NEWS: SoCal Startup Funding Roundup May 18-22: Aspiration Partners, SiFi Networks, United Dwelling, Brainbase, Amplyx Pharmaceuticals, Etitude, ChromaCode, Assembly, Briq, Lumitron…


Here are startups throughout SoCal — from Santa Barbara to San Diego — that announced receiving investments this week.

Aspiration Partners announced it raised $135 million in a Series C round. The fintech startup, with HQ in Marina del Rey, provides banking and investing products and services. Its MO is sustainability and conscious consumerism. (From Crunchbase).


SiFi Networks announced an initial investment of up to $50 million to develop its open-access fiber optic networks, to meet the pent-up demand for high speed connectivity across the country. A further investment of up to $400 million will provide the project funding for the building of new fiber networks. All this capital has been (and is expected to be) provided by the Smart City Infrastructure Fund, a global investment fund cornerstoned by APG, the largest pension delivery organization in the Netherlands, and managed by Whitehelm Capital. (From PR Newswire)


United Dwelling announced it raised $10 million in a Series B round led by Alpha Edison with participation from Lightspeed Venture Partners. The startup, with HQ in Culver City, is working on transforming underutilized garages and backyards into housing units, to alleviate the housing crisis in California. The startup expects to build more than 150 of its detached studio homes in SoCal in 2020 and more than 1,500 in 2021. (From Crunchbase News)


Brainbase announced it closed on a $8 million Series A round led by Bessemer Venture Partners and Nosara Capital. The startup, with HQ in LA, intends to used the funds to expedite developing its software for its platform that helps companies manage any licensing, partnership or sponsorship agreements from end-to-end in a single platform.


Amplyx Pharmaceuticals announced it closed on an additional $53 million toward its Series C, bringing the total to more than $90 million. The financing was led by Sofinnova Investments. The biotech startup, with HQ in SD, is developing therapies for debilitating and life-threatening diseases in patients with compromised immune systems. The new funding will go toward advancing the clinical development of two product candidates. (From Crunchbase News)


Ettitude closed a $1.6 million round. The startup, with HQ in LA, sells D2C bamboo sheets and bedding. The funding came from Drumbeat Ventures and TA Ventures. The company’s co-founders are Phoebe Yu and Kat Dey. Yu founded the company in Melbourne, Australia, but recently moved to LA. (From SoCalTech)


ChromaCode announced a $10 million Series C extension from Adjuvant Capital. The Adjuvant investment brings the company’s total Series C funding to $38 million.

ChromaCode, with HQ in Carlsbad, uses data science on molecular testing. Funding from this round will support global expansion and continued development of the startup’s high-def platform. The company is using this platform to help in the fight against the coronavirus.

Adjuvant joins existing ChromaCode investors Okapi Venture Capital in OC, Northpond Ventures, New Enterprise Associates, Domain Associates, Windham Ventures, Moore Venture Partners and the California Institute of Technology. (From a press release)


Assembly, a developer of e-commerce tools and software, has received what it says is a “significant investment” from private equity investor Providence Strategic Growth. Financial terms of the investment were not announced.

According to Assembly, with HQ in LA, the new funding will go to build and acquire e-commerce software and services.

In conjunction with the funding, Assembly says it has acquired software developer Helium 10, which develops software for helping Amazon merchants expand and optimize their businesses. (From SoCalTech)


Briq, a developer of software used for financial forecasting in the construction industry, raised $10 million, in a Series A funding round.

The funding was led by existing investor Blackhorn Ventures, and also included Eniac Ventures, MetaProp Ventures, and Darling Ventures.

Briq’s HQ in Santa Barbara. (From SoCalTech)


And, recently, Lumitron Technologies, with HQ in Irvine, closed a $34 million funding round, led by Singapore-based VC firm Vickers Venture Partners.

With the new funding, Lumitron aims to build its first commercial X-ray systems in Q4 2020.

The closing of this round … allows us to not only fast track multiple systems addressing high-end university research applications, but also explore a new paradigm in cancer diagnostics and therapy along with catering for a range of unmet needs in industrial applications for non-destructive imaging and assay,” said Lumitron Executive Director and CTO Chris Barty.

Lumitron develops a HyperVIEW platform that aims to enable the creation of X-ray images “in the purest ultra-high resolution.”

Originally developed at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the system also includes detailed imaging and elemental analysis capabilities, as well as the ability to capture motion at the pico-second time scale.

According to the company, the system will present a resolution improvement of up to 1,000 times as compared to conventional X-rays, while generating significantly less radiation and occupying a desktop footprint.

(From Lumitron’s website)

About The Author

Deirdre Newman is a long-time journalist, who's covered OC startups for a few years.

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