LA Tech Weekly Roundup: Art, Tech, Entertainment and Exchange

LA Tech Weekly Roundup: Art, Tech, Entertainment and Exchange

CareRev, Toucan, Capsida announced raises, along with many of Snap's accelerator startups, EVgo partnered with the General Motors and we held our first ever summit on entertainment and technology. Here's a look at this week's top L.A. tech and startup stories:


Building on Hip Hop's Legacy

LL COOL J's new ecommerce and live events brand Rock the Bells is one of the few brands literally owned and operated by many of the artists who created the culture. We sat down with its president, James Cuthbert, to discuss his role, RTB's new funding and how it hopes to grow from hip hop history.

Triller's New CEO on Its Metrics and Music Controversies

Social video app Triller is emerging from several very public spats over music licensing and its metrics. Newly appointed CEO Mahi de Silva spoke with entertainment reporter Sam Blake about Triller's future, its new 'fight club' content and rumors that the company may soon offer an IPO.

Long Beach, Space Beach

Elon Musk's SpaceX is joining the aerospace hub in Long Beach with a new 6.5 acre facility. The aerospace giant will join a growing roster of space companies in Long Beach including Virgin Orbit, Rocket Lab, Boeing, Relativity Space and SpinLaunch.

Takeaways from our Entertainment Tech Summit

From NFTs to augmented reality and streaming services, there was a lot to explore in our first entertainment tech summit, Intersect. Here are six takeaways from a day full of discussion and networking:

GM Taps LA Startups for Its EV Charging Network

Electric vehicle charging startup EVgo announced it's joined two other L.A.-based companies to help build General Motors' nationwide electric vehicle charging network. The announcement comes as a wave of new EV models are ready to hit the market and governments are pushing plug-in technology.

Borrowing COVID-era Methodology to Treat Parkinson’s

A Thousand Oaks startup that is creating gene therapies aimed at permanently treating devastating diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's announced Thursday it received $140 million in capital. Capsida Biotherapeutics works with small encapsulated viruses that can target specific cells in the body.

Using the Blockchain to Transform Storytelling

L.A.-based creative agency Brud has already stoked controversy and curiosity around Lil' Miquela, a computer-generated virtual influencer with over 3 million Instagram followers. But their plans go far beyond ad campaigns and social followers. Their strategy, they say, extends to rethinking how storytelling is done and how fans interact with creative works.

Startup of the Week: Toucan

Scrolling through Twitter could soon help you learn another language. That's the idea behind Toucan, an edtech startup whose browser extension translates words on your screen from English to one of seven languages — soon to be 11. The Santa Monica-based company closed a $4.5 million seed round this week.

Weekly Graphic: Nonfungible Tokens' Growth

The total value of NFTs (nonfungible tokens) in circulation during the first quarter of 2021 was over $2 billion: about 8x that asset class' value during the previous three years combined, according to data collected by Nonfungible.com.


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