Tech roundup: VR architecture firm launches, Hypebeast acquires The Berrics, and more

by John Siegel
February 22, 2018
Peter Thiel
Image via creative commons

Peter Thiel relocates to LA

One of tech's biggest names is the latest to leave Silicon Valley for Los Angeles. Prolific entrepreneur — PayPal, Palantir Technologies, MORE — and investor Peter Thiel, who purchased a home in Hollywood Hills West in 2012, has decided to relocate from the Bay Area to Los Angeles. According to the LA Times, Thiel plans to move his Thiel Capital and Thiel Foundation south with him, though Founders Fund, will remain in San Francisco. [LA Times]


the berrics skate compane ecommerce media los angeles

HypeBeast buys majority stake in skate-centric media company The Berrics

One of the biggest names in skating has a new backer. Originally established as a skatepark in a secluded section of DTLA, The Berrics has become one of the most prominent names in skateboarding thanks to its combined media and e-commerce presence.

Founded by legendary skaters Eric Koston and Steve Berra, TechCrunch revealed this week that Hypebeast is purchasing 51 percent of the company and a majority board seat. Founded in 2005, Hypebeast — another media and e-commerce company — went public on the Hong Kong stock exchange. Los Angeles is considered by many to be the capital of skateboarding and has inspired a number of local pro skaters, who have followed the steps of Koston in their entrepreneurial efforts. [TechCrunch]


bird santa monica scooter startup

Another week, another flurry of tech fundings

The early funding successes we saw in January don't appear to have slowed and we're not even through February. Last week, seven local startups collectively raised $77.4 million — in just four days.  [Built In LA]


the boring company elon musk los angeles tech

The Boring Company receives approval to start digging new route

While his Hawthorne-based SpaceX venture might be in the news for repeatedly having to push back the launch date of its rockets due to high winds, Elon Musk had news to share about his other startup this week. According to Musk, The Boring Company received verbal government approval to break ground on a hyperloop tunnel running from New York City to Washington D.C. with stops in Philadelphia and Baltimore. Sort of. The company received a permit to do excavation work in a parking lot in D.C., which, according to The Boring Company, could one day serve as a station. [Washington Post]



Luxury Architecture Firm IR Architects Launches Architecture VR Studio

Luxury architecture firm IR Architects launches architecture VR studio

IR Architects, an architecture firm based here in Los Angeles, announced the launch of sister company AVR this week, a virtual reality studio specializing in architecture. Led by CEO Ignacio Rodriguez, the venture will start producing interactive virtual walkthroughs of real-estate properties. [AVR]


voice guru singing app launch

Voice Guru launches vocal training mobile app

Voice Guru, a tech company that specializes in building products for vocal training, announced the launch of Voxercise, an app that will help singers improve their tone, range and note accuracy. Founded by professional musician and educator, Sara Leib, the app is now available on the App Store and Google Play. [Press Release]



workast productivty startup slack los angeles

Productivity startup Workast adds $1.85 million

Workast, a local startup that develops a productivity tool for assigning and accomplishing tasks, added $1.85 million in funding recently in a round led by Greycroft Partners. The round, which also included participation from Spider Capital, Mucker Capital and Dream Incubator, will allow the Santa Monica-based startup to scale its engineering team and grow the web platform, API and third-party integrations. [Press Release]


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