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PayPal-backed fintech startup Tala has raised $145 million in a Series E round to expand its financial services in countries in emerging markets and to develop a mass-market crypto product.

The raise was led by lending platform Upstart with participation from the Stellar Development Foundation, bringing the total raised by the Santa Monica-based company to more than $350 million.

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It's no accident that this has been a banner year for direct-to-consumer furniture brand Outer. The Santa Monica startup co-founded by a former Pottery Barn designer seemed to emerge just as people were forced to stay home and its showroom concept seemed appropriately tailored to the social distanced demands of the pandemic world.

The company, which uses customer's backyards as a showroom for potential customers, is now looking to go beyond retail sales.

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Equipped with GPS tracking, two-way microphones and a human pilot controlling it from far away, Coco's 50-pound pink robots rolling around San Pedro, Santa Monica and other parts of Southern California are hoping to become a local mainstay.

Welcome to the delivery robot race.

As delivery bots take to the streets, Southern California has become a testing ground for companies like Coco that are trying to distinguish themselves.

The Los Angeles-based startup announced Wednesday that it raised $36 million in a Series A round led by Silicon Valley Bank, Founders Fund and the former president of Silicon Valley incubator Y Combinator and CEO of OpenAI Sam Altman.

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