Tech roundup: Musk's win, Brud's funding, Sweetgreen's initiative, and more

by Hannah Levy
March 14, 2019
Sweetgreen founders
photo via sweetgreen

Sweetgreen launches initiative with FoodCorps 

LA's favorite salad tech company announced the next phase of their Sweetgreen in Schools charitable initiative. The company will partner with FoodCorps — an arm of the government-funded AmeriCorps civil service program — to help reimagine school cafeterias around the country. The pilot will use flavor stations and tech-driven taste tests to guide students in experimenting with healthier food choices. Sweetgreen has pledged $1 million over the next two years to the project. [sweetgreen]  


Brud's virtual influencer
photo via Instagram

Brud has raised a rumored $20 million in new funds 

Brud, the company that engineered the world's first virtual influencer Lil Miquela, closed a $20 million round, according to a filing by the SEC this week. Brud has raised $6.1 million to date by big-name VCs including Sequoia Capital and Founders Fund. News of the deal is forthcoming in the next few weeks. [SEC filing]


Nick Bell
photo via social

NYC venture studio moves to LA, snags top Snap talent

Human Ventures, a company that co-founds, builds and scales new tech startups, announced the opening of a new LA office this year. The new outpost will be home to one of the studio's latest additions, Nick Bell, who was formerly the VP of content at Snap. Nick will be leading a team in the LA office focussing on the "attention economy," a new market focus for the studio. The choice to move west was driven by "fresh access to top entrepreneurial talent in media and technology, as well as a new investor community," according to a blog post from the company.  [Medium]


Spotify banner over stock exchange
photo via shutterstock

Hulu and Spotify partner up to offer discounted bundle 

Hulu and Spotify announced this week that they would be expanding their partnership to offer discounted streaming bundles when the two products are bought in tandem. As of Tuesday, consumers can receive a Hulu subscription virtually for free when signing up for Spotify Premium. The cost of the music streaming service — $9.99 per month — isn't changing as part of the deal. Last year the same bundle cost around $12.99 per month. The deal is part of Hulu's plan to drive the price of its entry-level streaming product down to entice new users. The Hulu-Spotify partnership has been going since 2017. [TechCrunch]


Welcome to LV sign
photo via shutterstock

It's official: Elon's going to Vegas

Last week, we reported on The Boring Company's bid for a hyperloop project at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The Hawthorne-based company was one of a handful bidding on the project that would construct a people mover as long as two miles across. The board voted on Tuesday and — unsurprisingly in this case — Musk's company won. In a tweet following the ruling, Musk wrote: "Looking forward to building a Boring Company tunnel in Vegas. Assuming to be operational by end of year!" It's a lofty goal, especially considering that the convention center project itself isn't slated to be completed until 2021. 


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