility of its software platform for policymakers and communities. “There’s a number of fleets that we are going to be speaking about our partnerships with but our platform can be integrated with any fleet type and we believe that is an incredible advantage and position for the company in really achieving our vision of creating a global platform for environmental intelligence to help cities and entire countries really manage climate risk at a scale that really hasn’t been possible before,” she adds. “Our technology provides 100,000x greater spacial resolution than existing approaches and we do it at 100-1,000x cost reduction so our vision is to be the GPS of the environment — a new layer of environmental awareness and intelligence that really informs day to day decisions. “We’re really excited because it’s taken really years of work. I incorporated Aclima 10 years ago and started really working on the technology around 2010. So this has taken… a tremendous amount of technical development and scientific rigor with partners… to really have the technology at a place where it’s really set up to scale.” It finances (or part financies) the deployment of its sensors on the vehicles of fleet partners — with Aclima’s business model focused on monetizing the interpretation of the data provided by its SaaS platform. So a chunk of the Series A will be going to help pay for more sensor rollouts. In terms of what fleet partners get back from agreeing for their vehicles to become mobile air quality sensing nodes, Herzl says it’s dependent on the partner. And Aclima’s isn’t naming any additional names on that front yet. “It’s specific to each fleet. But I can say that in the case of Google we’re working with Google Earth outreach and the team at StreetView… to really reflect their commitment to sustainability but also to expand access to this kind of information,” she says of the perks for fleets, adding: “We’ll be talking more about that as we make announcement about our other partners.” The Series A financing will also go on funding continued product development, with Aclima hoping to keep adding to the tally of pollutants it can identify and map — building on a list which includes the likes of CO2, methane and particulate matter. “We have a very ambitious roadmap. And our roadmap is expansive — ultimately our vision is to make the invisible visible, across all of the pollutants and factors in the invisible layer of air that supports life. We want to make all of that visible — that’s our long term vision,” she says. “Today we’re measuring all of the core gaseous pollutants that are regulated as well as the core climate change gases… We are not only deploying and expanding our platform’s availability but in our R&D efforts investing in next generation sensing technologies, whether it’s the tiniest PM2.5 sensor in the world to on our roadmap really having the ability to speciate COC [chlorinated organic compounds]. “We can’t do that today but are working on it and that is an area that is really important for specific communities but for industry and for policy makers as well.” A key part of its ongoing engineering work is focused on shrinking certain sensing technologies — both in size and cost. As that’s the key to the sought for ubiquity, says Herzl. “There’s a lot of hard work happening there to shrink [sensors],” she notes. “We’re talking about sensors that are the size of a thumb tack. Traditional technologies for this are very large, very difficult to deploy… so it’s not that capabilities don’t exist today but we’re working on shrinking those capabilities down into really, really tiny components so that we can achieve ubiquity… You have to shrink down the size but also reduce the cost so that you can deploy thousands, millions of these things.” Commenting on the funding round in a supporting statement, Jay Zaveri, partner at Social Capital, added: “Aclima has successfully opened up an entirely new market domain with their innovative approach, tackling one of the biggest global challenges of our time. With a proven ability to quantify emissions and human exposure to pollution at global resolutions previously impossible, Aclima creates enormous opportunities for industry, cities and society.”. Automotive Fundings & Exits GreenTech Health SaaS aclima air pollution air quality california climate change emerson collective Google Google Street View Google-Earth Kapor Capital Los Angeles San Francisco Schmidt Family Foundation Streetview

North County Elevate My Business Challenge Pitch Day

SoCal Tech Calendar

Thursday, June 28, 2018 --.

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Southern California Edison Plans $760M Investment In EV Infrastructure

socalTECH

Southern California Edison , Southern California's biggest electric utility, said on Tuesday that it is launching a new, $760M effort to expand the region's electric vehicle infrastructure. According to SCE, it has proposed a new, $760M "Charge Ready 2" program, which will go to help boost the number of electric cars on the state's highways.

Invest 116

Los Angeles Ranked Top Metro Area for Tech Funding and Exits

L.A. Business Journal

Los Angeles raised more than $100 million, beating Boston in total mega financing rounds, according to a recent report from CB Information Services Inc

Google Cloud will launch its Los Angeles region in July

TechCrunch LA

It’s no secret that Google has long planned to open a cloud region in Los Angeles. The company has long said that a second region on the U.S. West Coast was in the works, after all. What we didn’t know for sure was when this new region would go live.

Ophthalmology Technology Summit (OTS)

SoCal Tech Calendar

Friday, June 29, 2018 -- Ophthalmology Technology Summit (OTS). Orange County is the single most technology-rich epicenter for ophthalmology technology.

LiveXLive's Slacker Connects With Amazon Alexa

socalTECH

West Hollywood-based LiveXLive Media , the parent firm of online radio streaming service Slacker Radio , says that Slacker has launched its own Amazon Alexa "Skill" to enable voice control of its streaming music services. According to LiveXLive, the skill allows Slacker to be controlled from all Alexa-enabled devices, including Echo Dot, Amazon Tap and Amazon Fire TV. LiveXLive says it has more than one million monthly active users using its Slacker Radio service.

Silicon Beach Report June 25: Busoni Named Thiel Fellow

L.A. Business Journal

Pinscreen sued; new Thiel fellow named; Snapchat shares ad revenue

Catalog Hauls In $9M to Make DNA-Based Data Storage Commercially Viable

Xconomy

The practice of encoding data in DNA molecules could be inching closer to graduating from research labs to finding practical commercial use.

UCLA 87

805 Startups Innovation and Growth Fair - Q2

SoCal Tech Calendar

Wednesday, June 27, 2018 -- Innovation and Growth Fair - Q2 by 805 Startups, City of Agoura Hills, and Greater Conejo Chamber of Commerce. The purpose of this event is to promote personal and professional growth while inspiring innovation at all levels. You will be exposed to many different people and companies in an environment designed to foster authentic relationships between one another. link].

Cloud Constellation Signs MOU With Arab Satellite Group

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based CLoud Constellation Corporation , which is in the midst of planning a satellite constellation aimed at providing high speed, cloud storage from space, said today that it has signed a Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) with Arab Satellite Communications Organization (ARABSAT). Cloud Constellation said the two have agreed to develop a go-to-market strategy for enterprise and government customers in the Middle East, Europe, Africa and Central Asia.

Silicon Beach Report June 29: Bird Raises $300 Million

L.A. Business Journal

Snapchat enters gaming landscape; SpaceX sends Space Station payload; scooter startup attains $300 million

Xconomy Mourns the Loss of San Diego Editor Bruce Bigelow

Xconomy

It is with profound sadness that we at Xconomy say goodbye to our longtime friend and editor of Xconomy San Diego, Bruce Bigelow. An outstanding journalist, colleague, and friend, and a fixture of the San Diego innovation scene, Bruce passed away today at age 63 after a brief illness.

OCTANe's Lunch and Learn: Contractor Restrictions After Dynamex

SoCal Tech Calendar

Tuesday, June 26, 2018 --.

OCTANE 100

Semtech Gets LoRa Win With Chinese Manufacturer

socalTECH

Camarillo-based Semtech reported a win this morning with a Chinese manufacturer, which will use the company's LoRa low power wireless technology for use in a "smart city" product. According to Semtech, Chinese company Lowan , a low power wide area network (LPWAN) solution provider located in Hangzhou, China, has incorporated its LoRa radio frequency technology into its smart-grid power meters. Shipments volumes and financial impact of the design win were not announced. READ MORE>>.

Design 109

Silicon Beach Report June 27: Honk Technologies Raises $18M

L.A. Business Journal

HyreCar announces IPO; Google Filestore revealed; Honk Technologies raises $18M

Google 100

Stitch Fix CTO Polinsky Says Its Style Shuffle App Makes Data Fun

Xconomy

When Cathy Polinsky became chief technology officer of Stitch Fix in late 2016, she knew one of the San Francisco-based company’s key challenges was continually refining its core software algorithm to make sure customers received the right tailored suggestions in their monthly wardrobe boxes.

GroGuru Gets $250K In Seed Funding

socalTECH

GroGuru , a startup developing irrigation automation technology for the agriculture industry, has raise $250,000 in a seed funding from Western Growers and Radicle Growth. GroGuru is part of San Diego- and Irvine's EvoNexus startup incubator, and develops a precision soil and irrigation monitoring system.

RealD, AMC Theatres Renew 3D Deal Through 2024

socalTECH

Beverly Hills-based 3D movie projection technology provider RealD and AMC Theatres said Thursday that they have extended and renewed a 3D agreement through 2024, and also plan on installing RealD 3D systems in all of AMC's new and upgraded theaters. Financial impact of the win was not announced. AMC and RealD said that so far, AMC has 4,900 RealD units installed at its theaters. RealD provides 3D movie projection technology.

Cisco Joins Walt Disney Studios StudioLAB Effort

socalTECH

Networking products giant Cisco said this week that it has been selected by The Walt Disney Studios announced in March, in conjunction with Accenture, and includes a 3,500 square food facility in Burbank. Cisco says that StudioLAB will feature both its hardware and software, in the areas of network, storage, orchestration and collaboration. READ MORE>>. cisco walt disney studiolab innovation technology development

Atom Tickets Courts Independents

socalTECH

Santa Monica-based mobile movie ticketing platform Atom Tickets said this week that it it expanding its platform to the independent theater market. According to Atom Tockets, it has launched what it calls the "Independent Exhibitors Program",which will support independent theater owners and operators on its platform. As part of the launch, Atom Tickets said it has added independent exhibitors BG Cinema Inc, Ruby Cinemas, 8k Cinemas, Aksarben Cinema (Main Street Theatres), Midwest Movies Inc.

Google Aims At Hollywood With LA Cloud Services Move

socalTECH

In a move designed to attract more customers from the media and entertainment industry, Google said this week that it will be opening up a new Los Angeles cloud region to its cloud computing platform, Google Cloud. according to Google , it is specifically targeting the media and entertainment companies in Los Angeles with the new service. Google says the new region will join its other computing resource regions in Oregon, Iowa, South Carolina and Northern Virginia.

SpaceX Launches Fifteenth Payload To ISS

socalTECH

Hawthorne-based SpaceX successfully launched its fifteenth mission to the International Space Station this morning, sending the CRS-15 (Commercial Resupply Services) mission into space at 5:42 a.m. The latest SpaceX mission to the space station includes more than 5,900 pounds of supplies, including materials for more than 250 science and research projects. The launch was at Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

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Marketplace Debuts Amazon Alexa Skill

socalTECH

Marketplace , the new program recorded in Los Angeles and carried on more than 800 public radio stations nationwide, says it has rolled out its very own Amazon Alexa Skill this morning--based on Marketplace's "Make Me Smart" podcast. According to Marketplace, its skill will connect Amazon Echo users with bits of information on the economy, pop culture, tech and current events every weekday.