Venice, California-based Thankful, a new artificial intelligence software startup focused on customer service, announced this morning that it has raised $12M in its Series A funding round. The funding was led by Alpha Edison, and also included Bonfire Ventures, Ten-One-Ten, Greycroft, Omega, and Miramar Ventures. The company said it is developing artificial intelligence software which helps companies resolve large volumes of customer problems across all written customer service channels, including email, chat, social, in-app, and SMS. The startup is led by CEO Ted Mico. The company says its customers include Crate & Barrel, FabFitFun, MeUndies, Morphe, and Bombas.
San Luis Obispo-based Dozuki, a developer of software that provides training to the manufacturing workforce, has raised a strategic growth investment round, the company said today. Size of the investment was not announced. The funding came from Marlin Equity Partners. According to Dozuki, it will use the funding to further its position in the manufacturing software market. Dozuki was founded by co-founder and CEO Eric Doster. The company said it was advised by Vista Point Advisors.
Los Angeles-based Karman Missile & Space Systems, a developer of flight hardware and sub-assemblies for the space market, said Friday that it has acquired Systima Technologies, a provider of integration of mission critical space and hypersonic systems. Financial details of the acquisition were not announced. The acquisition was supported by private equity investor Trive Capital. According to the companies, the acquisition is the fifth transaction Trive has completed in the last 12 months to create Karman. The companies said the fastest growing product lines for Systima is high performance composite structures using high temperature materials for missile and launch platforms. Tony Koblinski is the CEO of Karman Systems.
El Segundo-based Beyond Meat, the developer of plant-based meat products, is expanding availability of its Beyond Chicken Tenders beyond restaurants, and into retail markets, the company said this morning. The company said that its Beyond Chicken Tenders will be available at Walmart stores and other retail chains across the US, starting in October. The product had previously only been available for the food service business, and in particular at Panda Express and A&W Canada. The company said its Beyond Chicken Tenders offer the same taste as traditional chicken tenders but with 50% less saturated fat.
A launch of an Atlas V rocket at Vandenberg Air Force Base is scheduled for today, to take a new Landsat satellite into space for NASA, according to NASA. The launch is currently targeted at 11:11am from Space Launch Complex-3 at Vandenberg Space Force Base, which is north of Los angeles near Lompoc. According to launch provider United Launch Alliance (ULA), the launch will also include multiple CubeSats, which will be released after Landsat 9 separation. The first Landsat satellite was launched in 1972.
A new, Los Angeles-based venture capital fund, JAM Fund, led by Tinder co-founder Justin Mateen, has raised $247.5M for what appears to be its second fund, JAM Fund 2, L.P.. The funding was detailed in a regulatory filing this week. The filing indicates that the firm has 15 limited partners in the fund. Mateen is the only General Partner listed on the fund. Mateen, a co-founder of dating/hookup app Tinder, was at Tinder until a major scandal involving a sexual harassment lawsuit, which resulted in Mateen being booted from Tinder. Mateen has been an active angel investor.
Los Angeles-based dog care startup Dogdrop has raised $2.9M in a funding round, to expand the company's locations and markets. The funding was led by Fuel Capital and also included Mars PetCare, Muse Capital, Animal Capital, Gaingels, The Helm and CEO dog care startup, Wag. Dogdrop launched out of the Science Inc. startup incubator and studio. According to the company, the new funding will help it expand its Los Angeles footprint, and also will help it as it looks at expanding to Austin, Denver, Charlotte, Salt Lake City, and Raleigh. The company's co-founders are Shaina Denny and Greer Wilk. The company said that Denny previously led business development for an EV company in Beijing and was the US marketing lead at Xiaomi, and Greer was previously in marketing and product development at LegalZoom.