Chris Casacchia

Technology Editor/Reporter

Chris Casacchia covers technology, aerospace and defense and sports. He can be reached at casacchia@ocbj.com.

Email: casacchia@ocbj.com
Phone: 949-833-8373 Extension: 225

Recent Stories

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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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.

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.

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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Blizzard Cuts Jobs

Blizzard Entertainment Inc. may cut as much as 180 jobs at its Irvine headquarters as part of a large-scale restructuring initiated by Santa Monica parent Activision Blizzard Inc.

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Midday Stock Roundup

All major U.S. indexes rose at least 1% in midday trading as fears of another government shutdown eased on word that Democrats and Republicans reached a tentative deal Monday night.

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Ex-Telogis Exec Debuts App-Based Concierge Service

Targets Include Tech Cos. Seeking Worker Perks

A former Telogis Inc. executive aims to free up time for office workers and other employees by providing pickup and concierge services during the day via smart phone app.

Rocket Lab Launching Prototype Antenna for Gov’t

First of 12 Planned For This Year

Huntington Beach-based Rocket Lab’s first mission of 2019 is with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, a division of the U.S. government that develops emerging and secretive technologies for the military.

TTM Q4 Profit Tops Consensus

TTM Technologies Inc. (Nasdaq: TTMI) reported a record fourth quarter adjusted profit that beat Wall Street expectations.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.2% in midday trading to 2,729.98.

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Taco Bell Orders Up Delphi’s Drive-Through Platform

‘Preferred Partner’ Deal Follows P.E. Investment

Delphi Display Systems in Costa Mesa, a maker of indoor and outdoor digital menu signs, order confirmation systems for drive-throughs, speed-of-service timers and other fast-food restaurant-oriented technology, has inked a deal with Orange County’s largest restaurant chain.

STARTUPS & INNOVATIONS

Grooming product startup Twist It Up Comb appeared on ABC’s Shark Tank on Jan. 27, and received funding from Marc Cuban and Daymond John.

Acorns’ Valuation Soars to $860M in Latest Round

Fast-growing Irvine fintech firm Acorns Grow Inc. has raised $105 million in its latest funding round, pushing its valuation to nearly $860 million, tripling its value since 2016, the Wall Street Journal reports.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was down 0.1% in midday trading to 2,641.51.

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Badu Networks Pitches 5G Connectivity to Investors

OC, LA Fundraising Events for Software Firm

It was a quiet 2018 for initial public offerings at Orange County’s crop of technology companies, none of which made the transition from private company to public via a traditional IPO.

Pet Tracking Device a New Market for CalAmp

TECHNOLOGY: Makes monitors for animal air travel

CalAmp Corp. has found a new target market for its tracking sensors: our furry friends.

Midday Stock Roundup

The three major U.S. indexes all fell more than 1% in the first trading session after the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, fueled by dips in energy and industrial stocks and ongoing global economic growth concerns.

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OC’s CES Contingent Pitch the Future at Vegas Event

TECHNOLOGY: Motion sensor headsets; driving stress detectors

For many companies trying to cut through the clutter, CES is as much about showcasing developing technologies than highlighting ones in use today.

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Veritone’s Latest Chapter: Apis Pulls $198M Bid

Investor Cuts Stake; AI Firm Questions Credibility

Apis Capital Management has pulled its unsolicited $198 million cash offer for Costa Mesa-based Veritone Inc.

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 rose 1% in midday trading to 2,608.28

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OC Tech Cos. Show Off Wares at CES

TECHNOLOGY: More than 100 presenters at Vegas show

More than 100 Orange County-based companies demonstrated their newest products last week at the world’s most prominent technology trade event.

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BlackBerry Closer to Approval for Cylance Purchase

Ingram Micro to Apollo?; $7.5B Asking Price

BlackBerry Ltd.’s pending $1.4 billion acquisition of Irvine-based security software maker Cylance Inc. has crossed its first hurdle.

The CEO Who Engineered the $10B Sale

Jimmy P Built Microsemi Into Computer Chip Giant

Jim Peterson, often known as “Jimmy P,” dressed in jeans and a black holiday shirt, with forearm tats exposed, is looking comfortable and relaxed these days.

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