Thursday, October 8, 2015
SpaceX To Launch Israeli Mission To The Moon
In the first, commercial effort to deliver a payload to the moon, Hawthorne-based rocket developer SpaceX is set to launch a robotic mission from an Israeli company to the moon. SpaceIL, an Israeli company which is part of the Google Lunar X Prize, said this week that it has booked a spot on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket in 2017, to launch a robotic probe to the moon. Its payload--developed as part of the Google Lunar X Prize--is targeted at landing what will be the first, Israeli spacecraft to set d (More info...)

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LA Angel Investors Put Backing Into E-Sports Franchise, The Immortals
A long list of Los Angeles angel investors has made a foray into the interesting new area of e-sports, saying Wednesday that they have acquired Team 8, a professional e-sports team, and renamed the team, the Immortals. The professional video game team competes in the League of Legends North American League Championship Series. Investors in the team include Clinton Foy, who is a venture capitalist at Crosscut Ventures; Brian Lee of Honost Co.; Peter Levin of Lionsgate Interactive Ventures; Allen (More info...)

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SoCal Angel Investors See IPO Pop At CytomX
A number of Southern California angel investors are undoubtedly breaking out the champagne this morning, after the successful IPO of CytomX Therapeutics, a developer of cancer therapeutics which was spun out of UC Santa Barbara. Cytomx priced its IPO at $12.00 per share last night, raising $80M for the company, and had surged as high as $17.02 in morning trading. The company was around $14.48, up 20% from its IPO price, mid-day on Wall Street. Cytomx Therapeutics was initially funded by a group (More info...)

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Hixme Raises $10.4M For Health Insurance Efforts
Agoura-based Hixme Insurance Solutions, which is developing a platform to help employers with managing health insurance, disclosed Wednesday that it has raised $10.4M in a Series A funding. The funding came from Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers. The company says it is looking to help compmanies predict and budget for health insurance, save money, and help employees tailor insurance coverage for their needs. The company is led by Denny Weinberg, who spent 20 years as co-founder & Executive Vice (More info...)

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Disney Accelerator Demo Day: Artificial Intelligence, 3D Printing, More

The Disney Accelerator held its Demo Day for its second class on Thursday, showing off ten companies to a theater packed full of venture and angel investors. The event, held at Disney's Burbank Studios, included companies demonstrating 3D, Disney-themed printed prosthetic arms; artificial intelligence which allows you to carry on a private conversation with Miss Piggy over social messaging services; brain monitoring headsets; and much more. Four of the companies in this year's accelerator clas (More info...)

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Sphero CEO: Star Wars Robot, BB-8, Sold Out Worldwide In One Hour
Were you one of those Star Wars fans who had hoped to grab the new Star Wars BB-8 robot on its launch day last month? Apparently, Sphero, the company which developed BB-8 for the Walt Disney Company, sold out its entire, global stock of the product within an hour of launch, according to Sphero CEO Paul Berberian. Berberian, speaking at Disney's Accelerator Demo Day in Burbank on Thursday, said the company's participation in the accelerator ramped up its sales volume by over 500 times what it had (More info...)

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Real Appeal Links Hollywood Celebrity, Tracking Gadgets For Weight Loss
Los Angeles-based Real Appeal, which is backed by health company UnitedHealth Group, said Wednesday that it has launched a new personalized, interactive online weight loss program which taps into both celebrities and connected fitness devices to help improve the health of employees. According to Real Appeal, it uses personal coaches, a Hollywoodd cast, interactive scales, calorie and weight loss trackers, and much more all combined into a program to help motivate people to lose weight. The new p (More info...)

posted on Thursday, October 8, 2015(Full story)

Pluto TV Adds New Content Partners
Los Angeles-based Pluto TV, which is developing an online Internet TV platform aimed at curating live TV entertainment for Internet users, said Wednesday afternoon that it has signed up a roster of over 20 new content partners fro the service. The startup--backed by USVP, Sky, United Talent Agency, Terry Semel, Great Oaks Venture Capital, Chicago Ventures, Luminari Capital, and others--said the new content deals include AwesomenessTV, Comedy Time Network, Cracked, DHX Media, EuroArts, The Film D (More info...)

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