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Valuations in startups jumped in the second quarter for more than half of the investors surveyed in dot.LA's quarterly poll of top Los Angeles venture capitalists — all while optimism remained high about the economic recovery. Additionally, venture capitalists have seen more hiring among their portfolio companies and expect headcounts to increase in the third quarter.

💡 The greater Los Angeles/Orange County region is now the fifth largest tech-talent labor pool in the U.S.

🚗 Tesla's Q2 earnings blew past expectations with a revenue of $11.96 billion.

🪙 Bitcoin surged after some saw an Amazon job post as a hint it may soon accept cryptocurrencies.

📝 Some 1,000 Activision Blizzard employees are signing a petition criticizing the company's response to the lawsuit.

📺 Almost twice as many streaming TV viewers prefer paid, ad-free content than those with limited ads.

⚔️ Investors are pouring in billions into cybersecurity startups as cyberattacks surge.

💻 Intel Corp. says it will start building Qualcomm chips by 2025 to compete with foreign rivals.

What's Driving Up Valuations In Startups

"The pent up demand is driving a lot of unusual behavior. On the upside, there's a lot of forced savings that's being unlocked right now, being spent on experiences, being spent on material things," Eric Manlunas, founder and managing partner at Wavemaker, tells dot.LA in reference to increasing valuations in Southern California startups.

A Labor Rep on Gaming's Culture of Harassment and Discrimination

One labor organizer says California's lawsuit against Activision Blizzard is "a big step forward and very valuable" in getting people to pay attention to what has become a rampant issue in gaming.

"There will always be a thousand more stories than the ones we're seeing on Twitter now, in this case now, in the press now," says Emma Kinema, a labor organizer with the Communications Workers of America.

Olympics Viewership On NBC Takes A Dive

New data shows a 36% decline in Olympics viewership from the 2016 Games across all NBC's platforms, which include its linear TV channel, Peacock and NBC Sports digital.

A New Spin On Home-Brewed Coffee

Spinn, the maker of a coffee brewing machine that uses a unique "centrifuge" process, has raised $20 million in a round of funding led by Spark Capital, Amazon's Alexa Fund and Bar 9 Ventures. The money will go toward fulfilling pre-orders the company has for its coffee machines and hiring additional workers.

Elysian Park Ventures Invests In the Future of Sports

Even as sports events scaled down during the pandemic, Elysian Park Ventures said it saw an opportunity in the digital realm. Co-founder Cole Van Nice tells dot.LA that the COVID-19 pandemic ultimately advanced the timelines for the industry. And its investments have done well.

"Most of our portfolio came out of COVID stronger than they were going in."

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