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Weekly Tech Recap: Microsoft Comes to LA

It’s been a big week for L.A. tech. Microsoft bought Activision Blizzard, the Santa Monica-based game company behind the “Call of Duty'' and “Overwatch” franchises. The move comes after a year of controversies at Activision, including sexual harrassment allegations and a unionization effort. Microsoft’s nearly $70 million bid leaves unclear what’s to become of Activision’s embattled CEO and whether the new mega-company will be a good thing for gamers.

Employees at Activision subsidiary, Raven Software, made it clear that the company’s labor struggles aren’t likely to go away by voting to unionize on Friday.

Here’s what else happened in LA’s entertainment tech world this week 🍿

Santa Monica-based Filmhub raised $6.8 million to cut out Hollywood’s middle men and let filmmakers distribute their content – without giving up their rights.

The dating app designed for gamers, Kippo, is launching a new phase shaped by the metaverse.

Autograph, an NFT agency co-founded by NFL quarterback Tom Brady, secured a $170 million raise to issue digital celebrity collectibles.

Mobile game developer Spyke raised $55 million raise from Santa Monica-based VC Griffin Gaming Partners.

... And its medical and biotech world 🩺

As he saw his own grandmother lose her vision, Jay Cormier wondered if augmented reality could help the visually impaired. Twelve years later, his company, Eyedaptic is booming.

ImmPACT Bio has a new headquarters, a new CEO and new funding to develop its treatments for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Topography Health raises $21.5 million to provide greater access to life-saving clinical trials.

Oregon's largest health care group partnered with GigXR to use its holographic simulations to train physicians in everything from life support to CPR.

🚗 Transportation tech 

Parallel Systems came out of stealth. Its electric, autonomous freight trains to remake the freight industry.

Electron Transport raised $28 million to develop an electric truck chassis.

Car subscription service Autonomy is adding electric vehicles, including the Tesla Model 3, to its inventory.

Raises and $$ 💰

Bonfire Ventures, known for investing in B2B startups, is now raising $165 million for its third fund.

🦄Long Beach-based iTrustCapital, a platform that allows investors to buy cryptocurrency through their retirement accounts, just raised a Series A at a valuation of $1.3 billion.

Investing app Acorns is canceling its plans to go public.

Asenso Finance is crowdfunding $1 million to launch a platform to help small businesses get loans.

Grid110 and Slauson and Co. launched their inaugural “Friends & Family” program, which aims to give early-stage startups led by underrepresented founders a leg up.

🎧 Listen Up 

Entrepreneur Nicole Gibbons left her corporate job to do her own thing. She’s now the founder of the only Black-owned paint brand in the U.S. Hear her story on this week’s episode of Behind Her Empire. Listen on Stitcher, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, iHeart Radio or wherever you get your podcasts.


Amazon is opening its first in-person shopping experience in Glendale.

UCLA students and KPOP Foods co-founders sold their startup to a major food retailer.

Are in-person gyms or at-home workouts the future of the fitness industry? FitLab thinks the answer is a hybrid.

AI-driven sports coaching app Mustard is branching out beyond baseball.

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