Tech roundup: SpaceX to send a Tesla to Mars, The Boring Company announces LA routes and more

December 7, 2017

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SpaceX to send a Tesla Roadster to Mars

News from the "sure, why not department?" broke this week when Elon Musk published a series of tweets detailing SpaceX's plan to send a brand new Tesla Roadster to Mars' orbit, just to prove they can. "Payload will be my midnight cherry Tesla Roadster playing Space Oddity," said the Musk in a tweet. "Destination is Mars orbit. Will be in deep space for a billion years or so if it doesn’t blow up on ascent."  [Fast Company]

 

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The Boring Company publishes its planned tunnel map of LA

Elon Musk's The Boring Company released a map of its planned tunnel system for LA County earlier this week, and anyone who is a fan of getting around the city quicker should be absolutely giddy with the company's plans. Stretching from Sherman Oaks in the north and the Long Beach Airport in the south, the network will include stations near UCLA, Santa Monica, Venice and LAX, as well as an offshoot that goes all the way to Dodger Stadium, with stops for the Coliseum, STAPLES Center and Echo Park, among others. Presently, the company is in "Phase 1," which includes the construction of a 6.5-mile proof-of-concept tunnel in LA and Culver City. [Teslarati]

 

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Cie Digital Labs raises $1.8M to launch on-demand tire installation startup

Cie Digital Labs, the Irvine-based startup studio led by CEO Anderee Berengian, announced this week that it had partnered with auto industry veteran James Chen to launch ASAP Tire, an on-demand mobile tire installation startup. To do so, the company raised $1.8 million from Wavemaker Partners, RezVen Partners and a number of industry veterans to get the project off the ground. [Press Release]

 

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South Korean 3D gaming startup announces funding, new LA headquarters

Minkonet, a South Korean gaming startup, announced earlier this week that it had raised $1 million in Pre-Series A capital to help fuel its global expansion, with LA set to serve as the company's North America headquarters. The company also plans to use the financing to fuel the company's next phase of growth. [Minkonet]

 

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Built In's Maria Christopoulos Katris named to Crain's '40 Under 40'

Maria Christopoulos Katris, the fearless CEO of Built In LA's parent organization, Built In, was named to Crain's Chicago Business Journal's '40 under 40' list earlier this week. If you would like to learn more about the Built In and its history, check out the wonderful write-up Crain's Chicago published. [Crain's Chicago]

 

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FabFitFun names new VP of engineering

West-Hollywood-based e-commerce startup FabFitFun had some big news to share this week, naming tech veteran Chris Henley as the company's VP of engineering. Henley comes to West Hollywood from the Bay Area, where he acted as CTO for SF-based personalized nutrition startup Habit. In his role, Henley will manage software development across multiple platforms and technologies. [FabFitFun]

 

 

Fundings of the week

Earny$9 million

Earny, an LA-based startup that made Built In LA's 50 LA startups to watch in 2017 at the beginning of the year, officially announced the close of a $9 million Series A this week. Mayfield led the round, which also included participation from Comcast Ventures and Science Inc. [TechCrunch]

Prevoty$13 million

LA-based Prevoty, a startup that develops app security software, announced the close of a $13 million round of funding this week. In addition to the influx of capital, Trident Capital Cybersecurity — which led the round — managing director Sean Cunningham will join the company's board of advisors. [SoCal Tech]