Two Southern California biotech startups got swallowed up this week as big pharma benefitted from the record-breaking year of investment in the industry.

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A Pasadena-based robotics company that helped build a Mars rover has found their new headquarters — and in a former neighborhood restaurant.

Motiv Space Systems has purchased the 4,990 square-foot building that formerly served as Robin's Wood Fire BBQ for $4 million as the 40 to 50-person company expands its production capacity.

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Serial entrepreneur and Heliogen CEO Bill Gross calls it the Sunlight Refinery. In the fall of 2019, the Pasadena startup unveiled a Lancaster facility designed to capture carbon-free thermal energy at over 1,000 degrees Celsius using a cluster of mirrors.

Gross wants the system to power heavy industries like cement and steel processing and replace fossil fuels with entirely renewable energy.

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