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Coco Huang

Stories by Coco

SpaceX Successfully Launches Manned Mission

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

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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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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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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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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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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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Miso Seeking $30 Million Round

Robotics company turns to crowdfunding platform

Miso Robotics Inc., a Pasadena-based robotics and artificial intelligence company, is seeking to raise a $30 million Series C through crowdfunding on the SeedInvest platform.

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Boost Connects Buyers With Sellers

Startup helps complete transactions through texts

Boost Inc., a Calabasas-based ecommerce startup, is trying to reach modern shoppers using a new approach that employs some familiar technology.

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FaZe Clan Raises $40 Million

Iovine, Ntwrk lead Series A funding round

FaZe Clan Inc., a Hollywood-based esports and entertainment company, announced it has raised $40 million in Series A funding.

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Snap Planning $750 Million Offering

Reports surge in earnings and users

Snap Inc. announced a $750 million debt offering the day after reporting a jump in first-quarter earnings and daily active users.

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Wooden to Depart Tourism Board

CEO will retire at the end of June

Ernest Wooden Jr. will retire at the end of June as president and chief executive of the Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board.

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Smoke Signals

Most cannabis businesses are experiencing a virus-driven surge

This spring has been a rollercoaster ride for many cannabis dispensaries in Los Angeles.

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SpaceX Sets Date for First Manned Launch

NASA announces launch date for manned SpaceX flight to the International Space Station.

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Riot Games Acquires Hypixel Studios

Riot Games acquires Canadian video game developer Hypixel Studios.

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Former Echo Fox Investor Launches Gaming Network

Venture capitalist Stratton Sclavos has launched Players Ntwrk, a digital gaming and entertainment network operated by Vision Esports Inc., a company he created and privately funded.

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Services Helping Teachers, Students

Cornerstone, TutorMe offer courses, guidance

Several Los Angeles tech businesses have stepped up to assist the thousands of students and educators across the United States who are adapting to virtual classrooms amid coronavirus-driven school closures.

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Allset Raises $8M Series B

Restaurant app developer to expand in key markets

Playa Vista-based restaurant app developer Allset Technologies Inc. said it has raised $8.25 million in a Series B funding round led by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in London.

SpaceX Cargo Capsule Returns from Space Station

SpaceX completes its 20th commercial resupply service mission.

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Sanitizer Production Boosts Local Distillers

Businesses race to keep up with demand

For L.A. distillers, a quick pivot to producing hand sanitizer instead of crafting small-batch spirits made civic and, they hope, business sense.

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Bird Rides, ZipRecruiter Slash Teams by One-Third

Slowdown prompts businesses to scale back

Two high-flying Santa Monica-based companies each cut about one-third of their workforces, totaling nearly 900 people, in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Virgin Orbit to Make Ventilators for Covid-19 Patients

Virgin Orbit will start making a "bridge ventilator" for partially recovered Covid-19 patients at its Long Beach manufacturing facility.

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Robin Games Raises $7 Million Round

Developer plans mobile games aimed at women

Mobile-game developer Robin Games Inc., which was founded by former Jam City Inc. executive Jill Wilson, has raised $7 million in a seed round.

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RCT Studio Raises $10 Million

Developer will target VR platforms

RCT Studio, a Burbank-based developer of interactive games, announced it has raised $10 million in Series A funding.

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LA Businesses Racing to Adapt

Virus drives virtual, ecommerce options

Companies in Los Angeles County are finding new ways to conduct business since state and local officials issued rules designed to combat the spread of Covid-19.

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Mixed Results for SpaceX

Launches satellites but loses booster

The latest effort by Hawthorne-based Space Exploration Technologies Corp. to increase its international broadband internet service produced mixed results.

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Activision Names Alegre as President

Former Google exec will report to Kotick

Game publisher Activision Blizzard Inc. has seen a high-profile game rollout, the arrival of a new senior executive and the departure of a key company veteran in a short time frame.

Scopely Secures Additional $200 Million

Chernin, Advance contribute to company’s Series D funding round

Scopely Inc., a Culver City-based mobile game publisher, announced an additional $200 million in Series D funding.

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Hiring Tests Seek to Eliminate Bias

Assessment company valued at $56M

West Hollywood-based preemployment assessment company Criteria Corp. says tools like personality tests help better predict candidates’ future performance than resumes and interviews alone.

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TrueCar Names Darrow President, CEO

Industry veteran assumes top spots after serving in interim capacity

TrueCar Inc. has named Mike Darrow president and chief executive. He will also assume a seat on TrueCar’s board.

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Video Game Companies May Be Poised for Gains

Virus could increase demand

The gaming industry stands to be one of the few sectors that could benefit from the coronavirus pandemic despite losses triggered by disrupted conferences and esports tournaments.

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Welcome Technologies Secures $8 Million

Software company helps Latino immigrants

Welcome Technologies, a Brentwood-based software technology company, raised an additional $8 million in institutional funding.

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VR Firm Raises $15M to Add Content

Talespin investors include Cornerstone, Farmers

Culver City-based virtual reality company Talespin announced $15 million in series B funding led by Cornerstone OnDemand Inc., a provider of cloud-based learning software.

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LA’s Electric Vehicle Talent Pool Is Driving Industry Changes

BYD increases skilled worker training, hiring opportunities

Southern California’s demand for electric vehicle industry skilled workers will continue to grow, further pushing up salaries and filling local training classrooms, according to a new report.

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Is Musk Considering Tesla-SpaceX Project?

Combined tech could drive profits

Industry experts speculate that SpaceX founder Elon Musk could tap his aerospace company’s communications technology to support a key element of his automotive company, Tesla Inc.

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