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Thursday, Oct 6, 2022
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STARTUPS & INNOVATIONS

FUNDING

Mobile Global Esports Inc., a company that aims to develop university esports competitions using mobile telephones in India, has downsized a planned fundraising round from $16 million to $6 million, according to SEC filings.

The San Clemente-based firm, also known as MOGO, will use the proceeds of its modestly sized IPO to add staff in India, on top of operating, marketing, streaming and event expenses, regulatory filings indicate.

The company, founded last year, seeks to go public under the ticker symbol “MGAM” on the Nasdaq. Its IPO is being underwritten by WestPark Capital Inc.

Former NFL quarterback Kurt Warner, a two-time MVP, will have a post-offering stake in the company of 5.6% through the Kurt & Brenda Warner Revocable Trust, filings indicate.

MOGO has no significant revenue-generating operations from its internally raised funds, it said in filings.

Auditors have raised doubts about the company continuing as a going concern without additional funding.

Chief Executive Dave Pross told the Business Journal late last year that the predominant way of playing esports in India and other markets in Asia is by mobile phone.

With better iPhones and access to Wi-Fi, “it’s really inexpensive in India. That’s become the predominant way of doing it,” Pross said at the time. “The players are playing on their devices,” he said.

 

PARTNERSHIPS

 

Irvine-based medical technology firm GATC Health Corp. has inked an agreement with Sanford, N.C.-based clean energy project developer Akon Lighting America to provide genetics-based health reports.

Details of the agreement have not yet been disclosed.

GATC says its business involves whole genome analysis and multiomics-based artificial intelligence, for disease detection and drug discovery. It is currently developing treatments for opioid addition, stimulant use disorder and PTSD. Its first drug candidate, created by the company’s AI platform, was a treatment for cocaine addiction.

GATC, founded in 2021, recently tapped Dr. Seema Gupta to join its scientific advisory board. Gupta serves as a primary care physician at a federal government agency, according to GATC Health. She is also a clinical associate professor at Marshall University in West Virginia and a member of the editorial board of scientific publication for medical providers Internal Medicine Alert.

“My goal is to bring to GATC Health the unique perspective of a practicing physician with years of experience,” Gupta said in a statement. “I believe my hands-on expertise in this role, combined with my training and background in research and education, will provide valuable insights to GATC Health’s science and technology teams and accelerate their therapeutics and diagnostics development projects.”

 

MERGER

 

Irvine-based fintech Mortgage Coach has combined its operations with Owings Mills, Md.-based mortgage software company Sales Boomerang.

Richard Harris will serve as the CEO of the combined company, which is said to count about 140 employees.

Both firms’ software is used to help loan officers increase sales.

The merger has been in the works since private equity firm LLR Partners invested a reported $80 million in both companies, a deal announced in January. LLR Partners has a controlling stake in the combined business.

Harris’ first stint as a CEO was at marketing solutions software company AddThis, which was acquired by cloud software company Oracle Corp. in 2016. Harris also served as the CEO of email delivery platform SparkPost, which was acquired by omnichannel communication platform MessageBird in 2021 for $600 million.

Mortgage Coach founder Dave Savage, who started the company in 2009, will continue to hold a leadership role in the newly merged entity, according to a statement.

“Combining the advice-based digital presentations of Mortgage Coach with the big data borrower intelligence of Sales Boomerang enables us to create unprecedented opportunities for consumers to achieve financial freedom faster and to help lenders and loan officers to close more loans in this rising interest rate marketplace,” Savage said in a statement.

“Together we have the expertise, the synergy and the platform to put game-changing tools in the hands of our lenders and loan officers.”

 

LAUNCH

 

Bid My Listing Inc. unveiled its online real estate marketplace last month.

The platform allows real estate agents to bid on listings from homeowners who are ready to sell, the Newport Beach-based provider of real estate software products said.

Owners are paid upfront once they choose a bid from an agent.

“Bid My Listing disrupts an incredibly flawed and antiquated system that has resulted in generations of sellers rewarding speed over substance when picking an agent,” Bid My Listing founder and Chairman Matt Proman said in a statement.

“Selling a home is one of the most consequential financial transactions most Americans will ever face. Our marketplace allows for better decision making and facilitates the best possible match between sellers and agents, while also benefiting the seller financially.”

 

Irvine resident and home chef Foo Nguyen, featured on PBS show “The Great American Recipe,” is launching a meal plan service, called Comfort Foo Dee.

Nguyen, who is working on the business with his wife, will roll out the service in a couple of months, he told the Los Angeles Times.

On “The Great American Recipe,” Nguyen competes against 10 home cooks in the eight-part series. The series, hosted by Chef and NBC’s “Today Show” Contributor Alejandra Ramos, aims to explore the different cultural dishes prepared by American home cooks throughout the country.

Nguyen “is originally from Vietnam and grew up with seven siblings in Cincinnati,” according to his PBS bio. “He helped his mom in the kitchen and as he learned to cook, he’d often combine Asian flavors with Midwestern comfort food classics, like adding Japanese pickles to a Cincinnati Cheese Coney.”

 

OpenTeam LLC of Costa Mesa has kicked off a visitor management and tracking system for HR officials using links and QR codes, called Autonix.

“We’ve built a platform to track users coming and going, whether physically or digitally,” company founder Scott Teger told HR publication HRD America. “Within the HR realm, there’s a ton that can be done.”

Autonix QR codes can simultaneously check employees in and distribute information, such as companywide announcements. Paid plans start at $29 a month, according to the company’s LinkedIn page.

The provider of visitor management and tracking solutions developed its QR code concept in fall of 2020, when QR codes popularized as a contactless alternative to printed menus at restaurants.

Teger, a local angel investor for over a decade, launched OpenTeam in early 2021.

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