Karma Automotive Comes Up with $100M in New Funding
Rachel Uranga covers the intersection of business, technology and culture. She is a former Mexico-based market correspondent at Reuters and has worked for several Southern California news outlets, including the Los Angeles Business Journal and the Los Angeles Daily News. She has covered everything from IPOs to immigration. Uranga is a graduate of the Columbia School of Journalism and California State University Northridge. A Los Angeles native, she lives with her husband, son and their felines.
Luxury electric carmaker Karma has found a lifeline with $100 million in new funding as the company and its parent look to cash in on the popularity of Tesla in order to raise $300 million, Bloomberg reported.
The Chinese-owned company formerly known as Fisker Automotive has struggled to break out in the capital-intensive world of carmaking. Owned by auto-supplier Wanxiang Group, which bought the company in 2014, Karma is selling stakes to private equity partners, according to the report. By raising cash from U.S. investors, Karma officials aim to reduce Chinese ownership below 50%, making it easier to win government fleet contracts.
A Karma spokesperson confirmed the deal but said the company would not release details because it has signed non-disclosure agreements with their investors.
But the president of Wanxiang's U.S. business Pin Ni told Bloomberg that "Karma has real production, real technology and real dealers."
"Look at Tesla's value and you see Workhorse with their stock going up ten times recently." He denied recent media reports the company was near bankruptcy.
Karma is best known for its $135,000 Karma Revero. Last February the company laid off 60 workers in a move to restructure its business. At the time, it said it was billing itself as a "high-tech mobility incubator" that can manufacture, design and engineer for larger car manufacturers that are sinking billions of dollars into capital for new green cars. Several new executives were also brought in. In April, the company went through another round of layoffs. According to state data, 60 people were let go.
This story was updated at 2:55 pm PST with a comment from a Karma spokesperson.
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Loom started off in a Los Angeles storefront along Pico Boulevard offering education and events around women's health issues like fertility, periods, menopause, sex and postpartum depression.
Created by Erica Chidi and Quin Lundberg in 2016, the wellbeing startup moved online a few months ago as the pandemic shut down business and this week announced a $3 million raise led by Slow Ventures to roll out its digital health education platform.
Coronavirus Updates: Mattel Using Fabric from Barbie to Make Face Masks, Virgin Orbit Designs Ventilator
Here are the latest headlines regarding how the novel coronavirus is impacting the Los Angeles startup and tech communities. Sign up for our newsletter and follow dot.LA on Twitter for the latest updates.
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Mattel orders factories to use fabric designed for Barbie to make face masks<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://dot.la/media-library/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjkwNTExNi9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxOTI1MjMyMX0.-dani2eqnz8ivhEwAkIbWnTpqEJRsm-t1m6MCDeBSrU/image.jpg?width=980" id="17043" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="c7b36b236aabbccc3a28f16921d39dca" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
New coronavirus cases climb past 2,400 in LA county, 44 deaths<iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fcountyofla%2Fvideos%2F1051248235260976%2F&show_text=0&width=560" width="560" height="315" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowTransparency="true" allowFullScreen="true"></iframe><p>Seven more people died of novel coronavirus in Los Angeles County and there are 342 new cases, public health officials said Monday. There have now been 2,474 cases in the county and 44 deaths as of noon. About 20% of those tested positive for COVID-19 have been hospitalized at some point during their illness.<span></span></p><p>"The greatest service the general public can provide is to stay home, to self-isolate when sick and to self-quarantine if exposed," said county health director Barbara Ferrer. "These measures will make the biggest impact in our efforts to mitigate the infection rate in the county."</p><p>Meanwhile, officials are increasingly worried that the fast-moving virus will spread inside the county's crowded jail system after an inmate and four people who work in the Los Angeles County jails came down with the illness, <a href="https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2020-03-30/inmates-coronavirus-la-county-jails-sheriff" target="_blank">the Los Angeles Times </a>reported.</p>
Virgin Orbit designs mass-producible ventilator for COVID-19 patients<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="8d4b3196414787ca8cae9f775cdb8947"><iframe lazy-loadable="true" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/TlYIN5AVWPk?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p>Rocket-maker Virgin Orbit has developed a bridge ventilator with university researchers that it will produce in Long Beach and deliver to overburdened hospitals battling COVID-19 within the next week.</p><p>Richard Branson's company must still get approval from the Food and Drug Administration before it can begin production at its manufacturing facility where it normally builds rockets to launch satellites into space. The company started the process after reaching out to California Gov. Gavin Newsom's office last week and being put in touch with a team at the University of California, Irvine and the University of Texas Austin working on bridge ventilators.</p><hr><p>"We are all heartbroken each night as we turn on the news and see the predicament facing doctors and nurses as they heroically work to save lives," said Virgin Orbit chief executive Dan Hart in a statement. "We are hopeful that this device can help as we all prepare for the challenges ahead."</p><p>The company said it would continue to scale up production and could activate other manufactures as "soon as thee device is reproducible and production ready."</p><p>Virgin Orbit's device compresses medical ambu bags, which helps patients with COVID-19 to breathe by delivering air to the lungs.<br></p>
Disney's Iger won't take a salary, other executives take pay cuts amid COVID-19<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://dot.la/media-library/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjkwNDEyNi9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxODQwODAwN30.fpQ4pJ2Fgtq7M4fsH8E5OMk8skORxFVvlsvwD0bV8xk/image.jpg?width=980" id="367b8" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="e9eec96415063d01b0f6f33e96f19a4f" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
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