Chris Casacchia

Technology Editor/Reporter

Chris Casacchia covers technology, aerospace and defense and sports. He can be reached at

Phone: 949-833-8373 Extension: 225

Recent Stories

New Marketing, Media Firm Geared for Gamers

Esportz Network Will Focus on Gaming News

Orange County’s esports hub has another player.

TCL Brings Alcatel Smartphones to Verizon

$100 Phones for Sale

TCL Communication Technology Holdings Ltd., which has U.S. headquarters in Irvine, has inked its first deal with Verizon Wireless to distribute its Alcatel brand of smartphones.

Anduril Works With Gov’t-Backed Wireless Co.

Luckey Vouches for New Oculus Quest Product

Closely watched defense contractor Anduril Industries has endorsed another technology-related company, while the Irvine-based firm’s founder, Palmer Luckey, has given the thumbs-up on his old firm’s latest virtual reality headset product.

OC’s Chipmakers Grow Amid Buys, New Uses

Marvell, Microchip, And Skyworks See Big Gains

The largest chipmakers in Orange County boosted local employment significantly in the past 12 months, buoyed by big takeovers amid ongoing global consolidation.

Chipotle Customers Hacked

No Database Breach, Company Says

Customers of Newport Beach-based Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (NYSE: CMG) said their online and app accounts were hacked in the last month or so, and are posting on forums like Reddit to complain.

Employment Flat for Consumer Electronics Makers

WD Cuts in Irvine, While ViewSonic Doubles Size

Last year, Orange County’s consumer electronics sector was marked by mergers and acquisitions, relocations and other major corporate developments.

Blizzard’s Esports Draw Dollars; User Base Shrinks

TECHNOLOGY: $500M+ from ‘Overwatch,’ other leagues

Blizzard Entertainment Inc. continues to bring in big league sponsors and deep-pocketed investors for its fledgling esports league, although questions remain about the health of the Irvine-based video game giant’s core business.

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Samsung Ramps Up Commercial Business Efforts

7,500-SF Irvine Spot Highlights Digital Displays

The world’s largest consumer electronics maker, Samsung Electronics Co., is looking to boost its commercial business in the Western U.S., and it’s using a site near John Wayne Airport as its base for those efforts.

ConversionPoint AI-Driven Buy, IPO Moving Ahead

TECHNOLOGY: Inuvo voting $75M deal this week

This week promises to be a busy one for ConversionPoint Holdings Inc., in its bid to be Orange County’s first company to go public this year.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.3% in midday trading at 2,892.17.

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Midday Stock Roundup

All major U.S. indexes fell more than 1% in midday trading amid heightened concerns of a looming U.S. trade war with China pressed by President Donald Trump.

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BlackBerry Sees Cylance Sales ‘Slow’

TECHNOLOGY: Still may reach 30% growth

A possible key customer loss and a revenue projection lower than a prior year have zapped some mojo from Cylance Inc. in the wake of its $1.4 billion sale to BlackBerry Ltd.

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Quest Buys Database Co.

N.C.-based ApexSQL Counts 80 Employees

Aliso Viejo-based Quest Software Inc. has boosted its global database services with its first reported acquisition of the year.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was down 0.2% in midday trading to 2,936.87.

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Enevate’s Fast-Charging Batteries Gets More Funding

Aims for EV Batteries To Power Up in 5 Minutes

Enevate Corp.’s new corporate strategy has caught the attention of another foreign investor.

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Syntiant Surge

OC’s Latest Chipmaker: High on AI Applications, Low on Energy Use

Irvine semiconductor maker Syntiant Corp. has put its first batch of chips into limited production, another milestone for the closely-watched startup.

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Bellwether In $20M Investment

Newport Beach-based investment firms Bellwether Financial Group and Nadavon Capital Partners made a $20 million equity investment in business software maker Club Speed Inc.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 rose 0.8% in midday trading to 2,933.65.

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Mavenlink Putting New Funds into Products, People

TECHNOLOGY: $111M Raised Since ’08 Start

A $48 million funding round co-led by a local investor and a Wall Street powerhouse will fuel ongoing innovation at project management software maker Mavenlink Inc.—and more speculation on the next steps in the fast-growing firm’s evolution.

NextVR Pins Hopes on 5G, More Immersive Content

It’s minutes after tip-off in a late-season hoops matchup between the Golden State Warriors and Charlotte Hornets.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 inched up 0.1% in midday trading to 2,908.58.

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CalAmp Buys Synovia for $50M

CalAmp Corp. has acquired Synovia Solutions LLC for $50 million to expand its subscription services, the Irvine-based company said today.

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Rocket Lab Poised for Breakthrough ’19, Report Says

Surf City ‘Satlet’ Co. Launches Gov’t Satellite

Rocket Lab launched its first satellite this year, in what’s shaping up to be an eventful 2019 for the Huntington Beach-based aerospace manufacturer and small-satellite or “smallsat” launcher.

Mavenlink Gets $48M; Carrick, Goldman, In

Business software maker Mavenlink Inc. raised $48 million in a Series E financing round, led by current investors Newport Beach-based private equity firm Carrick Capital Partners and Goldman Sachs Growth Equity.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 dipped 0.4% in midday trading to 2,884.63.

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Lantronix’s New CEO Gets Plaudits From Jimmy P

Ex-Microsemi President Pickle Tapped for Post

Wall Street and at least one notable area investor have signaled approval of Lantronix Inc.’s new chief executive Paul Pickle.

Planet DDS Rides Wave of Dental Practice Mergers

TECHNOLOGY: Cloud-based services prompt growth

Industry consolidation in the corporate dentistry sector, and a growing reliance by those firms on cloud-based software services, is leading to more growth for Newport Beach-based Planet DDS.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 in midday trading inched down 0.1% to 2,863.68.

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Smart TV Maker Relies On Smart Patent Defense

LAW: Vizio’s GC fights patent ‘shake downs’

Vizio Inc. has amassed dozens of patent litigation victories over the past five years, highlighting the maker of smart TVs, sound bars and other digital entertainment products’ expertise in dismissing claims, and upholding the validity of its own patents, in an era of high-stakes intellectual property law.

Veritone’s AI Cloud Platform Gets Federal Approval

Sees Big Opportunity With Gov’t Agencies

Veritone Inc.’s artificial intelligence offerings are now available for the U.S. government.

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 rose 0.6% in midday trading to 2,815.63.

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Smith Micro Software Shares Rise After Busy 2018

Follows Year-Long Effort To Streamline Operations

Smith Micro Software Inc. shares are on an upswing after the Aliso Viejo-based company reported revenue and profit growth in the fourth quarter and full year.

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.4% in midday trading to 2,843.40.

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Lantronix CEO Departure Prompts Call for Changes

TECHNOLOGY: Jimmy P suggests ‘strategic alternative’

Jeff Benck has left networking products maker Lantronix Inc. in a stronger financial position than what he inherited in late 2015.

CalAmp Shifts China Manufacturing Work to Mexico

Tariffs Speed Up Firm’s Diversification Efforts

Telematics specialist CalAmp Corp.’s pending acquisition of the exclusive licensee of LoJack technology in the Mexican market underscores its growing reliance on the border nation.

Cannabis Company Names CEO

Chris Beals has been promoted to chief executive of Irvine-based Weedmaps.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 in midday trading increased 0.3% to 2,792.69.

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More Western Dig Job Cuts

Memory products maker Western Digital Inc. has sliced its local workforce another 7% , eliminating 102 jobs in Irvine as part of a larger cost-cutting initiative that eliminated hundreds of positions in California, according to a filing with the state Employment Development Department.

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Vehicle Tracker CalAmp Spends $26M on Buys

TECHNOLOGY: UK, Mexico deals; shifts subscribership model

Telematics specialist CalAmp Corp. is starting 2019 on an international buying spree.

Senior Housing Exec Serves Into Tennis League

SPORTS: Took over OC Breakers in 2017

Laguna Beach resident Eric Davidson, co-founder of Newport Beach-based senior homecare operator Vintage Senior Living, has acquired a significant stake in World TeamTennis LLC, or WTT.

Obsidian, OC’s Next Big Security Firm, Nabs $20M

Cylance, Carbon Black Execs Offer ID Protection

Newport Beach software maker Obsidian Security Inc., launched in 2017 by two former Cylance Inc. executives and others, raised $20 million in a Series B round led by Silicon Valley venture capitalist Wing.

Software Firm Verys Launches Seed Fund for Startups

TECHNOLOGY: Proceeds from Parcel Pending bet

Costa Mesa-based software developer Verys LLC is launching up a seed fund that will invest in emerging technology-focused companies, and the fund is backed with proceeds the company received from its early-stage investment in Irvine’s Parcel Pending, which sold last month for more than $100 million.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 inched down 0.1% in midday trading to 2,790.19.

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Acorns Sees Green With New Debit Card

TECHNOLOGY: Follows HQ move, $105M funding round

Acorns Grow Inc. has quickly sprouted another microinvesting product.

Tech-Focused Accounting Firm Tactical Cloud Sold

3rd Exit for Founder Mike Kelly Since 2006

Three times is a charm for Mike Kelly, who recently sold his tech-focused accounting firm Tactical Cloud on undisclosed terms to national player Eide Bailly LLP in North Dakota.

Cars, Charities and Cylance Tee Off in LA

Orange County-based firms and philanthropic ventures played a prominent role a week ago at the Genesis Open at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades.

Ingram Micro’s Latest Push: B2B Incubator

Ingram Micro Inc., which grew to become Orange County’s largest revenue producer—not to mention the world’s largest wholesale technology distributor—by shipping software and other tech products to a network of nearly 300,000 resellers—is once again adapting its business model to thrive in the digital age, while potentially boosting the likelihood of another sale of the Irvine-based firm later this year.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.2% in midday trading to 2,781.93.

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Kofax’s $400M Nuance Buy Done; $16M Deal Next

ICE Energy Installs 100 Systems for SCE Project

Irvine-based business software maker Kofax Inc. closed one mega-buy this month, and has another smaller deal in the works.

Skyworks Replicates Broadcom Success

Philip Carter in two short years has helped push the accounting department at Skyworks Solutions Inc. further into the digital age, just as he did in his previous role at Broadcom Inc.

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