Tech roundup: Net Neutrality is saved (for now), Verizon's big news, and more

by John Siegel
May 17, 2018
obsidian security orange county cybersecurity startup
Photo via Obsidian Security

U.S. Senate votes to save net neutrality

A Hail Mary by Senate Democrats to stop the repeal of net neutrality protections by the FCC succeeded yesterday afternoon, leading to a 52-47 vote to reinstate the protections. Last December, Built In LA spoke with four local tech leaders about what the end of net neutrality would mean for startups, and no punches were pulled. [Gizmodo]


Photo Via Shutterstock

Los Angeles to receive Verizon 5G before 2019

Los Angeles was revealed as the second of four U.S. cities set to receive Verizon's commercial 5G network before the year 2019. Verizon Chairman and CEO Lowell McAdam revealed that the company had purchased 36 million miles of fiber to deliver the hundreds of megahertz of bandwidth necessary to power all 5G services. In February, AT&T announced that Atlanta, Dallas and Waco would be the first of 12 cities receiving 5G technology, while Sprint opted for Kansas City, Phoenix and New York City. [TechCrunch]


SpaceX transportation tech startup Los Angeles Elon Musk
photo via SpaceX

Elon Musk hints The Boring Company, SpaceX connection

While the vast majority of Angelenos were sound asleep at 3:02 a.m. yesterday morning, Elon Musk was wide awake, taking to Twitter to hint at news he promised to fully flesh out in a presentation later today. Musk, who founded SpaceX and The Boring Company, revealed that part of his vision for The Boring Company involved a 10 to 15-minute Hyperloop trip from downtown Los Angeles to reach the spaceport the company recently received approval to build on Terminal Island. Stay tuned for more information. [CNET]


flixbus transportation startup germany los angeles
photo via flixbus

FlixBus officially launches in Los Angeles

Last month, German transportation startup FlixBus announced that its American expansion would kickoff in Los Angeles. This week, the company commenced ticket sales for routes from LA, Las Vegas, San Diego, Phoenix and Tuscon, with tickets starting at $3. On the surface, the company might seem like a modern take on the Greyhound Bus model, but the company doesn't actually own its fleet of buses. Instead, it manages technology, ticketing, customer service, marketing and sales, while 300 local partners handle the day-to-day operation of the buses. Starting at $3, passengers receive free Wi-Fi, space for two pieces of luggage and real-time travel updates. [LA Biz Journal]


mavenlink orange county tech startup
photo via mavenlink

Mavenlink announces Australian HQ

Irvine-based cloud software developer Mavenlink announced expansion plans this week, choosing Australia to be its flagship for future Asia-Pacific operations. Headquartered in Melbourne, the company estimated its presence in the region will allow it to double its growth over the next 12 months. [Press Release]


hyrecar peer-to-peer carsharing service los angeles
photo via hyrecar

HyreCar launches in new markets

LA-based peer-to-peer carsharing platform HyreCar continued its expansion with Hawaii, Iowa and Minnesota launching this week. Founded in 2014, the company's platform facilitates carsharing for the purpose of ridesharing, offering users a way to drive for on-demand services like Lyft and Uber without having to own a car. For those of us whose cars sit idly in the garage more than they should, HyreCar offers a way to make some extra cash on the side. [Press Release]


zed connect calabasas tech startup
photo via ZED Connect

Cummins subsidiary ZED Connect opens tech HQ in Calabasas

ZED Connect, a subsidiary of Fortune 500 Cummins, recently opened its headquarters in Calabasas. The company's new home will house its executive staff, as well as provide room for a team in the process of growing out its R&D, engineering, design, product management, account and marketing efforts. Founded in 2016, the company partners with trucking fleets and drivers to offer technical solutions to industry-wide challenges. [ZED Connect]


startup team
Photo Via Shutterstock

Fundings of the week

Acorns$50 million

Acorns, an Irvine-based fintech startup that allows users to invest spare change automatically to a diversified portfolio, quietly raised $50 million round of funding to build out its portfolio stack with new investment options. The round was led by financial planning and investment management firm BlackRock. [Financial Planning]

OspreyData, $5 million

OspreyData, an Orange County-based startup that offers data analytics software for the oil industry, closed a $5 million Series A yesterday. The company — which uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to help companies optimize oil and gas production — chose Houston Ventures to lead the round. [Press Release]

Quarterback, $2.5 million

e-Sports startup Quarterback, a company developing a platform to help e-sports players monetize their gaming, closed a $2.5 million round of funding this week. Bitkraft Esports Ventures led the round, which also included Crest Capital Ventures, Deep Space Ventures, UpWest Labs and angels contributed to the round. [SoCal Tech]

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