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Thursday, Oct 6, 2022



Irvine-based real estate software company Openn North America Inc. expects to secure $5 million through a funding round from its Australian parent company, Open Negotiation Ltd., which is publicly traded overseas and valued around $20 million.

Openn NA said a group of investors have pledged $3 million to the U.S. property tech firm, whose software is designed to drive transparency in the process of selling property online.

A share purchase plan will provide Openn NA with an additional $2 million.

The resulting capital will assist in “assuring the timely delivery of multiple pilot programs that are being undertaken across Canada and the United States,” Openn NA Managing Director Peter Gibbons said in a statement.

“Openn is poised to meet the needs of real estate agents and consumers in this tight inventory and rising interest rate environment,” said Openn NA Director of Operations Eric Bryant. “This funding will accelerate the adoption of our fully-transparent real estate purchase process across North America.”



Costa Mesa-based construction-focused tech company Foresite Technology Solutions closed an $8 million funding round led by Gallant Capital last month.

The proceeds will support Foresite’s construction platform, which will replace several manual processes and “siloed technology applications” to improve efficiencies, safety, quality, training and regulatory compliance for builders and trades directly at the job site, the company said.

The company, launched last year, plans to release its flagship product in the third quarter of this year.

“As a lifelong veteran of the construction industry, I have witnessed the increasing complexities of managing cycle times, project budgets and quality while ensuring the job site remains safe and in compliance with an expanding and ever-changing regulatory environment,” Foresite founder and CEO John Gillett said in a statement. “These are challenges we can now solve real-time by bringing Foresite directly to the job site and orchestrating the workflows in a non-intrusive way, driven by artificial intelligence, expert content, and analytical outcomes.”

Gallant Partner Anthony Guagliano called Foresite an “industry changing platform.”

“This purposeful technology will immediately benefit builders and trades alike.”




The Orange County chapter of Tech Coast Angels, the area’s largest network of investors in early-stage companies, announced its third annual fund, the TCA OC Fund 22.

TCA OC Fund 22 will provide capital to no more than 16 early-stage companies this year. Tech Coast Angels expects the fund will yield 100 to 150 investments, with more than $25 million invested over the next decade.

“The TCA OC Fund is designed to make it easier for entrepreneurs to access capital, while providing investors with the benefit of the diverse expertise that Tech Coast Angels can offer,” Fund Chair Jim Pickell said in a statement.

Last year, TCA OC Fund 21 financed 17 companies. The year before that, TCA OC Fund 20 supported 19 companies.

“The TCA OC Fund 22 offers a unique opportunity for both entrepreneurs and TCA member investors. It allows us to fund more companies at a higher level while simultaneously providing greater risk diversity for members and ultimately greater returns,” TCA OC President Lisa Walker said in a statement.

Although the Orange County Tech Coast Angels chapter expects the fund will support more OC-based companies, “investments outside of California that have significant potential for growth will be considered,” it said.




Newport Beach-based payments processing firm TRNXN Co., formed in 2019 and taken out of stealth mode at the start of 2022, said it has made a strategic investment in Tabski LLC, a Missouri-based QR code ordering platform that specializes in restaurant work.

“The payments industry is rapidly changing to meet the demands of businesses and consumers alike,” Paul Hadfield, CEO and founder of TRNXN, said in early July. “Tabski has developed one of the most forward-thinking technology solutions we’ve seen that will help hospitality organizations reduce labor costs, increase check averages and significantly impact table turnover.”

Hadfield Group LLC of Newport Beach created TRNXN Co. to keep up with the demand for its transaction and payment services for local businesses.

TRNXN Co. also features marketing and accounting tools that help clients grow and analyze sales, the company says.

The company “is the culmination of decades of listening to what brick and mortar business operators were missing in their commerce tools and relationships,” Hadfield, who also founded restaurant-focused payment company Revzi, said in a LinkedIn post.




Aliso Viejo-based Bright Uro Inc. launched last month with $6 million in seed and grant funding.

The medical device startup, which focuses on care for lower urinary tract symptoms, received $4 million from the Academy Investor Network, Johnson & Johnson Services Inc. Medical Devices Chief Development Officer of Robotics Dr. Fred Moll and other angel investors. It also received a $2 million Phase II SBIR grant from the National Institutes of Health.

Bright Uro, founded in 2021, offers “wireless, catheter-free” urodynamic monitoring, called the Glean Urodynamics System, obtained through a licensing agreement with the Cleveland Clinic. With the Glean system, clinicians use a tool to insert the Bluetooth-enabled pressure sensor into the patient’s bladder.

Clinicians can then monitor a patients’ urodynamic activity through a smartphone app. The Glean system also includes a uroflowmeter to gauge volume and flow.

The Glean design may allow physicians to gather more ambulatory data with greater physiologic accuracy than the standard care for urodynamics, the company said.

“With 80% of urologists understanding the flaws in current urodynamics practices, it has become clear that the current standard of care leaves much to be desired,” Bright Uro founder and CEO Derek Herrera said.


Irvine-based VR edtech startup Immerse launched a social app for English and Spanish language-learners on the Meta Quest 2, a VR headset.

Subscribers can take live Spanish or English lessons, engage in peer-to-peer conversation practice and attend weekly community events. The membership fee costs $45 per month.

When the company adds French and Japanese to its available languages in 2023, it will raise its membership fee to $60 per month.

The company, launched in 2017 at UCI’s Wayfinder incubator, has raised a total of $11.5 million. In March, Immerse secured $9 million from its Series B funding round, co-led by Eagle Venture Fund and Mustang Creek Capital. Two years ago, it closed its Series A round with $1.5 million. The company raised $500,000 during its founding.

“This funding positions us to execute on ambitious go-to-market plans while simultaneously getting us on the radar of the tech companies that are fueling the rise of VR,” founder and CEO Quinn Taber told the Business Journal in March via email.

The additional financing will enable Immerse to become the “foremost educator in the metaverse,” he said, as well as grow its team, innovate more products and launch its app onto other major VR platforms.


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