LA Tech Updates: EV-Makers Rivian, Fisker, Karma Get Super-charged; Facebook issue crashes TikTok

Rachel Uranga

Rachel Uranga is dot.LA's Managing Editor, News. 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.

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Here are the latest updates on news affecting Los Angeles' startup and tech communities. Sign up for our newsletter and follow dot.LA on Twitter for more.

Today:

  • 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

      Rivian Automotive is the maker of electric pickup trucks.

      Tesla's success has super-charged investor interest in the electric vehicle market.

      Exhibit A is the two Southern California-based electric car makers, Fisker and Karma, which secured millions 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, Reuters reported on Thursday.

      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.

      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.

      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.

      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

      farm5.staticflickr.com

      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.

      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.

      "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."

      The crash hit some of the biggest apps.

      "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!"

      It's the second time this year the Facebook interface has caused a crash.

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      Cadence

      Ex-Disney Execs’ Candle Media Buys Social Media Company ATTN: for $100M

      Christian Hetrick

      Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

      Ex-Disney Execs’ Candle Media Buys Social Media Company ATTN: for $100M
      Photo provided by ATTN:

      Candle Media, the firm run by ex-Disney execs Kevin Mayer and Tom Staggs, has bought social media creative company ATTN: for $100 million.

      Los Angeles-based ATTN: (pronounced “attention”) produces content geared toward Gen Z and Millennial viewers. The company has created original series for Facebook, TikTok, and Twitch, as well as TV networks like ABC and NBC, and streaming services like Hulu and Apple TV. Launched in 2014, ATTN:’s brand studio and creative agency has also worked with Amazon, Ford and Google, among others.

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      Marijuana and the Metaverse: How LA Cannabis Startups Are Lighting Up the Virtual Realm

      Nick Kazden
      Nick Kazden is a freelance writer who lives and writes in Los Angeles.
      Marijuana and the Metaverse: How LA Cannabis Startups Are Lighting Up the Virtual Realm
      Image courtesy of Crypto Cannabis Club

      With West Hollywood becoming a hub for cannabis consumption lounges and many Silicon Beach companies embracing virtual reality, it was only a matter of time before two of Los Angeles’ two burgeoning industries started mingling.

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      Tech Is Upsetting the Table at This Year's Upfronts

      Keerthi Vedantam

      Keerthi Vedantam is a bioscience reporter at dot.LA. She cut her teeth covering everything from cloud computing to 5G in San Francisco and Seattle. Before she covered tech, Keerthi reported on tribal lands and congressional policy in Washington, D.C. Connect with her on Twitter, Clubhouse (@keerthivedantam) or Signal at 408-470-0776.

      Tech Is Upsetting the Table at This Year's Upfronts
      Netflix and Google Are Poised to Dominate L.A. After the Pandemic

      Are the upfronts turning into TV execs’ personal “Black Mirror'' episode?

      The annual feeding frenzy—in which C-suite television executives auction off highly-viewed (and costly) advertising time slots— is changing as new streaming behemoths shake up the market. The event often gives viewers and industry watchers insight on what shows are poised to become cultural phenomena, but that too seems to be disrupted at this year’s proceedings.

      It’s been two years since major networks and television players convened in New York for a week, and it’s clear that technology is going to change a lot about how the process works.

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