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Samson Amore

Stories by Samson

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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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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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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Hollywood Software Firms Merge

Entertainment Partners acquires SyncOnSet

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

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.

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.

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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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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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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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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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.

Wavemaker, Launch Back Seed Round for Balloon

Wavemaker Partners and Launch co-led a $2.1 million seed funding round for software company Balloon.

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Game Effort

Gaming: Riot CEO Nicolo Laurent took steps to put the game publisher back on track

For Nicolo Laurent, chief executive at West L.A.-based Riot Games Inc., 2019 brought some significant gains.

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Postscript Raises $4M Seed Round

SMS marketing firm plans to expand its team in 2020

Text message marketing firm Postscript raised a $4.4 million seed round to expand its workforce and onboard new ecommerce clients.

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A Growing Concern

Cannabis: MedMen made big strides in 2019 before switching gears and cutting costs

It was a year of highs and lows for MedMen Enterprises Inc.

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Star Turn

Tech: Elon Musk made plenty of progress — and headlines — on multiple fronts

Elon Musk had a series of weighty accomplishments in 2019, especially with SpaceX.

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Software Firm X1 Making Big Moves

Idealab company staffs up and moves downtown

Pasadena-based software developer X1 Discovery Inc. is closing out 2019 with a series of big changes.

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Boingo Lays Off 80 Employees

Westwood-based Boingo Wireless has laid off more than 16% of its workforce.

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MedMen Restructuring Brings $37 Million in Savings

MedMen has received $37 million in gross cash proceeds for the sale of various businesses since Nov. 26.

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ProducePay Raises $205 Million Debt Financing

Glendale-based ProducePay Inc. raised a $205 million debt financing round Dec. 10.

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VC Draper Moves into LA

Tech: Deal with SM firm creates Draper Goren Holm

Timothy Draper has a history of funding some of the technology sector’s most prolific startups and now the venture capitalist is bringing his money to Los Angeles.

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Bullish on LA

Struck Capital’s Adam Struck believes the city’s startup community can rival Silicon Valley

Santa Monica-based venture capital firm Struck Capital is all-in on L.A. The firm invests in an array of industries, from lifestyle products and gaming to financial and educational technology.

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Riot Games Creates New Publishing Label

Riot Games announced the launch of Riot Forge, a third-party developer publishing label.

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Deep 6 AI Raises $17 Million Series A

Pasadena medical software developer Deep 6 AI raised a $17 million Series A.

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ServiceTitan Acquires WaterSoftWare

Glendale-based software firm ServiceTitan acquired water treatment software developer WaterSoftWare for an undisclosed sum.

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Wag Names New Chief Executive

Wag Labs Inc. said product head Garrett Smallwood has replaced Hilary Schneider as the company's chief executive.

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Tech: Video firm raises $50M for Hollywood location

New York-based video editing software developer Inc. has raised a $50 million Series C round and will use part of the funding to gain a foothold in the L.A. market.

EVGo Expands Leaf Partnership with Nissan

Charging station company, automaker add more perks

Sawtelle-based EVgo Services has expanded its existing relationship with Japanese automaker Nissan Motor Co. Ltd., offering free charges to Nissan drivers at any of its charging locations.

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Fintech Startup Altruist Raises $8.5 Million

Venice-based startup Altruist Corp. raised an $8.5 million Series A round.

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LA Companies Shine at Auto Show

AUTOS: EV makers, service companies roll out products and court investors

L.A. automakers show off their wares at the L.A. Auto Show.

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Expansion Team

Outsourcing firm TaskUs wins by helping other companies grow

TaskUs uses its expertise in growing companies to manage its own growth.

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Honey Acquired by PayPal for $4 Billion

PayPal Holdings Inc. paid $4 billion to acquire Mid-Wilshire-based ecommerce software developer Honey Science Corp.

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MedMen to Lay Off Nearly 200, Sets Restructuring Plan

Cannabis retailer MedMen Enterprises Inc. will lay off more than 190 employees and restructure its business assets in a bid to achieve a positive balance sheet.

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Immortals Gaming Club Sells Overwatch League Team

Esports organization Immortals Gaming Club finalized the sale of an esports team to Naples, Fla.-based Beasley Broadcast Group Inc. on Nov. 15.

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Growing Pains at Activision

GAMING: Company seeks to balance mobile, console

Activision Blizzard announces better-than-expected third-quarter earnings and a loss of 3 million users.

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Military Business Boosts Boingo

Wi-Fi provider narrows losses in third quarter

Boingo Wireless sees a boost from contracts to provide Wi-Fi to the military.

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HMBradley Nabs $3.5M

Digital banking startup looks to launch in 2020

Halleman Bradley to launch a tech-focused banking platform following a $3.5 million seed round.

Super League Gaming Posts Jump in Third-Quarter Revenue

Santa Monica-based Super League Gaming Inc. reported a third-quarter revenue increase of 129% year over year to $350,000.

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