Tech roundup: Google opens massive Playa Vista office, Spotify's rumored move, and more

February 1, 2018

Google Los Angeles Office

Google moves into historic LA landmark

Google's new Playa Vista headquarters is ready for Googlers, but the tech giant won't be the 300,000-square-foot facility's first inhabitants. The repurposed airplane hangar was once home to Howard Hughes' famous Spruce Goose, and according to Google's corporate website, employees — who had been in Frank Gehry's famous Binoculars Building in Venice — are ready to move in. In 2017, Google landed at number six on Built In LA's top 100 tech companies in LA and Orange Counties. [Google]

 

spotify music streaming company
Image via Shutterstock

Reports: Spotify to launch LA offices in DTLA's Arts District

DTLA's Arts District is about to get a little more crowded, according to LA real estate blog The Real Deal, which reported that the company is close to leasing a 100,000-square-foot office in the At Mateo complex. Currently, the music streaming giant's LA office is located in an 8,200-square-foot facility on Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood. [The Real Deal]

 

survios vr gaming startup los angeles

Survios announces first VR arcade location

LA-based virtual reality gaming studio Survios announced the location of its first ever VR arcade this week at the Del Amo Fashion Center in Torrance. The company has created a new version of its title game "Raw Data" to offer arcade visitors faster load times and simpler in-game menus, among other new features. The company has not revealed the arcade's launch date. [VR Focus]

 

Tech Acquisitions

Fair autotech cartech fintech los angeles startup

Fair acquires Uber's leasing portfolio company, Xchange Leasing

LA-based fintech company Fair, a company that offers users a new, innovative way of leasing cars, announced this week it had a deal in place to purchase Uber's Xchange Leasing, a company established by the ridesharing giant in 2015 to lease cars to Uber drivers without cars of their own. Financial details were not discussed. Recently, Fair was named by Built In LA as one of 50 Startups to Watch in 2018. [TechCrunch]

 

hawke media santa monica marketing startup

Hawke Media acquires Venice-based Execute.LA

Santa Monica-based digital marketing agency Hawke Media had some exciting news to share this week, with the company announcing that it had acquired growth marketing startup and Venice resident Execute.LA for an undisclosed sum. Terms of the deal were not revealed. [NBC]

 

Products & partnerships

service travel tech los angeles

Service launches tool to help travelers recoup hotel costs

Service, an LA-based startup that helps travelers get compensated for flight disruptions, announced this week it would be launching in the hotel space, helping people collect money should a hotel lower its rates once the room is already booked. Once signed-up, the company's platform monitors hotel rates to ensure the consumers get the best deal, rebooking once a price drops. Last year, Built In LA spoke with the company's CEO, Michael Schneider, about his favorite productivity hacks. [Service]

 

pledgeling evite los angeles tech companies

Pledgeling, Tinder partner up for the puppies

If you're wondering why more and more puppies have been popping up on your Tinder account, you should know that it's not some scam, it's actually for a great cause. Local startups Tinder and Pledgeling have joined forces in honor of this year's Puppy Bowl to set up a donation page that will support the ASPCA, offering Americans a chance to swipe right for a good cause, as opposed to the usual loneliness. [Pledgeling]

 

Fundings of the week

Wag!, $300 million

Dog walking and boarding app Wag!, which calls West Hollywood home, broke the bank with its latest round of funding, taking in $300 million to accelerate growth. The company also announced it had added tech veteran and investor Hilary Schneider, formerly the CEO of LifeLock, as its next CEO. [Built In LA]

 

NEXT Trucking$21 million

Lynwood-based transportation and logistics startup NEXT Trucking added more funds to its war chest this week, securing $21 million in a round led by Sequoia Capital. Last summer, Built In LA took a look at how the company is streamlining the antiquated shipping industry with its proprietary tech platform. [TechCrunch]

 

Mammoth Media, $13 million

Mammoth Media, a Santa Monica-based developer develops mobile apps to acquire audiences and monetize original, short-form content, closed a $13 million Series A on Wednesday. The round of funding was led by Greylock Partners and included participation from Science, Inc. [FINSMES]

 

Joymode$14.4 million

Joymode, a company that offers consumers a subscription service that provides access to awesome products that really don't make sense for consumers to own — like, say, bounce houses or outdoor projector screens — announced this week it had raised an additional $14.4 million in funding. Founded in 2015 by Klout founder Joe Fernandez — who decided to leave the Bay Area for LA after Klout was acquired — has now raised $17.4 million to date. [TechCrunch

 

Funraise, $9.7 million

Long Beach-based nonprofit fundraising software startup Funraise added $9.7 million in funding this week in a round led by Toba Capital. As a part of the deal, Toba Capital's Rajan Aggarwal will be joining the company's board, which already has a seat occupied by Toba's Vinny Smith. [Press Release]

 

Songtradr, $4 million

Songtradr, a company that helps users and businesses license commercial music, announced it had raised $4 million this week. The company also noted that its platform has more than 140,000 artists and catalogs to date. [SoCal Tech]

 

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