Weekly Refresh: Will Smith’s New Investment, LA Space Company Raises $140M, and More

by Gordon Gottsegen
October 7, 2019
Will Smith
Shutterstock

Will Smith hosted an impromptu pitch contest at Techcrunch Disrupt, then invested $10K in his favorite startup. The startup was Socionado, a social media branding company. Since Smith is a celebrity, he reportedly resonated with the company’s mission. [Techcrunch]

Relativity Space raised a $140 million Series C. Relativity Space makes money by launching satellites into orbit, but it’s also working on sending a fully 3D-printed rocket into space. If it succeeds, it’ll be the first in history to accomplish this feat. The Series C brings the company’s total funding to $185 million. [Built In LA]

Knowable launched its audio learning platform. The platform features audio textbooks, courses and lessons through its web and mobile apps. The launch was made possible due to a $4 million seed funding round led by Andreessen Horowitz. [Press release]

Dave reached a $1 billion valuation. The finance app raised $50 million in funding last week and reached unicorn status. This comes just a few months after the company closed a $110 million funding round and launched its checking account feature. Dave says it’ll use the money to hire up to 100 people in the coming year. [Built In LA]

Hawkeye Systems announced that it’ll acquire Radiant Images. Hawkeye is an imaging technology company that creates products for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. Meanwhile, Radiant Images works to create lighting, video and cinema innovations. Hawkeye hopes to use Radiant Images’ RGB, Volumetric and Light Field camera technologies for its business. [Press release]

Whistle acquired Vertical Studios. Whistle is an entertainment and sports company that creates programming for young audiences. It’s acquiring another mobile-first content company, Vertical Studios, which was founded by Elisabeth Murdoch. [Press release]

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