Aspiration, the bank that bills itself as financial business for eco-conscious consumers, has plans to go public via a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) in a deal valued at about $2.3 billion. The L.A.-based bank says it hopes to be listed in the New York Stock Exchange under the ASP symbol by the fourth quarter.
💳 PayEngine, an L.A.-based SaaS startup, has raised $1.6 million in a seed funding round.
🤖 Rapid Robotics, an automation solutions startup, will use some of the $36.7 million it raised recently to support expansion in Southern California and other states.
🎙 Spotify's sports show The Ringer and WWE are launching an audio network that will include wrestling personalities.
🏭 The multinational infrastructure consulting firm AECOM is relocating its Los Angeles headquarters to Dallas, Texas.
⚠️ Three former Netflix employees are among five people accused of illegal insider trading.
🏆 Shows from the now-defunct video platform Quibi have landed eight Emmy nominations.
😷 Masks are now required at all large outdoor events open to the public in Los Angeles County.
5 Million Members And Over 15 Million Trees Planted
Now in its sixth year in business, Aspiration says it has more than 5 million members and the backing of celebrity investors like Leonardo Di Caprio, Drake and Cindy Crawford. Just in the last year alone, the eco-conscious bank says it has seen a "7x growth" and says it has planted more than 15 million trees.
ForeVR Games Turns Its Attention To VR Sports
As Playstation and Oculus bring VR to the mainstream, ForeVR Games just got another $7 million to turn real-life sports into virtual reality experiences. The round was led by Bessemer Venture Partners with other investors including Galaxy Interactive, All Star Capital, Mark Pincus and Emmett Shear.
Apeel Sciences Raises Another $250 Million
Apeel Sciences, a Santa Barbara-based company whose edible coating helps extend the shelf life of produce, has raised $250 million in a Series E round that brings the company's valuation to $2 billion. The new round of fundraising will be used to advance the timeline for implementing this technology into Apeel-backed supply chains.
LA Venture Podcast: Venturing Into Pet Health
On this week's episode of LA Ventures, Drew Taylor, a partner at Digitalis Ventures, talks about broadening the company's investment from human healthcare to also animals.