Relativity Space Co-Founder Jordan Noone Steps Down, Hints at 'Next Venture'
Tami Abdollah is dot.LA's senior technology reporter. She was previously a national security and cybersecurity reporter for The Associated Press in Washington, D.C. She's been a reporter for the AP in Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Times and for L.A.'s NPR affiliate KPCC. Abdollah spent nearly a year in Iraq as a U.S. government contractor. A native Angeleno, she's traveled the world on $5 a day, taught trad climbing safety classes and is an avid mountaineer. Follow her on Twitter.
Relativity Space co-founder and CTO Jordan Noone announced on Twitter Wednesday that he began a transition to the role of executive advisor earlier this week "in preparation for starting my next venture."
Noone did not provide details on what that venture may be and the company did not respond immediately respond to a request for comment.
Tim Ellis, Relativity Space's co-founder and CEO, said in his own tweet that it's been an "absolute honor and privilege" to partner with Noone to build Relativity Space, which aims, eventually, to print 3D rockets on Mars.
It has been an absolute honor and privilege to partner with you and build this incredible place that we’re so proud… https://t.co/HwK1VSFeGd— Tim Ellis (@Tim Ellis)1599693031.0
A former SpaceX engineer, Noone, met Ellis while they were both students at the University of Southern California and involved with the Rocket Propulsion Lab, a student group that builds its own rockets.
They would go on to found the company in 2015 with a $500,000 from investor Mark Cuban.
In his tweet, Noone said, "@relativityspace has been the dream of a lifetime."
The company recently hit a number of key benchmarks to help bring it closer to its goals.
In June, the Los Angeles-based company announced an agreement with the U.S. Air Force's 30th Space Wing to develop rocket launch facilities at Vandenberg Air Force Base and a separate contract with Iridiums Communications Inc. to deliver satellites into orbit using Relativity's 3D printed launch vehicle.
Relativity closed its $140 million Series C funding round led by Bond and Tribe Capital in October. The company is also backed by investors Playground Global, Y Combinator, Social Capital, and Mark Cuban.
Do you have a story that needs to be told? My DMs are open on Twitter @latams. You can also email me at tami(at)dot.la, or ask for my contact on Signal, for more secure and private communications.
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Proptech startup Pacaso emerged from stealth mode Thursday, aiming to make it easier for a larger swath of the population to own a second home, or at least a portion of one.
The company announced a $17 million seed round led by venture capital firm Maveron, with participation from Global Founders Capital, L.A.'s Crosscut and individual investors such as former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, real estate coach Tom Ferry, former Zillow executive Greg Schwartz, and Amazon CEO of Consumer Worldwide Jeff Wilke. Pacaso also raised $250 million in debt financing to purchase homes.
California's AB 3262 Is Quietly Shelved; GoodRx Files for IPO; Scopely Adds FoxNext Exec to Its Ranks
FoxNext Games Executive to Head Scopely's Business Operations<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjg4NTExOS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1MzkxNzcyNH0.hEWc12TK3b9bqj44Ibqq0xzn8te61KEa8xagFHY55vU/img.jpg?width=980" id="a50b4" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="ceeb59ed0c4245b31ffd129e67acf88c" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
FoxNext Games Executive to Head Scopely's Business Operations<p>Scopely, the Culver City-based gaming company behind Scrabble Go and several other mobile games, has named former FoxNext Games executive Aaron Loeb as its chief business officer.</p><p>The move to bring in the veteran gaming executive came as part of Scopely's acquisition of FoxNext's gaming division, which it bought from Disney after then-CEO Bob Iger spun it off from 20th Century Fox.</p><p>Before FoxNext, Loeb was president at mobile gaming studio Kabam and its spinout Aftershock, following stints as vice president and group general manager at games publisher EA and CEO at Planet Moon Studios, a game developer.</p><p>Loeb will oversee several teams at Scopely, with a focus on "refining game development, tech quality and creative processes," according to the company statement. He will be based in the company's London offices, where Scopely has pushed its European expansion. </p><p>The move comes as the gaming industry has been growing rapidly. There are nearly 3 billion gamers worldwide – that's more people than live in China and India, the world's two most populous countries, combined. One big reason that number is so high? Mobile games. Those "gamers" range from professional esports players seeking fame and fortune to folks waiting for their lattes by twiddling at games like Scrabble Go and Candy Crush.</p><p>Earlier this year, nine-year-old Scopely raised a $400 million Series D, bringing its total funding raised to over $650 million. That cash helped to finance Scopely's acquisition of FoxNext Games in April. Scopely's other game titles include Yahtzee With Buddies, which has earned over $500 million in lifetime revenue according to a company statement, and Marvel Strike Force, which was developed by FoxNext. </p><p>In addition to its L.A. HQ and London office, Scopely has offices in Boulder CO, Tokyo, Dublin and Barcelona.</p>
California's AB 3262 Is Quietly Shelved<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzU3NjQ2My9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0ODI5MTA2NH0.gAJBFGvo-vBRcvJxYVbXzo9ofhwDOpq3Km1uldi_WFQ/img.jpg?width=980" id="b147c" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="1a2a3ec30586c4a1ae9ff8c5b0e52425" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />California Could Soon Make Amazon, Other Online Marketplaces Liable for Defective Products<p>A California bill that would have held Amazon and other online marketplaces strictly liable for defective third-party products was quietly shelved over the weekend.</p><p>The bill, AB 3262, authored by Democratic Assemblyman Mark Stone of Santa Cruz, was expected to be voted on by the state Senate before session adjourns Monday. But the bill has <a href="https://dot.la/ab-3262-2647068497.html" target="_self">spurred increasing opposition among the business community</a>. A novel coronavirus scare among Republican senators after one had tested positive last week further delayed the vote.</p><p><span></span>Stone said in a statement that he recognized the complexity surrounding the purchase of flawed or falsely advertised products online but wanted to "move beyond the 'Buyer Beware' mentality, and toward an online policy that has been the law for brick-and-mortar retailers in California for decades."</p><p>Supporters of the measure have said it is crucial to leveling the playing field for such brick-and-mortar stores, but critics say that the bill places an unnecessary burden on small businesses and startups with tighter budgets to address such issues who are already under tremendous strain during a global pandemic.</p><p>"Unfortunately, despite promising ideas and potential paths for moving forward, AB 3262 will not advance in its present form by the legislative deadline," Stone said. "I am committed to continuing the conversation with the online industry, with my follow [sic] members in the legislature, and with California consumers, to create a strong and effective measure in the future that ensures that if a defective product is purchased online, the consumer has a remedy."</p>
GoodRx To Enter NASDAQ as GDRX<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://dot.la/media-library/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzU5OTIxMS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzODYzNTE5OX0.G4UrM_3cUeSMl_z0pkxZQvQeSj4fcspdv_MxCWdgHyo/image.jpg?width=980" id="3daeb" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="a56344f62569b55f270eb50f0fc4195c" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="GoodRx" /><p>Prescription discount GoodRX filed to go public Friday and is looking to raise $100 million. It will be traded on the NASDAQ under the ticker symbol "GDRX" later this year.</p><p>Co-founded by former Facebook executive Doug Hirsch in 2011, the Santa Monica company makes money by collecting fees from pharmacy benefits managers. It offers comparison pricing at different pharmacies and has been one of the most popular downloaded medical apps. </p><p>While some tech companies are going out for IPOs while <a href="https://sec.report/Document/0001193125-20-230013/" target="_blank">losing money</a>, GoodRx stands apart for its steady profit growth over recent years. It earned $54 million in profit for the first six months ending in June, up from $31 million over the same time last year, a 74% increase. </p><p>The company targets consumers who are paying for drugs out-of-pocket at drug stores, and many of them have fallen off during the pandemic, choosing instead to stay home or avoid the doctor. Second quarter use fell to 4.4 million from 4.9 million from the prior quarter, although usage appears to be picking up again.<br></p><p>Last year, GoodRx expanded into telehealth with HeyDoctor and, while patients have flocked to the new service during the pandemic, the division is less profitable than the prescription side of the business.</p><p>In its filings on Friday, the company laid out some of its biggest risks, including a model that's highly dependent on a drug pricing structure dictated by pharmaceutical manufacturers and wholesalers, insurance companies and benefits managers - all of which it has little control over. The company is also reliant on more than a dozen benefit managers, but their business is dominated by just three of them.<br></p><p>Earlier this year, Hirsch and co-founder Trevor Bezdek told CNBC they are "constantly worrying" about regulatory issues like single payer health care, competition and the industry souring on them.</p><p>"All we can do, and all we have done, is stayed true to our mission of helping provide more transparency to consumers," Bezdek told CNBC.</p>
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