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Silicon Beach Report July 19: Pasadena Avatar-Generating Startup Oben Inc. Raises $5 Million

Pasadena avatar-generating startup Oben Inc. raises $5 million, NBC adds Snapchat news show, and SpaceX not going to land Dragon capsule on Mars with rocket thrusters.

Pasadena Avatar-Generating Startup Oben Inc. Raises $5 Million

Artificial intelligence startup Oben Inc. said it has raised a $5 million round led by Chinese investment firm Tencent Holdings, reports the Business Journal. The Pasadena company’s technology creates 3-D avatars that look and talk like their real-life human counterparts.

NBC Adds Snapchat News Show

NBC News announced on Wednesday that it will begin publishing a twice-daily news show called “Stay Tuned” exclusively on Snapchat, reports Recode. The network will have 30 employees working on the show which will appear in Snapchat’s Discover section in the morning and evening each weekday.

SpaceX Not Going to Land Dragon Capsule on Mars with Rocket Thrusters

Elon Musk suggested that SpaceX will abandon its plans to land the company’s Dragon capsule on Mars, a mission the company aims to do as early as 2020, using its rocket thrusters, reports The Verge. Musk said the company will come up with another way to land vehicles on the Martian surface.

Technology reporter Garrett Reim can be reached at greim@labusinessjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter @garrettreim for the latest in L.A. tech news.

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