Tech roundup: Hyperloop One's new investor, LAPD authorizes drone program and more

by John Siegel
October 19, 2017

Hyperloop One becomes Virgin Hyperloop One

The Hyperloop One hype train got a major boost last week with news that entrepreneur Richard Branson and his Virgin Group has invested in the Arts District startup. The investment kicks off a new era for the company, which will change its name to Virgin Hyperloop One over the coming months. Branson will join the company's board of directors, where he will join Ziyavudin Magomedov, chairman of the Summa Group, and Jim Rosenthal, the former COO of Morgan Stanley, who were appointed to the startup's board this week. [Hyperloop One]


LA Police Commision approves drone use by LAPD

The Los Angeles Police Department officially approved a one-year pilot program for drones, making it the largest city in the nation to launch such an effort. Over the last few years, LA has become home to a number of drone startups, including companies like DroneBase and AirMap. [LA Times]


Southern California cities prep to woo Amazon

A number of Southern California cities are prepping pitches for e-commerce giant Amazon to bring its new headquarters to the area. Pomona, Irvine and Los Angeles are in the process of developing proposals, while a Santa Ana real estate developer is in the process of working with the cities of Santa Ana and Garden Grove to get a proposal together for the e-commerce giant. [LA Times]


Enervee, Pick My Solar team up to build the first solar energy marketplace

LA-based startups Enervee and Pick My Solar have joined forces to offer what is being touted as the first solar energy marketplace for U.S. consumers. The solution is built utilizing Enervee's existing consumer product marketplace that provides consumers with pricing and energy efficiency rankings for different household objects. [Press Release]


Cover showcases its first completed, installed unit

Cover, the Gardena based startup that develops energy-efficient, affordable housing, put its first fully-installed unit on display recently, showcasing its tiny structure that took just three days and $250 to complete. Back in May, the company raised $1.6 million. [Digital Trends]


Fundings of the week

Pluto TV$8 million

Investors: Samsung Venture Investment Corporation

Pluto TV, an LA-based startup that offers free television, announced this week that it had raised $8.3 million to expand its product offering, as well as its marketing efforts. Presently, the services offers 100 live channels, in addition to a video-on-demand service. [LA Biz Journal]

VY EsportsUndisclosed

Investors: Raine Ventures, Courtside Ventures, Elysian Park Ventures and others

VY Esports, a local startup that has built a content and service platform to help brands reach fans of e-sports, closed an undisclosed seed round of funding this week. The company plans to use the financing to invest in talent acquisition and build partnerships in the e-sports industry. [VY Esports]


Images via social media and Shutterstock.

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