2021

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How I Gamified My Own Brain to Lose Weight & Improve Fitness

Both Sides of the Table

Socially distant hiking in Sedona (we drove there) I recently wrote about my weight-loss journey over the past 18 months where I lost 65 pounds without a fad diet and returned to my college weight. If you want to get in better shape and haven’t read that you might start there. I separately wrote about some food plans I use. I started advice with the premise that no amount of exercise or food eating plan would help with long-term fitness or weight goals unless you first had a mental plan and a se

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Planning 500,000 charging points for EVs by 2025, Shell becomes the latest company swept up in EV charging boom

TechCrunch LA

Shell’s plan to roll out 500,000 electric charging station in just four years is the latest sign of an EV charging infrastructure boom that has prompted investors to pour cash into the industry and inspired a few companies to become public companies in search of the capital needed to meet demand. Since the beginning of the year, three companies have been acquired by special purpose acquisition vehicles and are on a path to go public, while a third has raised tens of millions from some of t

Company 363
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USC, Amazon Plan Center for Machine Learning Research

L.A. Business Journal

USC is partnering with Amazon.com Inc. to create a research center focused on privacy and security issues related to machine learning and artificial intelligence.

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5 Entrepreneur Exasperations To Moderate Your Passion

Startup Professionals Musings

The best part of being an entrepreneur is having the independence to make your own decisions, the flexibility for a better work/life balance, and personal satisfaction from driving change. But nobody said it would be easy. The road to business success is filled with challenges and frustrations that most aspiring entrepreneurs never even imagined. In my role as advisor to many startups, I try to prepare them for the inevitable bumps in the road ahead, as well as to provide practical guidance on h

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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.

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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 before the pandemic itself has been fully tamed. And the loosening of federal monetary policies, particularly in the US, has pushed more dollars into the venture ecosystems at every stage of financing.

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Introducing Trust, and the Importance of Product-Founder Fit

Both Sides of the Table

Photo by Vanna Phon on Unsplash Customer acquisition is the lifeblood of many startups from e-commerce to gaming to marketplace companies, among others. Most of these startups spend the lion’s share of their marketing budget in today’s social media channels: Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Snap, TikTok and so on because?—?no surprise?—?that’s where the customers are.

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Squarespace raises $300M at a staggering $10B valuation

TechCrunch LA

Squarespace has raised $300 million in a round of funding that values the company at a staggering $10 billion valuation. New backers include Dragoneer, Tiger Global, D1 Capital Partners, Fidelity Management & Research Company, funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc. and Spruce House. Existing backers Accel and General Atlantic also participated. .

SEM 340
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Triller Looks Toward IPO in July

L.A. Business Journal

Century City-based TrillerNet, the owner of short-form video platform Triller, is preparing to file a confidential direct listing with the Securities and Exchange Commission in July that values the company at more than $5 billion, according to a source familiar with the plans.

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LA Companies Hop Aboard NFT Bandwagon

L.A. Business Journal

Akash Nigam, founder and chief executive of Venice-based Genies Inc., said he wasn’t entirely sure what a nonfungible token was until last summer when he met with Dapper Labs Inc. Chief Executive Roham Gharegozlou.

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Retina AI Raises $8 Million in Series A

L.A. Business Journal

Santa Monica-based analytics company Retina AI Inc. has raised $8 million in Series A funding for its artificial intelligence platform for consumer insights.

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ServiceTitan Acquires Aspire, Raises $200 Million

L.A. Business Journal

Glendale-based ServiceTitan Inc., a developer of management software for home services contractors, has acquired St. Louis-based Aspire Software, a technology provider for commercial landscaping businesses.

Glendale 317
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Good Eggs raises $100M and plans to launch in Southern California

TechCrunch LA

Grocery delivery startup Good Eggs is announcing that it has raised $100 million in new funding, and that it’s planning to launch in Southern California in either the summer or fall of this year. Parts of this story might sound familiar to readers familiar with Good Eggs — when the startup raised its most recent, $50 million funding round in 2018, CEO Bentley Hall also mentioned plans for geographic expansion.

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Maestro nets $15 million for its interactive commerce, community and engagement tools for livestreams

TechCrunch LA

Making money on livestreams has never been easier thanks to a suite of tools from the Los Angeles-based startup Maestro , which just nabbed $15 million in financing to grow its business. As video commerce becomes the norm and entertainers, brands, businesses, and franchises of all sizes and stripes look to cut out the middle man, the array of services on offer from Maestro may be the scissors these entities need to cut the cord.

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FlyMachine raises $21 million to build a virtual concerts platform for a post-pandemic world

TechCrunch LA

As concerts and live events return to the physical world stateside, many in the tech industry have wondered whether some of the pandemic-era opportunities around virtualizing these events are lost for the time being. San Francisco-based FlyMachine is aiming to seek out the holy grail of the digital music industry, finding a way to capture some of the magic of live concerts and performances in a live-streamed setting.

Platform 310
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Mythical Games raises $75M to build an NFT game engine

TechCrunch LA

Even as NFT sales dip below their most speculative highs, startups aiming to tap into their potential are still scoring big funding rounds from investors who believe there’s much more to crypto collectibles than the past few months of hype. Mythical Games , an NFT games startup based out of Los Angeles, has banked a $75 million raise from new and existing investors betting on the startup’s aim to expand the ambitions of their first title and locate a substantial platform opportunity

Platform 308
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LA Companies Give Renters More Ways to Charge EVs

L.A. Business Journal

Electric vehicles are touted as the future, especially in Los Angeles where the city’s climate goals call for 80% of vehicles sold to be electric by 2028 — seven years ahead of the state’s 2035 cutoff for gasoline-powered auto sales.

Company 306
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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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LA Tech Companies Shake Up Real Estate Industry Norms

L.A. Business Journal

Lindsay McLean, founder and chief executive of Home-Lister Inc., said the idea for the company came to her after working with a real estate agent to sell her first home.

Company 312
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Netflix employees stage a trans solidarity walkout, pose list of demands

TechCrunch LA

Netflix employees staged a walkout yesterday in response to the company’s handling of a Dave Chappelle special that premiered on October 5. At the same time, Los Angeles-based trans activist Ashlee Marie Preston hosted a rally in solidarity with Netflix workers participating in the walkout. Netflix stars like Jonathan Van Ness of “Queer Eye” and Mason Alexander Park of “Cowboy Bebop” and “The Sandman” expressed their solidarity in a video made for the ra

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Activision Blizzard to Pay $18 Million to Settle Sexual Harassment Suit

L.A. Business Journal

The gaming giant, which posted in $2.3 billion in quarterly revenue, also said it's working to upgrade its policies and training to prevent harassment.

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Apple is opening a store in downtown LA’s nearly 100-year-old Tower Theatre

TechCrunch LA

This Thursday, Apple will mark the opening of a new store in downtown Los Angeles. The space occupies the newly renovated Tower Theatre, which opened in DTLA’s Broadway Theater District in 1927. Among other milestones, the 900-seat theater was the first in LA to be wired for the talkies, hosting a premier of “The Jazz Singer” that same year.

Education 299
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Entity Academy, an edtech startup that trains, mentors and places women in tech roles, secures $100M

TechCrunch LA

Women have made great inroads into the tech world in recent years, but there remains a long way to go before we reach a truly equitable state of affairs in workforce numbers, remuneration and product development. An edtech startup called Entity Academy — which provides women with training, in areas like data science and software development; mentoring; and ultimately job coaching — has raised $100 million on the heels of strong growth of its business, and an ambition to improve that

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Heliogen Raises $108 Million for Solar Energy Technology

L.A. Business Journal

Pasadena-based energy technology company Heliogen Inc. has raised a total of $108 million in two funding rounds to help develop its industrial solar energy technology, the company announced June 15.

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SoftBank bets big on a ‘digital Ellis Island’

TechCrunch LA

Welcome Tech , which has built a digital platform aimed at immigrants and their families, has raised $35 million in a Series B funding round co-led by TTV Capital, Owl Ventures and SoftBank Group Corp.’s SB Opportunity Fund. Crosscut Ventures, Mubadala Capital, Next Play Capital and Owl Capital also participated in the financing, which brings the Los Angeles-based company’s total raised to $50 million since its 2010 inception.

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SpotOn raises $300M at a $3.15B valuation and acquires Appetize

TechCrunch LA

Last year at this time, SpotOn was on the brink of announcing a $60 million Series C funding round at a $625 million valuation. Fast forward to almost exactly one year later, and a lot has changed for the payments and software startup. Today, SpotOn said it has closed on $300 million in Series E financing that values the company at $3.15 billion — more than 5x of its valuation at the time of its Series C round, and significantly higher than its $1.875 billion valuation in May (yes, just th

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Cybersecurity Firm Britive Raises $10 Million

L.A. Business Journal

Britive Inc., a Glendale-based cloud cybersecurity company, has raised $10 million in Series A funding to continue to develop its security software.

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With an ARR topping $250 million, LA’s vertical SAAS superstar ServiceTitan is now worth $8.3 billion

TechCrunch LA

Who knew building a vertical software as a service toolkit focused on home heating and cooling could be worth $8.3 billion? That’s how much Los Angeles-based ServiceTitan , a startup founded just eight years ago is worth now, thanks to some massive tailwinds around homebuilding and energy efficiency that are serving to boost the company’s bottom line and netting it an unprecedented valuation for a vertical software company, according to bankers.

SaaS 292
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Boring Co.’s Las Vegas Tunnel Opens to Public

L.A. Business Journal

Elon Musk’s Boring Co. is about to get its first real-world test as its 4-mile, $52.5 million tunnel loop opens to the public this week underneath the huge Las Vegas Convention Center campus.

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Snap Accelerator Boosts Startups

L.A. Business Journal

Launching a startup is like jumping off a cliff and building a hang glider on your way down, according to Nicole Emrani Green, who co-founded ecommerce gifting startup Givingli Inc.

Startup 290
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ChargerHelp raises $2.75M to keep EV chargers working

TechCrunch LA

The coming wave of electric vehicles will require more than thousands of charging stations. In addition to being installed, they also need to work — and today, that isn’t happening. If a station doesn’t send out an error or a driver doesn’t report it, network providers might never know there’s even a problem. Kameale C. Terry, who co-founded ChargerHelp!

Incubator 287
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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.

Company 288
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Open Blends Mindfulness With Tech

L.A. Business Journal

After years of working with major companies and startups in the busy tech ecosystem of San Francisco, Raed Khawaja needed to take a deep breath.

Startup 304
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Micromobility Companies Are Ready to Roll Again

L.A. Business Journal

Going into 2020, the micromobility industry was already experiencing some growing pains. A year later, local micromobility companies are optimistic.

Company 299
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Coco Delivers Big Results With Small Robots

L.A. Business Journal

Last summer, Cyan Robotics Inc., better known as Coco, was just Brad Squicciarini, Zach Rash and a robot on the streets of Santa Monica.

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Topia Raises $5 Million For Virtual Reality Meetups

L.A. Business Journal

Topia Interactive Inc., which develops virtual meeting places where members can join “worlds” created by artists and designers, raised $5 million.

Design 291
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SpaceX Acquires Swarm Technologies

L.A. Business Journal

SpaceX has agreed to purchase Swarm Technologies, which designs small satellites to manage internet-of-things services.

SpaceX 321