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How a HighFlying Startup Devastated from the Pandemic Survives
Ben Bergman

"I always said this is the most recession-proof business there is because it's schools and schools don't close."

Then came the pandemic and revenue nearly dried up for the once highflying startup HopSkipDrive. Senior reporter Ben Bergman talks with co-founder Joanna McFarland about how the company is surviving and its post-pandemic plans.

Instacart will lay off all its unionized workers.

L.A. health official calls for a longer pause on Hollywood productions.

Music industry digs deeper into esports culture.

TrueCar names Jantoon Reigersman as chief financial officer.

Costco is testing curbside pickup.

Biden selects Slaughter as acting FTC chair, Rosenworcel as acting FCC chair.

Google judge says U.S. states must begin turning over documents next month.

Parler loses bid to have service restored by Amazon.

Facebook refers Trump account suspension to oversight board.

Democratic Congresswoman requests FBI probe of Parler.

Spotify announces an exclusive podcast deal with filmmaker Ava DuVernay.

PlayVS acquires GameSeta to accelerate expansion into Canada.

Lawmakers Take Aim at Algorithms That Are 'at Odds with Democracy'

Democratic lawmakers are calling on Facebook, Twitter and other social media to alter the powerful algorithms that fuel their site, saying that they led to the attack on the Capitol and intensify fringe political beliefs. Read more>>

OpenDrives Wants to Solve Hollywood's Storage Problem

OpenDrives, a provider of network-attached storage solutions founded by Hollywood professionals has closed a $20 million Series B round as it seeks to further develop their software. Read more>>

How the Once-Highflying Startup HopSkipDrive is Surviving 

When Joanna McFarland co-founded HopSkipDrive in 2014, she thought she had discovered the perfect low-risk business model – contracting with school districts to provide safe and reliable ridesharing for students. Read more>>

The Vast Majority of Venture Dollars Go to White Male Founders

Though more women and entrepreneurs of color are leading venture-backed startups, founding teams are still mostly white, male and located in the Bay Area, finds a new report. Read more>>

Mattel's CEO on Leveraging the Power of Brands, Barbie and More

Mattel CEO Ynon Kreiz talks with Office Hours about the Barbie movie, leveraging the iconic brand's intellectual property and sustainability goals. Read more and listen here>>

Nominate Companies for Our Next Virtual Pitch Showcase

We are thrilled to announce the next virtual pitch showcase, which will be broadcast live at 11:00 a.m. PT on Thursday, February 4th. We're looking for Southern California startups in any industry founded by entrepreneurs of color and/or women, or by entrepreneurs from low-income or underrepresented communities. Submissions are now open for company nominations to present at the live event. Submissions will be evaluated on a rolling basis. Please contact annie@dot.LA with any questions.

Nominate your company here >>

Register for the event here >>

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