The quick commerce competition is heading up and one UCLA student has found a niche way to stand out: targeting hungry college students. The UCLA-based startup Duffl recently raised $12 million in a Series A round and it has plans to keep growing. Read more >>
Here's what else we're reading in the news:
- EVgo, the L.A.-based electric vehicle charging network, has launched an app for customers to access its chargers.
- A new CalMatters analysis found that California overpaid for a faulty COVID-19 testing lab operated by PerkinElmer.
- Snap paid out more than $250 million to more than 12,000 creators in 2021.
- Reddit, which was valued at $10 billion earlier this year, has filed for an initial public offering.
- U.S. healthcare spending in 2020 reached $4.1 trillion, up by 9.7%, according to a new report.
Duffl Goes Hyper-Local at UCLA, USC, UC Santa Barbara, UC Berkeley
Unlike DoorDash, Instacart, Shipt or UberEats, the UCLA-based startup Duffl stocks its own hyper-localized inventory at micro-fulfillment centers, also known as “dark stores.” What also differentiates Duffl from other major competitors is that it relies on e-scooters — rather than cars or e-bikes — and it targets college students. For now, it's offered at UCLA, USC, UC Santa Barbara and UC Berkeley.
Motional and Uber to Deliver Meals with Robotaxis in Santa Monica
Residents of Santa Monica will be able to have their food delivered by robotaxi next year. Boston-based advanced driverless company Motional announced Thursday it would collaborate with Uber Technologies on a program to deliver meal kits to customers using a fleet of modified autonomous-capable Hyundai cars.
Bill Payment App Papaya Raises $50 Million To Pay Your Parking Ticket
If you’ve ever gotten a parking ticket in Las Vegas, you’ve probably heard of Papaya.The fintech company based in Los Angeles can be found on every parking ticket in Las Vegas to make it easier for people to pay their fine. On Wednesday, it announced it raised a $50 million Series B round.
Toyota-Backed AI Startup Elementary Robotics Raises $30 Million
Launched out of Bill Gross’ Pasadena-based IdeaLab accelerator in 2017, Elementary Robotics puts AI in charge of quality inspections now done by humans. It’s about to get bigger.
FullCycle’s Kyle Adkins Addresses the Climate Crisis, Piece-by-Piece
As climate change forces industries to radically shift their approach, FullCycle Climate Partners’ Kyle Adkins is eagerly investing in the tech that can address the crisis. On this episode of L.A. Venture, Adkins talks about the climate tech landscape and FullCycle’s innovative model, which focuses not only on investing in a given company, but also the projects it has in development -- including building large physical plants and infrastructure to support it.
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