Sat.Oct 16, 2021 - Fri.Oct 22, 2021

The four rules for motivating your employees with money.


We’ve debated this one forever it seems. Should be overwhelm prospective employees with stock options and perks? Or concentrate our available resources on just plain money as an attraction?

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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.


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Cadiz Shares Plunge as Company Reconfigures Water Transfer Plan

L.A. Business Journal

It’s been a rough and perplexing six weeks for shareholders of downtown-based water infrastructure development company Cadiz Inc

The Boring Company Gets Nod On Las Vegas Transportation System


Los Angeles-based The Boring Company has just received approval from Clark County, Nevada, for its plans to create an underground transportation system that will connect the Las Vegas Strip, Allegiant Stadium, and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. The project is expected to stretch 29 miles and will have 51 stations. vegas boring company underground transportation tesla elon musk tunnel

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.

11 Keys To Being The Best In Your Chosen Profession

Startup Professionals Musings

At some point in their life, hopefully everyone strives to be the best in their chosen profession. Most people think that being the best requires more intelligence, more training, and more experience.

Locale puts $2M to work helping people discover local cuisine


When you move around a city, you often end up farther away from some of your favorite restaurants and bakeries. Locale wants to keep you connected to the food you love, even if you live hours away now.

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Miso Robotics Tests New Product For Buffalo Wild Wings


Los Angeles-based food service robot developer Miso Robotics announced this morning that it has rolled out a new product line, called Flippy Wings, which automatically fries chicken wings. The company said the new "robotic chicken wing frying solution" was specifically designed for partner Inspire Brands, which owns Buffalo Wild Wings. According to Miso Robotics, Buffalo Wild Wings began testing its new products this fall; it's unclear if or when the wing chain will roll out the product, however.

7 Ways For Do-It-Yourself Entrepreneurs To Get Ahead

Startup Professionals Musings

In the last few years, I’ve heard more and more about a new type of small business, called a “micro-business” (or micro-enterprise). These are usually characterized as owner-operated, with five employees or less, and less than $250,000 in sales.

First Phase of CIM Group’s Massive Solar Park in Central Valley Operational

L.A. Business Journal

Mid-Wilshire-based CIM Group is best known as a real estate developer

Embrace Raises $45 Million in Series B for Mobile Data Platform

L.A. Business Journal

The round gives the company a total of $57 million in funding

Pasadena Startup CarbonCapture Raises $35M, Hires CEO

L.A. Business Journal

Pasadena startup CarbonCapture Inc. secured $35 million in Series A financing and named veteran cleantech industry executive Adrian Corless chief executive

Lucid Sight Raises $3 million for Multiplayer Game Hosting

L.A. Business Journal

Brentwood-based independent gaming studio Lucid Sight Inc. raised $2.6 million to launch its cloud-hosting platform for developers

Rocket Lab Reschedules BlackSky Mission

L.A. Business Journal

Long Beach-based Rocket Lab USA Inc. has scheduled two dedicated launches for Seattle-based BlackSky Global in November, the company announced Oct.

How SpaceX Can Live Up to Its $100B Valuation

L.A. Business Journal

Less than a month after sending four civilians on a historic three-day journey around the Earth, Space Exploration Technologies Corp. reached another milestone: a valuation of more than $100 billion

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Embrace Gets $45M For Mobile Data Tracking


Culver City-based Embrace, a new startup focused on helping companies manage the mobile data they are collecting, has raised $45M in a funding round. According to the company, the Series B funding was led by New Enterprise Associates (NEA), and also included Greycroft, AV8, and Eniac. The company says its founders previously had been involved with PagerDuty, Sendbird, LogDNA, Scopely, and TestFlight. The company's co-founder and CEO is Eric Futoran.

Flock Freight Raises $215M, Joins Unicorns


Encinitas-based Flock Freight, a startup which operates a system for the freight shipping and trucking industry to allow for shared truckloads, has raised $215M in a Series D funding round. The company said the funding gives it a more than $1 billion valuation. The funding was led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2, and also included Susquehanna Private Equity Investments, Eden Global Partners, and existing investors SignalFire, GLP Capital Partners, and GV (formerly Google Ventures).

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Triller Launches Artist Discovery Effort


Los Angeles-based video and music social app developer Triller is launching a new effort in the music area, saying it's launching a new music discovery program called Spring Singles. According to the company, the new program releases singles from new artists every two weeks. The company said the new effort is being spearheaded by Steve Rifkind, the founder of Spring Sound, who is known for his work with Rap and Hip Hop stars. Triller said the new music effort begins January 1st.

ChowNow Names IPO Investment Banker As CFO


Los Angeles-based ChowNow, which develops software to manage online ordering and marketing for restaurants, has named a new CFO. According to ChowNow, it has appointed Andre Mancl to the position of Chief Financial Officer. Mancl was previously an investment banker, having previously been at Credit Suisse, where he served as the Global co-head of Internet Investment Banking.

VideoAmp Takes $275M For Media Measurement, Now Worth $1.4 Billion


Los Angeles-based media measurement and optimization software developer VideoAmp has raised $275M in funding, giving it a $1.4 billion valuation, the company said onn Thursday. The funding included The Spruce House Partnership, D1 Capital Partners, Tiger Global, EPIQ Capital Group and Ankona Capital Partners. VideoAmp is led by founder and CEO Ross McCray.

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Alteryx Acquires Lore IO


Irvine-based Alteryx, which develops analytics software, said this morning that it has acquired Lore IO, a developer of a no-code, artificial intelligence-enabled data modeling software. Financial details of the acquisition were not announced. Alteryx said that Lore IO was founded by veterans of Walmart Labs. Alteryx said the acquisition will help it add a team with skills for cloud-native analytic compute optimization and in-database processing.

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TuSimple Picks Up Former Qualcomm HR Chief For Board


San Diego-based self-driving technology developer TuSimple says it has named Michelle Sterling. tusimple qualcomm executive board self driving technology auto automotive

Carbon Capture Picks Up $35M


Pasadena-based Carbon Capture, a new startup which says it is developing machines that remove CO2 directly from the atmosphere, has raised $35M in a Series A funding round. the funding came from Prime Movers Lab, Rio Tinto, Idealab Studio, and Marc Benioff's TIME Ventures, along with others. The company said it has named Adrian Corless as CEO of the company as part of the funding.

Snap Launches Augmented Reality Ad Studio, Arcadia


Los Angeles-based Snap said on Tuesday that it is launching a new, augmented reality advertising studio, which it is calling Arcadia. The new studio--which is not based in Arcadia, California, despite the name--will provide a team of experts focused on mobile augmented reality (AR) advertising for its brand and agency partners. According to Snap, Arcadia will "take on select projects that require the most creative and technical skillset" to provide branded AR experiences.

Patron Picks Up $90M For Games, Consumer, Web Investments


A new, early-stage venture firm, Patron--which has one of its General Partners based in Los Angeles--said on Tuesday that it has raised $90M in a new venture capital fund. According to Patron, its first fund, Patron Fund I, will go to investments into Web 3 (P2E/NFTs) and consumer categories such as education, fitness, personal finance, and more. The company's General Partners are Jason Yeh and Brian Cho.

Classy Acquires Events Platform Fondi


San Diego-based nonprofit software developer Classy announced on Tuesday that it is acquiring event platform Fondi, the developer of a virtual and hybrid event platform. Financial details of the acquisition were not announced. Classy said it will relaunch Fondi as Classy Live for nonprofits. Fondi was previously owned by Lennd.

Scopely Buys GSN Games For $1 Billion


Los Angeles-based mobile games developer Scopely said on Monday that it is paying approximately $1 billion for GSN Games, the division of Game Show Network owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment. GSN Games owns a portfolio of free-to-play mobile and online games, and is best known for such titles as "Solitaire TriPeaks" and "Bingo Bash". According to Scopely, the deal is split between both cash and equity in the company, which will give SPE a minority interest in the company.

EV Connect Rolls Out API For EV Charging Network


El Segundo-based EV Connect, which operates a network of electric vehicle charging stations, says it has rolled out an application programming interface (API), which allows its customers to integrate into its network. According to the company, the API allows charging providers to develop customized EV networks as well as smart charging and eMobility applications.

Original Wood Case Apple-1 Computer Goes Up For Auction


An original, wood paneled Apple-1 computer -- originally owned by a professor at Chaffey College in Rancho Cucamonga -- is going up for auction, according to a local auction house, John Moran Auctioneers. According to the auction company, the "Chaffey College Apple-1" is estimated at $400,000 to $600,000.

UP.Partners Raises $230M Transportation Venture Fund


A new, Santa Monica-based venture fund, UP.Partners, said on Monday afternoon that it has raised a $230M, early stage venture capital fund focused on transportation and logistics. According to the fund, it is backed by Alaska Air Group, ARK Invest Founder and CEO Cathie Wood, Toyota subsidiary Woven Capital, Hillwood, a Perot Company; and ship management company OSM Maritime. UP.Partners is led by Managing Directors Adam Grosser, Cyrus Sigari and Ben Marcus.

Navitas Semiconductor Hits Nasdaq


El Segundo-based semiconductor developer Navitas Semiconductor has debuted on the Nasdaq Global Market, after its acquisition by a Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC), the company said on Wednesday afternoon. The developer of gallium nitride (GaN) power semiconductors says it is now trading under the ticker NVTS. The company's move to the Nasdaq comes thanks to the deal with "blank check" acquisition company Live Oak Acquisition Corp.

Neurelis Names CFO


San Diego-based Neurelis, a developer of therapeutics for the treatment of epilepsy and orphan neurologic disorders, says it has named a new CFO, among other executive moves. According to the company, it has named Brittany K. Bradrick as the company's new cFO.

Phonexa Names New CEO


Glendale-based Phonexa, a developer of marketing automation software, says it has named a new CEO. According to the company, Lilit Davtyan has been appointed as CEO, taking over for president David Gasparyan. Davtyan was previously EVP and CFO of the company. According to the company, she will now serve as CEO and CFO. Gasparyan will continue to be involved in day-to-day operations. phonexa executive marketing automation software lilit davtyan

LiveOne Buys Gramophone Media


Los Angeles-based on-demand livestreaming and podcasting company LiveOne--which until recently was known as LiveXLive Media--says it has acquired Gramophone Media, a New York-based artist and brand development company. LiveOne says that Gramophone Media owns a number of boutique agencies, which specializes in representing aspiring artists and offering services in PR, strategic marketing, brand positioning, graphic design, and social media management.

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Dave Trumpets Usage Of Job Finding Service, SideHustle


Los Angeles-based fintech startup said this morning that its job finding service, SideHustle, has facilitated nearly 3 million job applications since its launch in September of 2020. Dave--which offers up a debit card and spending account--says its Sidehustle platform ocnnects users to work opportunities across the United States. Dave is led by co-founder and CEO Jason Wilk.

Amazon Ramps Holiday Season Warehouse Hiring


San Bernardino-based Amazon says it is in the midst of a big hiring push in California, where it hopes to hire 23,000 for its warehouses. According to Amazon, those short term position pay an average of $18 per hour, with sign-up bonuses of up to $3,000 and an additional $3 per hour depending on shift. Amazon said those seasonal jobs include helping in stowing, picking, packing, shipping and more.

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8 Keys To Innovation And Responding To Market Change

Startup Professionals Musings

As I “grew up” in business in big companies, including IBM, I always wondered why the real innovations seemed to come from startups, while we had more resources and more experience.