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Samson Amore

Stories by Samson

Headspace Expands Office Space

Meditation app company has 60 million downloads

Santa Monica-based meditation app developer Headspace has expanded, bringing its total Bergamot Station presence to 22,000 square feet.

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PlayVS Dials Up Riot Partnership

High school esports company leans into ‘League of Legends’

Riot Games Inc. has become the exclusive organizer of PlayVS Inc.’s high school “League of Legends” seasons and championships.

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SpaceX Ramps Up Constellation Efforts

Starlink project aims for global broadband service

Since Hawthorne-based SpaceX began its ambitious Starlink project in late 2018, the company has launched roughly 300 small satellites into low Earth orbit.

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AdQuick Raises $6 Million

Adtech software company will expand teams

Outdoor advertising software company AdQuick Inc. raised a $6 million Series A to expand its sales, marketing and engineering teams.

Uber Closes Downtown Office, Lays Off 80

Ride-hailing company Uber Technologies Inc. closed a customer support office downtown and laid off roughly 80 employees.

Tinder Boosts Earnings for Parent Match Group

Digital dating service reports a 36% jump in users for 2019

Dating app owner Match Group reported an estimated 16% annual increase in net income in fiscal 2019, due largely to Tinder, its highest-performing subsidiary.

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Star Gazer

Aerospace Corp.’s Steve Isakowitz is still aiming higher

Steve Isakowitz is president and chief executive of Aerospace Corp., the nation’s only federally funded research and development center focused on aerospace.

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Game On

LA is loaded with esports venues — and there are several more on the way

Gaming-friendly Los Angeles has become a cornerstone for esports, thanks to the rollout of several competition arenas that have opened here in recent years.

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Canoo Partners with Hyundai

Torrance-based Canoo will partner with Hyundai Motor Group to develop an electric vehicle platform for Hyundai and Kia models based on its designs.

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GumGum Gains $22 Million

Artificial intelligence and advertising firm GumGum raised a $22 million Series D funding round from existing investors.

Software Startups Deliver Innovation

ChowNow, Ordermark and ServiceTitan connect companies, consumers

While some technology developed by L.A.-based software startups is invisible to the average consumer, the impact is anything but.

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Silicon Beach Bash

Local tech execs are lifting LA to new heights

While Silicon Valley remains home for many technology industry heavyweights, Los Angeles is rapidly gaining ground as a hub for both startups and established firms.

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Gaming Leaders Work Local, Act Global

Executives at Activision and Riot, among others, are making LA the hub for a burgeoning industry

Gaming is a global industry, but few cities are as entrenched in the production and development of video games as Los Angeles.

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Snap Points to Growth

Earnings disappoint but users increase to 218M

While shares of Snap Inc. slumped last week following lower-than-expected results for fourth-quarter earnings, the company said aggressive efforts to increase users and reduce losses were generating positive results.

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Helping the World Buzz, Ride and Scoot

Consumer tech companies like Ring, Canoo and Bird are changing industries

Los Angeles consumer tech companies and the executives who launched them have been at the forefront of some of the most successful — and ubiquitous — products and services of the past decade.

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2020 Who's Who in Tech

Well Connected

Get to know the innovative executives who make Silicon Beach an essential hub in the tech industry.

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Media Draws a Crowd in Silicon Beach

Companies like Snap, YouTube, TikTok and more have proven they can attract talent along with users

As digital media continues to evolve, and as entertainment plays an increasingly crucial role in the category, Silicon Beach has developed into an essential location for big and ambitious companies.

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HopSkipDrive Raises $22 Million

HopSkipDrive, a rideshare service for children, raised a $22 million funding round.

Activision Brings on Sponsors

‘Call of Duty’ league lands PlayStation, Mountain Dew

Santa Monica-based game publisher Activision Blizzard Inc. signed several high-profile sponsors for its new “Call of Duty” League, two weeks after launching the professional esports competition.

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BYD Buses Rolling into Toronto

Canada’s top transit operator starts deal with EV maker

BYD Motors Inc., the downtown-based electric bus manufacturer, delivered two vehicles to the Toronto Transit Commission, Canada’s largest transit operator, as the first part of a 10-bus order.

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Bird Buys Berlin Company

Company also adds $75M to Series D

Electric scooter operator Bird Rides Inc. acquired Circ, an electric scooter company headquartered in Berlin, in a bid to expand the Santa Monica-based company’s European operations.

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Draper Goren Holm Backing LunarCrush

Venture firm leads seed round for crypto data startup

Venture capital and private equity investment firm Draper Goren Holm has made its first investment since a major management move in December, leading a seed round for Costa Mesa-based LunarCrush Inc.

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MedMen CEO Bierman Steps Down

Adam Bierman will step down in February from the cannabis company he helped establish in 2010.

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BYD to Build Rancho Dominguez Plant

EV maker BYD Motors will construct a 50,000-square-foot facility in Rancho Dominguez to house its electric forklifts.

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Whip Media Raises $50 Million

Multimedia analysis firm and TV Time parent company Whip Networks Inc. raised a $50 million Series D.

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Auto information and car appraisal service Inc. will lay off 130 employees, effective in March.

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ProGuides Raises $5 Million Seed Round

GLG Gaming Inc. raised a $5 million seed round for ProGuides, its instructional video platform for gamers.

MedMen Exec Revamps Ops

Lissack confident in retailer’s future, technology

Just over a year into his tenure at the cannabis retailer, Lissack has become a linchpin at the company, overseeing multiple areas of the business.

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Gaining Momentum

Tech: The flurry of M&A activity figures to continue

L.A. tech companies experienced a flurry of mergers and acquisitions in late 2019, and that momentum is expected to continue in the coming months.

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TikTok Opens Culver City Office

Social media company TikTok has opened an office in Silicon Beach.

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Scopely Acquires FoxNext Games

Scopely Inc. acquired Playa Vista-based game developer FoxNext Games from the Walt Disney Co.

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Riot Games Settlement Is Challenged by State

Offer in sex discrimination suit is called inadequate

Five months after announcing a negotiated settlement in a sex discrimination and pay inequity lawsuit, Riot Games Inc. could be headed back to court.

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Califa Farms Raises $225 Million

Dairy-free brand plans global expansion

Califa Farms raised $225 million to fuel its international expansion and launch new product lines.

Warner Bros. Signs Cinelytic

Deal brings firm’s AI software to film studio

Warner Bros. Pictures International is betting that artificial intelligence can help manage its expansive catalog.

Hollywood Software Firms Merge

Entertainment Partners acquires SyncOnSet

Burbank-based Entertainment Partners has acquired Culver City-based software developer SyncOnSet Technologies Inc.

March Capital Partners Leads Action IQ Series C

Santa Monica-based venture investors March Capital Partners led a $32 million funding round for data startup ActionIQ.

SpinLaunch Raises $35 Million

Small satellite launch firm SpinLaunch Inc. has raised a $35 million equity round.

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Activision Answers ‘Call’

Company retools esports league, seeks revenue

After shutting down an existing esports league, Activision Blizzard Inc. is betting big on a new league that will begin its inaugural season Jan 24.

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LA Companies Turn Heads at CES

Quibi streaming slate, Ring gear and Hyundai flying cars generate buzz

From ambitious streaming services to fantastical flying cars, Los Angeles companies demonstrated innovative concepts in droves last week in Las Vegas at the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show.

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MedMen Sells More Assets

Retailer ramps up efforts to raise $74 million

Culver City-based cannabis retailer MedMen Enterprises Inc. is continuing its aggressive push to implement its restructuring plan in light of large losses.

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Tencent Buys Stake in Universal Music Group

China-based Tencent Holdings announced an agreement to purchase 10% of Santa Monica-based Universal Music Group's share capital.

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EA Taps Zampella to Lead DICE Los Angeles

Electronic Arts chose veteran gaming executive Vince Lampella to lead the Los Angeles office of its subsidiary game developer, DICE.

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Snap Acquires AI Factory for $166 Million

Santa Monica-based Snap Inc. paid $166 million to acquire AI Factory Inc., a San Francisco-based startup founded by Snap's director of engineering.

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Bent Pixels Adds Clients

New esports division expands firm’s offerings

The newly established esports division of media services and video publishing house Bent Pixels landed two new clients as 2019 drew to a close.

Wag Wraps Year with More Layoffs

Cuts follow Softbank’s sale of majority stake

Dog-walking application developer Wag Labs Inc. closed out a turbulent 2019 with another round of layoffs, according to a filing with the California Employment Development Department.

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PE Firm LS Power Group Buys EVgo

Maker of electric vehicle charging stations says deal will boost growth

Private equity firm LS Power Group, which invests in clean power and alternative energy sources across the country, has acquired a majority stake in EVgo Services.

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Tech: SpaceX enters launch mode while telecoms look to dial up 5G

Home of L.A.’s most innovative technology companies made bold promises in 2019. Now investors and consumers will be watching closely to see if they can deliver in 2020.

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LA Companies Prep for CES

Tech: Ring, Quibi among brands heading to Las Vegas

Although it takes place at the Las Vegas Convention Center, the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show is a key event for technology companies and startups based in Los Angeles.

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BAM Ventures Makes Its Mark

Tech: VC firm backs big and small LA startups

After several years of investing quietly, BAM Ventures is making some noise, generating headlines in November with its largest exit to date when Mid-Wilshire-based ecommerce software developer Honey Science Corp. was sold to Paypal Holdings Inc. for $4 billion.

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Culture Genesis Acquires All Def Digital

Digital content studio Culture Genesis Inc. acquired the assets of All Def Digital, a media company founded by Russell Simmons.