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Dave Snags Former Apple Executive

Dave, which is valued at $4 billion and backed by billionaire investor Mark Cuban, anticipates closing its merger with blank-check firm VPC Impact Acquisition Holdings III this Wednesday. If all goes according to plan, it will begin trading on the Nasdaq stock exchange on Thursday. The Los Angeles-based fintech company is looking to deploy some of the $465 million raised from the SPAC deal to explore cryptocurrency product offerings for its 11 million customers. Read more >>

Here’s what else we're reading in the news:

Dave Sets Its Sights on Crypto

By Pat Maio

One of the ways Los Angeles-based banking app Dave might get into crypto is through money transfers, Dave’s chief financial officer Kyle Beilman said. He cited the U.S.-Mexico remittance corridor, which is among the largest in the world with more than $40 billion sent from the U.S. to Mexico in 2020, according to Mexico’s central bank.

Upfront Summit Postponed Until March Over Omicron Fears

By Harrison Weber

Upfront Summit—the extravagant tech and venture capital conference known for its prominent attendees from the worlds of business and entertainment—said its annual summit has been postponed by five weeks, to March 1-2, due to concerns over the highly contagious omicron variant.

Liquid Death Raises $75 Million, Reaches a $500 Million-Plus Valuation

By Rey Mashayekhi

Canned water brand Liquid Death has raised $75 million in a new Series C funding round that values the Santa Monica-based firm at $525 million. The funding round was led by Science Inc., which helped launch Liquid Death via a $2.3 million seed round in 2019, according to PitchBook data.

Meet LA's Top Startup Incubators and Accelerators

By Samson Amore

As Southern California becomes home to more tech startups, innovators rely on locally supported incubators and accelerators to help new business owners develop their vision and launch the next billion-dollar enterprise. Reporter Samson Amore compiles a list of the top programs in Los Angeles that are helping new startups get off the ground.

Relativity Space Hires Microsoft Executive for Its 3D-Printed Rocket Ambitions

By Alan Boyle, GeekWire

Relativity Space, a startup that is building 3D-printed rockets in Southern California, has hired Microsoft executive Scott Van Vliet to lead the Los Angeles team charged with the project.

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