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socalTECH.com 07/15/2020 18:16
The Twitter accounts of Elon Musk, the high profile founder of Hawthorne-based SpaceX, has been compromised--as have the accounts of Bill Gates, Joe Biden, Warren Buffet, former President Barack Obama, Apple, Uber, Kanye West, and many others. The hacked accounts of those users--and thousands of lesser known accounts with just a few followers--were pushing a Bitcoin scam, telling users to send Bitcoin to a specific account and promising "double back". It's unclear how hackers were able to gain such widespread access to so many accounts, and Twitter--although it said it was aware of the issue--did not say how its system had allowed so many "blue checkmark" users to be compromised.
socalTECH.com 07/15/2020 10:02
Manhattan Beach-based Pod Network, which says it is developing a mobile, social media network which connects users based on their physical location, plus professional and personal interests, has raised $5M in a seed funding. The company said the round was led by PACA Ventures and Anthony Misitano, founder of Post Acute Medical. The startup, led by founder and CEO Dr. Jo Webber, says its location-based platform facilitates the discovery and connection of people based on interests and location, with the intent to allow people to connect in person or virtually. The company claims it already has 5 million users.
socalTECH.com 07/15/2020 09:55
Playa Vista-based Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, one of the local developers of high tech, futuristic "hyperloop" transportation systems, says it has helpeds to publish the industry's first set of safety guidelines. According to the company, the guidelines--published along with industry testing group TUV SUD Group--provides key safety standards for Hyperloop systems including design, construction and operation. HTT says the guidelines have received feedback from the European Commission and the United States Department of Transportation, and cover core safety requirements for capsules, drive systems, environmental control and life support systems, tubes, and evacuation procedures in case of emergency. It's unclear if the standards ar.
socalTECH.com 07/15/2020 09:48
Los Angeles-based Whistle, which develops tools to allow hotels to message their guests, says it has signed up Lark Hotels, a collection of boutique hotels in New England. Financial impact of the win were not announced. According to Whistle, guests at Lark Hotels can now use its messaging tools to manage their stay and order services. Lark has properties in Martha's Vineyard, Provincetown, and Kennebunkport. Whistle is led by CEO Christopher Hovanessian.
socalTECH.com 07/15/2020 09:41
San Diego-based nonprofit startup and technology incubator operator EvoNexus announced this morning that it has launched a brand new, 5G startup incubator program, which is being sponsored by Qualcomm. According to the company, the new program will assist early-stage companies who are helping to build the wireless 5G ecosystem. EvoNexus and Qualcomm did not say how much Qualcomm will invest in the program, however, the two said that Qualcomm has been a longtime partner of EvoNexus, having directly invested in a number of its companies, and acquired two of them. EvoNexus said the program will be open to any early stage venture that will "accelerate and leverage 5G and AI" regardless of location.
socalTECH.com 07/14/2020 18:15
Hawthorne-based SpaceX has told users who have expressed interest in becoming a beta tester for the company's Starlink satellite Internet service that it hopes to launch a beta of its service sometime this summer. The company has started asking people for their potential "service address" for its high bandwidth Internet service, which will be provided by a network of thousands of low earth orbit (LEO) satellites. SpaceX has been launching hundres of its satellites into space--to date, 540--as it begins to build out its consteallation of satellites.
socalTECH.com 07/14/2020 16:00
San Diego-based Deep Longevity, a new startup using artificial intelligence to focused on aging-related biomarkers, has raised a Series A funding round, the company said on Tuesday. Size of the investment was not announced. According to the company, the funding was led by ETP Ventures and Human Longevity and Performance Impact Venture Fund (HLPIVF), along with BOLD Capital Partners, Longevity Vision Fund, Oculus co-founder and former chief software architect Michael Antonov through Formic Ventures, and LongeVC. The company said it has devleoped an artificial intelligence system which can predict an individual's biological age significantly more accurately than conventional methods.
socalTECH.com 07/14/2020 07:58
Fountain Valley-based memory products giant Kingston Technology said that its partner in a joint venture, Phison, will sell the shares it owns in Kingston Solutions, Inc., which develops eMMC (Embedded Multi-Media Card) products. According to the two, the deal is worth NT$1,781,640,000, or approximately $60M. Phison and Kingstom formed KSI as a joint venture in 2010. The companie said the deal will allow Kingston to become the majority shareholder of KSI, although Phison will continue to develop technology, R&D, support, and service to Kingston.
socalTECH.com 07/13/2020 18:24
Techstars LA, the startup accelerator run by Techstars in the Los Angeles area, announced its 2020 class on Monday, saying that it has selected 10 companies to participate this year in a "socially distanced" program. According to Anna Barber, the Managing Director of Techstars Los Angeles, the accelerator has selected "10 resilient companies that can grow in an economic downturn and thrive in a world where social distancing remains the reality". Nine of the companies are based in Los Angeles, and one is based in New York City. The ten companies this year are Ayana Therapy (online therapy for minorities); CLLCTVE (connecting college creatives with brands); JoyHub (enterprise software for connecting multifamily operator systems); Lactation La.
socalTECH.com 07/13/2020 16:28
La Jolla-based Nerio Therapeutics, a new, stealth-mode company in the life sciences sector, has raised $3.0M in funding--in what looks to be an ongoing $5.7M funding raising effort. The funding was disclosed in a regulatory filing. The company appears to be another company emerging from COI Pharmaceutiacls, the life sciences incubator and support entity created by Avalon Ventures to support its portfolio companies, as Sanford Madigan, Jay Lichter, and Tighe Reardon are all listed as officers of the new company. It's unclear what Nerio Therapeutics may be working on, but the fourth officer of the company listed in the filing appears to be Dr. Stefan Heller, a faculty member at Stanford and a developmental neurobiologist.
socalTECH.com 07/13/2020 13:52
San Diego-based Qualcomm has just taken a $97M stake in Indian telecom provider Jio, via its Qualcomm Ventures venture arm, Qualcomm said on Sunday. Qualcomm said its investment gives it a 0.15% equity stake in Jio Platforms. Qualcomm said the investment will go towards the buildout of 5G infrastructure and services for Jio's customers in India. Jio has recently raised a total of $15.7 billion in funding. Qualcomm is a provider of technology used in the 5G wireless industry.
socalTECH.com 07/13/2020 09:03
Los Angeles-based electric car maker Fisker announced this morning that it is in a merger with a public, special purpose acquisition company, called Spartan Energy Acquisition Corp. (SPAC), which will help provide more than $1 billion in gross proceeds to the company--and make it a publicly traded company.
socalTECH.com 07/13/2020 08:45
Los Angeles-based Repicated, a new startup that provides monitoring and managing of Kubernetes-based cloud applications, has name former GitLab executive Mark Pundsack as the company's new Chief Product Officer, according to the company. Replicated, which is led by CEO Grant Miller, focused on enterprise customers who are using the open source Kubernetes framework to deploy their cloud applications. Pundsack was previously Head of Product for GitLab. Kubernetes--originally developed by Google, but now open source--helps with application deployment, scaling, and management.
socalTECH.com 07/10/2020 14:03
Electric truck maker Rivian, which has development offices in Irvine and Carson, California, said this week that it has raised an additional $2.5 billion in funding. The new funding round was led by T. Rowe Price Associates, and also included Soros Fund Management, Fidelity, Baron Capital, and Amazon and BlackRock. Rivian is in the midst of bringing its first vehicles--the RT1 pickup and RS1 SUV--to market. The company also is working with Amazon to deploy its electric vehicles for Amazon delivery vans.
socalTECH.com 07/10/2020 09:10
Los Angeles-based advertising technology developer The Trade Desk says that its Chief Strategy Officer, Brian Stempeck, will step down from the firm on September 1st. Stempeck was employee number eight at the company, and has been at the company for more than ten years. e originally founded and ran the company's New York office, before moving to Los Angeles in 2018. HThe company said Stempeck will continue in an advisory role through January 31, 2021. Trade Desk develops a self-service, cloud-based platform, ad buyers can create, manage, and optimize digital advertising campaigns.
socalTECH.com 07/10/2020 08:15
Monrovia, California-based biopharmaceuticals developer Xencor says it has linked with another biotechnology company, Atreca, to research, develop and commercialize T cell engaging bispecific antibodies as potential therapeutics in oncology. According to the companies, they will team in a three-year discovery program, where Atreca will provide antibodies against novel tumor targets from which Xencor will engineer XmAb bispecific antibodies that also bind to the CD3 receptor on T cells. The two said that up to two joint programs will be mutually selected for further development and commercialization, with each partner sharing 50 percent of costs and profits.
socalTECH.com 07/10/2020 07:21
Carlsbad, California-based satellite Internet provider Viasat says it has removed the speed limits on its Ka-band in-flight Internet for its business aviation customers. The company did not say why it decided to remove the prior limits, however, the company provides both commercial in-flight Internet as well as business in-flight Internet through those same satellites, in addition to running an at-home satellite broadband serviec, WildBlue. The company said it has lifted those speed restrictions, due to growing demand for applications including video-conferencing and high-definition video streaming. The company said the lifting of those limits will enable business-critical productivity and entertainment apps such as video-conferencing, acce.
socalTECH.com 07/09/2020 13:29
Los Angeles-based Not Me Solutions, which develops software used for reporting misconduct at companies, has named two new advisors, including the former Chief Compliance Officer of Google. According to the company, it appointed Andy Hinton, former Vice-President and Chief Compliance Officer at Google Inc, as well as Susan Lovegren, a former Medallia exec who was in charge of that firm's People and Culture team. NotMe is led by founder and CEO Ariel Weindling. NotMe says its platform is free, neutral, and anonymous, and is an app which helps prevent and report racism, discrimination, bullying and misconduct of any kind. The company allows organizations to subscribe to gain deeper insight into issues being reported at their firms. Hinton prev.

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