Catch Up With This Week's Startup News With Our Video Recap
Lots happened in the L.A. tech and startup community this week as the city continues to reopen. In a rundown of the top headlines, dot.LA Chief Host and Correspondent Kelly O'Grady takes you through the key stories:
- Diversity in Tech: New Series on Diversity in Venture Capital, Roundtable with Leaders from Upfront Ventures & Snap Inc.
- ChowNow Seizes the Moment as Food Delivery Apps Struggle
- Mobile Storytelling App Whatifi Focuses on Choose-Your-Own Adventure Content
- dot.LA Dives In: CEO & Founder of Struct Club, Amira Polack, Discusses Taking her Fitness Startup Direct-To-Consumer
Weekly Recap: Diversity in Tech, Mobile App Whatifi Redefines Storytelling & Food Delivery Apps Boom www.youtube.com
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- Los Angeles' Tech and Startup Scene is Growing. - dot.LA ›
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- Los Angeles Tech and Startup Week in Review - dot.LA ›
- Catch Up With This Week's Startup News in Our Weekly Video Recap ›
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Join us on Thursday, July 16th for the first edition of "Female Founders Stories, to Live and Work in L.A." with chief host and correspondent Kelly O'Grady. Our first discussion will feature WeeCare co-founder and CEO Jessica Chang as well as DropLabs CEO Susan Paley.
The series will feature one-on-one discussions with top women leaders and entrepreneurs here in the L.A. startup community. We'll explore how these women got started and triumphed over challenges, talk about moments of success and discuss what they love most about living and working in LA.
- Tesla shares soar, Fisker rumored to go public, Karma gets $100m
- Facebook issues crash TikTok, Pinterest, Spotify
A Super-Charged Electric Vehicle Market: Rivian, Fisker and Karma Rake in Funds<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://dot.la/media-library/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzQ0ODkzMi9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTU5ODMwNjMzMX0.xPjqflqWoY1CNYlVU2VES3azpsxKv1sNz4TSoa-E2Nk/image.jpg?width=980" id="34166" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="e33f8e054400fe2f5c8240286835e06d" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
Rivian Automotive is the maker of electric pickup trucks.<p>Tesla's success has super-charged investor interest in the electric vehicle market.</p><p>Exhibit A is the two Southern California-based electric car makers, <a href="https://electrek.co/2020/07/08/fisker-50-millio-funding-electric-suv/" target="_blank">Fisker</a> and <a href="https://dot.la/karma-car-2646367624.html" target="_self">Karma, which secured millions </a>in funding this week as they sought to ramp up production. Then came word Fisker, created by one-time Aston Martin designer Henrik Fisker, is now in talks to go public through a sale to a so-called blank-check acquisition company, <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-spartan-energy-m-a-fisker/exclusive-electric-car-maker-fisker-eyes-deal-to-go-public-sources-idUSKBN24A2HZ" target="_blank">Reuters reported</a> on Thursday. </p><p>Today, Detroit-based Rivian Automotive, maker of electric pickup trucks that's backed in part by Ford Motor Co., announced that it secured $2.5 billion in funding from private investors.</p><p>The race to push out more electric vehicles comes as after Tesla supplanted Toyota as the most valuable car maker. Its shares have been soaring and it now has a market cap that stands at over $285 billion despite controversies and a much lower production volume.</p><p>Spartan Energy is bidding against other special purpose acquisition companies, or SPACs as they are called, to bring Fisker public through a reverse merger, according to the report. Spartan is backed by Apollo Global Management, a private equity firm. </p>With a freshly secured $50 million in private funds, Fisker plans to sell the Fisker Ocean luxury electric SUV at a starting price of $37,500 in 2022. Fisker's previous venture Fisker Automotive fell into bankruptcy in 2013 and was bought by a Chinese group that rebranded it Karma. That company, which has been struggling after several layoff rounds and restructuring, is Karma and earlier this week secured $100 million from investors. It hopes to use that to raise a total of $300 million and roll out a line of electric vehicles.
Facebook issue crashes Spotify, TikTok, Pinterest<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjY1OTE2Ny9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyMzM5MzkwNX0.r90DRnE3UFTB07VJDqefqOFUPVUriT1wuJTlhmyh6Jc/img.jpg?width=980" id="c28ef" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="f523904d32b223a39171b3253b6ba1c1" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />farm5.staticflickr.com<p> If you were trying to use a handful of iOS apps including Spotify, TikTok and Pinterest Friday morning chances are you couldn't get in because of a Facebook log-in issue. </p><p> The hiccup came from Facebook's software development kit (SDK), which several apps rely on to operate. Developers use SDK for users who want to sign in with their Facebook account. </p><p> "Earlier today, a code change triggered crashes for some iOS apps using the Facebook SDK," Facebook's developer site announced. "We identified the issue quickly and resolved it. We apologize for any inconvenience." </p><p> The crash hit some of the biggest apps. </p><p> "Something's out of tune," Spotify's Status account said on Twitter in the early morning. "We're currently investigating, and we'll keep you posted here!" </p><p> It's the second time this year the Facebook interface has caused a crash. </p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet">Something's out of tune. We're currently investigating, and we'll keep you posted here!<br>— Spotify Status (@SpotifyStatus) <a href="https://twitter.com/SpotifyStatus/status/1281542997906202625?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 10, 2020</a></blockquote> <script async="" src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
An Amazon spokesperson said Friday afternoon that an email ordering employees to delete TikTok was sent in error. The company declined to provide further explanation for how the directive was sent.
"This morning's email to some of our employees was sent in error," the spokesperson said. "There is no change to our policies right now with regard to TikTok."
"Due to security risks, the TikTop app is no longer permitted on mobile devices that access Amazon email," the company said Friday in an email to employees.
Here's the email Amazon sent to employees this morning banning TikTok from employee phones. "If you have TikTok o… https://t.co/hGPYjxQLxP— Taylor Lorenz (@Taylor Lorenz)1594400093.0
TikTok has quickly become one of the most popular social media apps in the world but government officials and business leaders are becoming increasingly wary of the Chinese-owned company.
The U.S. military has already barred its members from using TikTok and the federal government is considering a broader ban out of concerns that the Chinese government may be using the app to spy on Americans.
Earlier this month, India announced it will ban TikTok and other popular Chinese apps citing threats to "sovereignty and integrity."
Amazon did not provide details on its concerns in the employee email. We've reached out to the company to comment and will update this story when we hear back.
A TikTok spokesperson said the company is "fully committed to respecting the privacy of users," in a statement to the Times.
"While Amazon did not communicate to us before sending their email, and we still do not understand their concerns, we welcome a dialogue so we can address any issues they may have and enable their team to continue participating in our community."
Last month, a new privacy feature in iOS 14 revealed TikTok was accessing users' clipboard content despite promising to discontinue the practice last year.