Tech roundup: GOAT scores an LA Laker, Cloud9 gets funding, and more

by Joyce Famakinwa
October 18, 2018
GOAT scores LA Lakers’ Kyle Kuzma as its first brand ambassador
photo via goat

GOAT scores LA Lakers’ Kyle Kuzma as its first brand ambassador

GOAT steps further into the big leagues with its latest partnership. The online marketplace for buying and selling sneakers has tapped NBA basketball player Kyle Kuzma as its first brand ambassador. Kuzma will represent the company during the NBA season by sporting rare Nike sneakers courtesy of GOAT both on and off the court. “GOAT has always celebrated great athletes. Kuzma is emblematic of the passion, focus and determination that reflect what it means to be great,” Eddy Lu, co-founder, and CEO of GOAT said in a Wednesday statement announcing the deal. [Press release]

 

Cloud9 rakes in a cool $50M in funding
photo via social

Cloud9 rakes in a cool $50M in funding

This week, Cloud9 is, well, on cloud nine. The e-sports gaming company grabbed $50 million in a Series B funding round, according to reports from Forbes. The new capital will go toward an LA-based arena and training center for Cloud9’s teams. Valor Equity Partners led the round, with plans for Antonio Gracias, the firm’s founder and managing partner, to join Cloud9’s board of directors. In addition, Reimagined Ventures, TrueBridge Capital Partners and Glassdoor founder Robert Hohman participated in the round. [Forbes]

 

Wag! plants its paws on Phoenix
photo via shutterstock

Wag! plants its paws on Phoenix

LA-based Wag! said Monday that it will open an additional customer care center in Phoenix this month, creating 100 new open positions at the company, including agent and manager roles. Wag! offers on-demand dog walking, dog sitting and dog boarding services, and the company currently has a customer care operations in LA. “With our rapid growth across 43 states and 110 cites, our Phoenix expansion allows us to address growing customer demand and to continue to provide excellent service to Wag! users,” Wag! CEO Hilary Schneider said in a statement announcing the move. [Press release]

 

A new chief business officer joins the team at Influential
photo via Shutterstock

A new chief business officer joins the team at Influential

A.I. technology and social intelligence firm Influential said Tuesday that Andrew Pelosi joined the company as its chief business officer. Pelosi brings more than 10 years of experience to the role, having recently served as vice president of business development at World Surf League. “This is a great hire for our rapidly expanding and hungry Influential team. Andrew's experience creating partnerships, creating new business opportunities and his overall passion for the work fits our mold here,” CEO and founder Ryan Detert said in a statement. “We've had a fantastic year by way of funding, partnerships and more. Andrew will certainly add to the momentum of 2018 and into 2019.” [Press release]

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