Fist Bumps, Hand Sanitizer and Pitch Sessions at the 2020 Montgomery Summit
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.
Everyone from financier Michael Milken to bankers and venture capitalists had an opinion about the market-rattling coronavirus at the annual Montgomery Summit in Santa Monica that gathered top-flight investors and entrepreneurs. "Some of you made a tough decision by coming here," conference organizer Jamie Montgomery told a lunchtime crowd. "I'll breath easy the next couple weeks if nothing happens."
Between pitch sessions from companies as varied as 3D rocket-maker Relativity Space to interactive game publisher Scopely, attendees sipped matcha lattes, pumped hand sanitizer and talked deals.
The normal routine of handshaking was out, replaced by somewhat awkward fist bumping. Attendees lingered longer than usual at bathroom sinks, making sure to vigorously wash their hands, and constantly pumped hand sanitizer from one of several germ eradication stations set-up at the Fairmont Hotel.
Montgomery told the crowd to alert him if "anything happened" in the next couple weeks, not the most reassuring thing to hear as people dug into their chicken salads and a discussion about the next decade of artificial intelligence.
The fast-spreading COVID-19 cast a pall over the summit that gathered hundreds as markets continued their roller coaster ride on Thursday.
Meanwhile, people like partner Marko Papic, chief strategist at Clocktower Group, were already predicting a recession.
"The U.S. consumer is 15% of global GDP, that's a large chunk," he told a crowd that had gathered for a pre-lunchtime talk about coronavirus. And warned that an over stimulus response from governments could lead to inflation.
The same day, Congress approved $8.3 billion to fight the virus that's topped 200 cases in the United States. In California, already under a state of emergency, a cruise ship with thousands aboard en route from Hawaii to San Francisco was held in quarantine as officials rushed to test passengers. And around the country signs that the virus would take an economic toll became in sharper focus
Montgomery said he had considered canceling the conference, but was assured by his discussion with health officials that the risk was low.
Then, just as the Montgomery Summit was set to open, Los Angeles County officials declared a health emergency, confirming six new cases of coronavirus, and warning that schools and business may need to be closed if COV1D-19 continues to spread.
Milken tried to temper what he painted as a bit of a frenzy, telling a crowd on Wednesday that he saw this as an opportunity to harness the power of big medical companies like United Health Care and Kaiser Permanente. He predicted in weeks small prototype test kits would be available for the virus. And suggested the medical giants come together to fight the virus, much like big companies did during World War II.
"Science can accomplish in an hour what might have taken in a year," he said. "We should be much better prepared to deal with this issue, once we get the facts."
Ben Bergman contributed reporting
Subscribe to our newsletter to catch every headline.
'Going Public' is a Fintech Spin on Reality TV and the JOBS Act, with Viewers as Potential Investors
If you've ever watched Shark Tank and wished that you could hop in the waters and invest alongside Mark Cuban and Mr. Wonderful, Going Public may be just the show for you.
The new series will showcase five companies preparing to go public on the NASDAQ stock exchange. Over the course of 10 episodes, viewers will follow the company founders as they promote their offering and receive feedback and advice from mentors, professional investors and other executives. Those watching at home who think they've spotted a winner will have a chance to get in on the action at the initial public offering (IPO) price for the companies that end up going public.
LA Tech Updates: Fisker to Go Public; LA Bars, Gyms and Salons Go Dark Again; Apple Gives $400M to Stem Housing Crisis
- LA Bars, Gyms and Salons Go Dark Again
- Fisker set to go public with $2.9b valuation, EV SUV to roll out by 2022
- Apple Allocates $400M to Affordable Housing in California
Southern California Bars, Restaurants, Salons, Gyms, Places of Worship Must Shut Down Indoor Operations Amid Surge in COVID-19 Cases<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzQyMDM0Ny9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyOTEyNzMzOX0.iAGyu93QLg4u7of6jR5kB1LcjJs1dH_dlc2ndkknWGs/img.jpg?width=980" id="a7312" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="deb62c3b61d59ad6fe2da2d592929dd4" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />Image courtesy of Musso & Frank's<p> Bars, gyms, places of worship, salons and offices for non-critical sectors will largely go dark again in Southern California. As coronavirus cases surge, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a list of new statewide restrictions and targeted closures in 30 counties including Los Angeles. </p><p> Statewide, all bars, dine-in restaurants, wineries, movie theaters, museums, card rooms and entertainment centers must close indoor operations, Newsom said on Monday. </p><p> "This is a new statewide action effective today," he said. </p><p> <span></span>In counties on the state's watch list, which include Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties, personal care services including salons and barbershops, along with indoor malls and fitness centers must close indoor operations. </p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet">Effective immediately, CA is closing some indoor business operations statewide and additional indoor business operations in counties on <a href="https://twitter.com/CAPublicHealth?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@CAPublicHealth</a> Monitoring List for 3 consecutive days.<br><br>📍Find the updated list of counties here: <a href="https://t.co/snYe5v55Rw">https://t.co/snYe5v55Rw</a> <a href="https://t.co/W3wBJp2ap5">pic.twitter.com/W3wBJp2ap5</a><br>— Office of the Governor of California (@CAgovernor) <a href="https://twitter.com/CAgovernor/status/1282754914821656576?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 13, 2020</a></blockquote> <script async="" src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p> Those on the watchlist are among the most populous parts of the state, containing about 80% of Californians. </p><p> Restaurants are still allowed to stay open for outdoor dining and takeout. <br> </p><p> As of Monday, California had more than 329,000 cases and 7,040 deaths. </p>
Fisker Set to Go Public with $2.9b Valuation, EV SUV to Roll Out by 2022<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://dot.la/media-library/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzQ1MzYxNS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1MzAwMzU5MH0.KjTk7UCExD0E7jgdTCxdRO7pR0kI-TbtMYQgsD6_HJw/image.jpg?width=980" id="00531" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="d9feb4bf17ba371882a99b14ebfa134a" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p>Electric car startup Fisker is set to go public through a merger that values the company at $2.9 billion and allows it to begin producing its first vehicle by 2022. </p><p>Los Angeles-based Fisker <a href="https://www.fiskerinc.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Fisker-Press-Release-NYSE-Merger-Apollo-Spartan-Energy-FINAL-Sunday-1530PST-D360-FINAL.pdf" target="_blank">announced the deal </a>with Spartan Energy Acquisition Corp, a special purpose acquisition company backed by private equity firm Apollo Global Management on Monday. It comes as investors look for the next Tesla Inc, which has seen soaring valuation in recent weeks.</p><hr><p>The deal - expected to close by the end of the fourth quarter - will give Fisker more than $1 billion in gross proceeds to jumpstart production of Fisker Ocean, the vision of founder Henrik Fisker, CEO and chariman of the eponymous named startup. The arrangement spotlights the use of special purpose acquisition companies, known as a SPACs. Another SPAC enabled electric-vehicle startup Nikola Corp to go public last month. Nikola shares have soared since their debut. </p><p>The Fisker Ocean, which premiered at the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this year, starts at $37,499 and is being billed as the most sustainable vehicle, replete with a vegan interior and recycled carpet. Reservations for the either purchase or lease start at $250. </p><p>"This vote of confidence from investors, coupled with our exciting progress on the development of our first vehicle, lays out Fisker's path to 2022 and beyond," said Fisker, a one time Aston-Martin designer. <br></p><p>He <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2020/07/13/ev-startup-fisker-to-go-public-through-merger-with-apollo-backed-firm-at-combined-value-of-2point9-billion.html" target="_blank">told CNBC </a>that the agreement was the best way to get the line of vehicles produced, but said the company does not intend to build its own plant. While the EV market is expected to soar in coming years, startups struggle to find funding for the capital intensive demands of building a car. </p><p>"Our funding, product plans and brand development actions are on course," Fisker said in the announcement. "Prototype vehicles are expected to start durability testing by the end of this year, and we continue to make significant progress on the development of our sales and service proposition."</p><p>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, <a href="https://dot.la/karma-car-2646367624.html" data-linked-post="2646367624" target="_blank">last week secured $100 million from investors</a>. It hopes to use that to raise a total of $300 million and roll out a line of electric vehicles.<br></p>
Apple Allocates $400M to Stem California's Housing Crisis<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://dot.la/media-library/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzQ1Mzk5My9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTU5NTcxMzA4NX0.K86VfE92hD0CjisMGk5r9Uc-uVxIrfDtuG4pHn1wbb0/image.jpg?width=980" id="9b774" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="f9eea1ac10a1579d146be0552a48fec0" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />white and brown wooden house during night timePhoto by Carl Nenzen Loven on Unsplash<p>Apple announced today that it has allocated its first $400 million toward addressing California's housing crisis. The Silicon Valley giant had said last November it would commit $2.5 billion to the effort over multiple years. </p><p>Apple first partnered with Housing Trust Silicon Valley in hopes of bringing affordable housing and mortgage assistance to the Bay Area. Now, they're expanding their partnership to California House Finance Agency (CalHFA), a state agency that supports renters and homebuyers in two ways: Their single family division allows families to apply for loans and work with loan officers directly to tailor a plan to their income. Their multifamily division helps housing developers apply for loans to create more affordable housing.</p><p>The funding is heavily concentrated around the Silicon Valley and the Bay Area, but cities statewide will be able to apply for their housing assistance in areas throughout the state where the company is present, including Culver City.</p><p>"Affordable housing means stability and dignity, opportunity and pride. When these things fall out of reach for too many, we know the course we are on is unsustainable, and Apple is committed to being part of the solution," said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO, in a press release. </p><p>The company is dividing its financial assistance to have the broadest possible impact: $1 billion for an affordable housing investment fund, $1 billion for first-time homebuyer mortgage assistance fund, $300 million Apple-owned land for affordable housing, $150 million Bay Area housing and $50 million to support vulnerable populations.</p><p>The low-cost housing efforts will roll out over the next five years across the Bay Area, but two of the four programs are already underway.</p>
- Karma Automotive Comes Up with $100M in New Funding - dot.LA ›
- Rivian, Fisker and Karma Rake in Funds - dot.LA ›