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Coco Huang

Stories by Coco

Innovative Companies Turn LA into an AI Hub

Businesses deliver mix of innovative applications

The idea of artificial intelligence may conjure up images of robots and mechanical automation, but for businesses, the technology’s applications are much more wide-ranging.

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Former Riot Exec Seavers Joins AppOnboard as CEO

Former Riot exec takes the helm at developer

Sawtelle-based AppOnboard Inc., a provider of codeless app and game-building tools, has named Riot Games Inc. veteran Mike Seavers as its new chief executive.

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Rocket Lab Launches Probe After Failed Mission

Electron rocket and payloads are lost

Rocket Lab USA Inc., the Long Beach-based space systems company, has begun an investigation into a mission failure that occurred during a launch on July 4.

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Kernel Raises $53 Million Series C

Culver City-based neurotech company HI, known as Kernel, has raised $53 million in a Series C funding round.

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Snap Rolls Out Shows, New Lenses

Social media giant launches offerings to counter TikTok

In a series of moves seemingly made with one eye on advertisers and the other on rapidly growing competitor TikTok, Snap Inc. recently announced shoppable shows, rolled out music lenses and signed partnerships with third-party developers.

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eTailPet Helps Small Stores Boost Their Online Presence

Platform supports sales, inventory management

Santa Monica-based eTail Pet Inc. is giving small pet stores a longer leash in the digital space.

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AEG Plans 5G for Staples Center, LA Live by 2021

AEG planning high-speed service for venues in 2021

Instantaneous livestreaming and multi-angle replay might become a reality next year for music and sports fans at Staples Center and L.A. Live.

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Podcast Biz Is Heating Up

LA companies lead the way in a growing industry

An influx of investment is bringing new momentum to the podcast industry in Los Angeles, which has developed into a hub for the burgeoning medium.

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FaZe Clan Takes Ownership Stake in CTRL

FaZe Clan Inc., the Hollywood-based esports and entertainment company, has taken an ownership stake in CTRL Holdings, a New York-based meal replacement startup.

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MAG USA Acquires Airport Parking Companies

Airport operator MAG buys SM companies

Santa Monica-based airport parking companies Inc. and ParkSleepFly Inc. have been acquired by MAG USA, the U.S. arm of British airport operator Manchester Airports Group.

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Treehouse Raises $2.6 Million

Treehouse Games Inc., a Koreatown-based cooperative video game developer, has raised $2.6 million in a seed round.

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HyreCar Leans Into Deliveries

Company sets partnership with EV maker Arcimoto

HyreCar Inc., the digital car-sharing marketplace, has set its first partnership with a car manufacturer.

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QR Codes Facilitate Contactless Ordering

Companies offer platforms to bars and restaurants

Diners might soon find QR codes popping up on tables as local restaurants reopen under new health and safety guidelines designed to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

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Headspace Adds $48 Million to Series C

Meditation app developer also strikes deal with Snap

Headspace Inc., the Santa Monica-based meditation app developer, has raised an additional $47.7 million in equity from 10 investors for its Series C funding round.

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Rocket Lab USA Planning Monthly Satellite Missions

Next launch is expected after July 3

Rocket Lab USA Inc., the Long Beach-based space systems company, is targeting monthly launches for the remainder of 2020 following a successful June 12 mission that deployed satellites for NASA, the National Reconnaissance Office and the University of New South Wales Canberra Space.

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SpaceX Adds Satellite Client for Latest Launch

Starlink shares payload with Planet Labs

Space Exploration Technologies Corp., the Hawthorne-based aerospace company, launched 58 Starlink satellites on a Falcon 9 rocket on June 13, then successfully landed the rocket on a waiting SpaceX ship at sea.

DroneBase Raises $8M, Sets Plans for Expansion

Series C brings total funding to $32 million so far

Santa Monica-based aerial data analytics company DroneBase Inc. announced $7.5 million in Series C funding, as well as expansion to the renewable energy market and its first overseas office in Germany.

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20 in Their 20s: Joshua Mittler

"We have this core belief that technology can provide solutions to some of the society’s biggest challenges."

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20 in Their 20s: Brandon Cavalier

"Business is all about creating something that benefits all parties involved."

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20 in Their 20s: Alaina Hartley

"Venture capital and technology are such critical levers for driving change across the way we live and work."

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Techstars Announces Participants

Aerospace incubator includes two LA companies

The Techstars Starburst Space Accelerator, an aerospace-focused incubator based in El Segundo, has announced the participants for its 2020 program.

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Riot Plans Investments to Back Minority Efforts

Company sets $10 million in contributions to support publishing companies with leadership that is underrepresented in the gaming community.

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Dating App for Gamers Raises $2 Million

Covalent’s Kippo works to create virtual matches

Downtown-based Covalent Inc., the developer of gamer dating app Kippo, has raised $2 million in a seed round.

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Arch Shifts VFX Work to the Cloud

Platform helps companies cut costs and increase flexibility

The coronavirus pandemic has slowed the visual effects industry, but Hollywood-based Arch Platform Technologies Inc. is helping to bring VFX artists back to their workstations, virtually.

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Subscription Brands Deliver for Consumers

SnackNation, Winc report a surge in new customers

For consumers stuck at home during the pandemic, a surprise delivery box just might be the thing that lights up their day.

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Bird Scraps Some Scooters

Company curtails operations in Middle East

Santa Monica-based Bird Rides Inc. is reportedly scrapping 8,000 to 10,000 e-scooters across cities Qatar, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.

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Activision Postpones 'Call of Duty' Releases

Activision Publishing Inc. has postponed new versions of its "Call of Duty" first-person shooter games due to nationwide unrest.

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TrueCar Lays Off 30% of Staff

The job cuts were made in anticipation of the termination of TrueCar’s partnership with USAA Federal Savings Bank.

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Bride and Gloom

LA’s wedding industry is reeling — but vendors see a happy ending

The wedding industry was a healthy year-round business in Los Angeles, until Covid-19 crashed the party.

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Furniture Rental Startup Fernish Raises $15 Million

Service looks to expand in additional markets

Beverly Grove-based furniture startup Fernish has raised a $15 million Series A, bringing its total funding to $45 million.

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Frame Wellness Rolls Out Therapist Service

Matches Angelenos with mental health help

Frame Wellness Inc., a Santa Monica-based mental health care company, has launched Frame Matching, a service that connects Angelenos with therapists.

Manned Mission Opens Opportunities for SpaceX

Launch secures company’s status with NASA

A SpaceX Crew Dragon rocket launches the first manned mission from U.S. soil since 2011.

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Mayer Leaves Disney to Lead TikTok as CEO

Social video platform taps entertainment veteran

Kevin Mayer, a longtime Walt Disney Co. executive, has left the company to become chief executive of TikTok, the rapidly growing short-video platform owned by Chinese startup ByteDance Ltd.

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Crisis Speeds Growth Among Gaming Companies

Usage and time spent rise sharply across most pay and free games

Gaming companies, already a nimble bunch, are adapting and even thriving in a Covid-19 world.

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Tapcart Gets a Big Boost for Its App

Startup secures $10 million to expand ecommerce tool

Santa Monica-based ecommerce startup Tapcart Inc. has raised $10 million in a Series A round led by San Francisco-based SignalFire.

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Motiv Rolls Out Robotic Space Arms

Scalable system is designed to cut costs of on-orbit work

Motiv Space Systems Inc., a Pasadena-based space motion control and robotics company, has developed a modular robotic arm system that can perform on-orbit assembly and satellite servicing tasks.

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UpKeep Technologies Hits $49 Million in Funding

Firm will use new funds to improve app for technicians

UpKeep Technologies Inc., the Westwood-based work-order management software developer, said it has raised $36 million in a Series B, bringing the company’s total funding to $48.8 million.

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Miller Steps Down at Cornerstone

Departure of CEO comes after company closes $1.3 billion purchase of Saba

Cornerstone OnDemand Inc., the Santa Monica-based talent management software developer, said founder and Chief Executive Adam Miller will step down and transition to co-chairman, effective June 15.

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Fintech Finli Helps Small Businesses Find Customers

Startup’s packages build client relationships

Finli Inc., a downtown-based fintech startup, is adapting to the Covid-19 crisis by helping its customers adapt.

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Fair Names Stewart as New CEO

Car leasing startup hires former XOJet executive

Fair Financial Corp., a Santa Monica-based car leasing and financing provider backed by SoftBank Vision Fund, has named Bradley Stewart as the company’s new chief executive.

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Rocket Lab Buys Sinclair

Acquisition of satellite firm will improve production

Rocket Lab USA Inc., a Long Beach-based space systems company, has acquired Canadian satellite hardware manufacturer Sinclair Interplanetary.

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Aerojet Secures $1.8 Billion NASA Project

Agency expands contract for SLS rocket engines

Rocket propulsion manufacturer Aerojet Rocketdyne Inc., a subsidiary of El Segundo-based Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings Inc., was awarded a $1.79 billion follow-on contract by NASA to manufacture engines.

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Embodied Plans Robot for Children

Machine learning device Moxie aids development

Embodied Inc., a Pasadena-based artificial intelligence and robotics company, has created an animatronic companion that it describes as “a Pixar character coming to life.”

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Montauk Buys Caltech IP

Geolocation tools will help emergency responders

Montauk Technologies has secured intellectual property rights from Caltech for technologies that can help first responders, miners and underwater workers locate humans and objects when GPS falls short.

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Activision Levels Up Full-Year Outlook

Latest ‘Call of Duty’ release drives company’s strong quarterly results

Santa Monica-based video game publisher Activision Blizzard Inc. has raised its full-year outlook after beating revenue expectations and reporting net income growth in the first quarter ended March 31.

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Tok of the Town

A captive and voracious audience powers mobile app TikTok to new heights

If there’s one business that has enjoyed a substantial boost from the lockdown prompted by Covid-19, it’s short-form video app TikTok.

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Modern Animal Provides Clients Virtual Pet Care

Startup relies on app, remote capabilities

Modern Animal Inc., a company that provides telemedicine services in its veterinary clinic, opened its first location in Beverly Grove in April.

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Scopely Picks Up PierPlay

Mobile publisher acquires development studio

Scopely Inc., a Culver City-based mobile game publisher and developer, announced April 28 that it has acquired PierPlay, a game development studio based in Culver City.

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SpaceX Wins $135 Million Contract

NASA seeks return to the moon by 2024

Space Exploration Technologies Corp., the Hawthorne-based aerospace company, was awarded a $135 million contract by NASA as part of a nearly $1 billion effort to return astronauts to the moon by 2024.

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Scopely Acquires Developer PierPlay

Growing publisher acquires development studio

Scopely Inc., a Culver City-based mobile game publisher and developer, announced April 28 that it has acquired PierPlay, a game development studio based in Culver City.

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