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Harri is dot.LA's senior finance reporter. She previously worked for Gizmodo, Fast Company, VentureBeat and Flipboard. Find her on Twitter and send tips on L.A. startups and venture capital to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In a new LinkedIn post, Sweetgreen co-founder and CEO Jonathan Neman walked back his earlier comments on the coronavirus a week after he proclaimed that "no vaccine nor mask will save us" from the pandemic.
"My intention was not to be discriminatory or to discount the importance of getting vaccinated and wearing masks to combat COVID-19," he said in the new post. "Wearing masks and getting vaccinated works to protect against COVID-19. Full stop."
Earlier, Neman claimed that "our best bet is to learn how to best live with [the virus] and focus on overall health vs preventing infection." His comments came as the Culver City salad chain gears up for an initial public offering.
The startup best known for selling $14 salads confirmed in June it confidentially filed for an IPO. Earlier this year the company was valued at $1.8 billion.
Neman wrote in the original post, "What if we made the food that is making us sick illegal? What if we taxed processed food and refined sugar to pay for the impact of the pandemic?"
The first post, which went up on Sept. 1, immediately attracted attention, with Motherboard first reporting on it and other media piling on.
In the latest post, Neman said in a near-apology that he intended to "start a conversation around the systemic healthcare issues in the country." The executive added, "Words matter and the words I chose were insensitive and oversimplified a very complex issue that is impacted by larger socioeconomic factors."
Neman reportedly stuck a different tone In an internal meeting with staff. The executive said he stands "behind the intent" of his earlier comments, and that the lesson he learned was to consult with his PR team, Motherboard reports. "We have a great team that could have helped craft that message in a way to not be so divisive and to be more effective," he said.
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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.
The United States Supreme Court called a Mississippi law banning abortion after 15 weeks constitutional on Friday, overturning the country’s founding abortion rights decision Roe v. Wade. The Supreme Court also upheld that there cannot be any restriction on how far into a pregnancy abortion can be banned.
When Politico first broke the news months before SCOTUS’s final ruling, a slew of bills entered Congress to protect data privacy and prevent the sale of data, which can be triangulated to see if a person has had an abortion or if they are seeking an abortion and have historically been used by antiabortion individuals who would collect this information during their free time.
Democratic lawmakers led by Congresswoman Anna Eshoo called on Google to stop collecting location data. The chair of the Federal Trade Commission has long voiced plans for the agency to prevent data collection. A week after the news, California Assembly passed A.B. 2091, a law that would prevent insurance companies and medical providers from sharing information in abortion-related cases (the state Senate is scheduled to deliberate on it in five days).
These scattered bills attempt to do what health privacy laws do not. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA, was established in 1996 when the Internet was still young and most people carried flip phones. The act declared health institutions were not allowed to share or disclose patients’ health information. Google, Apple and a slew of fertility and health apps are not covered under HIPAA, and fertility app data can be subpoenaed by law enforcement.
California’s Confidentiality of Medical Information Act (or CMIA), goes further than HIPAA by encompassing apps that store medical information under the broader umbrella of health institutions that include insurance companies and medical providers. And several how-tos on protecting data privacy during Roe v. Wade have been published in the hours of the announcement.
But reproductive rights organizations say data privacy alone cannot fix the problem. According to reproductive health policy think tank Guttmacher Institute, the closest state with abortion access to 1.3 million out-of-state women of reproductive age is California. One report from the UCLA Center on Reproductive Health, Law and Policy estimates as many as 9,400 people will travel to Los Angeles County every year to get abortions, and that number will grow as more states criminalize abortions.
“Moves,” our roundup of job changes in L.A. tech, is presented by Interchange.LA, dot.LA's recruiting and career platform connecting Southern California's most exciting companies with top tech talent. Create a free Interchange.LA profile here—and if you're looking for ways to supercharge your recruiting efforts, find out more about Interchange.LA's white-glove recruiting service by emailing Sharmineh O’Farrill Lewis (email@example.com). Please send job changes and personnel moves to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Advertising technology company OpenX Technologies appointed Geoff Wolinetz as senior vice president of demand platforms. Wolinetz was most recently senior vice president of growth at Chalice Custom Algorithms.
Remote health care infrastructure provider Getlabs hired Jaime LaFontaine as its vice president of business development. L.A.-based LaFontaine was previously director of business development for Alto Pharmacy.
Customer experience platform DISQO tapped Andrew Duke as its vice president of product, consumer applications. Duke previously served as Oracle’s senior director of strategy and product.
Media company Wheelhouse DNA named Michael Senzer as senior manager of Additive Creative, its newly launched digital talent management division. Senzer was previously vice president of business development at TalentX Entertainment.
Fintech lending platform Camino Financial hired Dana Rainford as vice president of people and talent. Rainford previously served as head of human resources at Westwood Financial.
Kourtney Day returned to entertainment company Jim Henson’s Creature Shop as senior director of business development. Day mostly recently served as business development manager for themed entertainment at Solomon Group.
In this week’s edition of “Raises”: An L.A.-based footwear company closed $100 million to boost its expansion into the global market, while there were Series A raises for local fintech, biotech and space startups.
Miracle Miles Group, an L.A.-based footwear company, raised a $100 million Series A funding round co-led by IDG Capital and Sequoia Capital China.
Deno, a San Diego-based software development startup, raised a $21 million Series A funding round led by Sequoia Capital.
Tapcheck, an L.A.-based financial wellness startup that helps workers access their paycheck before payday, raised a $20 million Series A funding round led by PeakSpan Capital.
Gemelli Biotech, an L.A.- and Raleigh, N.C.-based biotech startup focused on gastrointestinal diseases, raised a $19 million Series A financing round led by Blue Ox Healthcare Partners.
Epsilon3, an L.A.-based space operations software startup, raised a $15 million Series A funding round led by Lux Capital.
Global Premier Fertility, an Irvine-based fertility company, raised an $11 million Series C funding round led by Triangle Capital Corporation.
Vamstar, an L.A.- and London-based medical supply chain platform, raised a $9.5 million Series A funding round co-led by Alpha Intelligence Capital and Dutch Founders Fund.
System 9, an L.A.-based digital asset market-making firm focused on the crypto altcoin market, raised a $5.7 million Series A funding round led by Capital6 Eagle.
Myria, an L.A.-based online marketplace of luxury goods and services, raised a $4.3 million seed round from Y Combinator, Backend Capital, Cathexis Ventures and other angel investors.
Binarly, an L.A.-based firmware cybersecurity company, raised a $3.6 million seed round from WestWave Capital and Acrobator Ventures.
Raises is dot.LA’s weekly feature highlighting venture capital funding news across Southern California’s tech and startup ecosystem. Please send fundraising news to Decerry Donato (email@example.com).
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