Day: November 1, 2019

Los Angeles-based BuildOps, subcontracting software for real estate, raises $5.8 million

Software development companies tackling services for niche industries, like commercial real estate subcontracting, continue to find Los Angeles to be fertile ground for development.

The latest company to raise funding from a clutch of investors is BuildOps, which raised $5.8 million in seed financing from some big names in the Los Angeles tech ecosystem.

Led by Fika Ventures, with additional investments from MetaProp VC, Global Founders Capital, CrossCut Ventures, TenOneTen, IGSB, 1984 Ventures, L2 Ventures, GroundUp, NBA all-star Metta World Peace, Oberndorf Enterprises, Wolfson Group and scouts from Sequoia Capital, the new financing will be used to support the company’s continued growth.

BuildOps sells software that integrates scheduling, dispatching, inventory management, contracts, workflow and accounting into a single software package for commercial real estate contractors with staff ranging from a few dozen to several hundred employees.

Software for the service industry is nothing new for Los Angeles entrepreneurs. The unicorn ServiceTitan hails from the greater Los Angeles area and a number of other software as a service businesses are calling the greater Los Angeles area home.

It’s hard to argue with the size of the commercial construction market. Over the past three years, commercial construction spending grew from $626 billion to $807 billion, according to data provided by the company. And while most large vendors — architects, general contractors and property management companies — have some project management software, the fragmented group of subcontractors that provide services to those customers has remained resistant to adopting new technologies, the company said.

The firm was co-founded by former ServiceTitan developer Neeraj Mittal; Microsoft, Nextag, Swurv and Fundly former executive Steve Chew; and Alok Chanani, who previously founded a commercial real estate company and was a former commander of a transportation unit of the Army in Iraq.

“At BuildOps, we are on a mission to bring a true all-in-one solution on the latest technology to the people who keep America’s hospitals, power plants and commercial real estate running. We are privileged to be working closely with some of the country’s top commercial contractors,” said Chanani.

That sentiment is echoed by Liquid 2 Ventures managing partner and former National Football League superstar, Joe Montana .

“Liquid 2 Ventures has an investment thesis in supporting America’s working class and I just love the idea of making their lives far easier and better. You have one solution that does it all and talks seamlessly to every single part of their business from parts to ordering to inventory and more,” said Montana in a statement. “There are very few world-class technology solutions for commercial subcontractors like this and we believe in the founders.”

A Parent’s Guide to Healthy Eating During the Holidays

Adults aren’t the only ones who have to worry about growing festively plump during the holidays. People, including kids, typically gain 1 to 2 pounds over Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.

You can commit to losing weight after the holidays or, better yet, not gain it in the first place. By committing to healthy holiday eating, your family can avoid the 5 to 10-pound weight gain that most people experience every five years.

Obesity Is a Growing Problem for American Kids

unhealthy eating kids

Obesity among kids has jumped from a little over 6% in the ’70s to over 20% in relatively recent years. This outcome is especially problematic because overweight children face cyber-bullying, lowered self-esteem, and chronic health issues.

Furthermore, children who are obese are more likely to remain so through adulthood. This makes them face additional risks such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. For parents, it can prove challenging to figure out what to do about the problem.

Sometimes, children grow obese due to an eating disorder and lack of physical activity. However, environment, genetics, metabolism, and poor sleep habits can also promote excessive weight gain. In some households, easy access to candy, snacks, and other food items with empty calories can make it harder to maintain a healthy weight.

Together, parents and physicians can develop safe interventions to prevent obesity among family members. Furthermore, the best way that parents can prevent childhood obesity is to lead by example, which means staying active and eating healthy.

Healthy Eating Tips for Kids During The Holidays

healthy eating tip for kids

During the holiday, parents can deploy a few tips and tricks to keep kids from gaining extra weight, starting with balance and moderation. For instance, if you’re hosting a family gathering, you can pair kids up with partners to share holiday staples that are high in sugar, calories, and fat.

This way, you won’t deprive your children of their holiday favorites. They’ll consume fewer empty calories by splitting shared portions.

Limit the availability of sugary holiday beverages, such as hot cocoa and eggnog. Also, keep plenty of cold water around for friends and family members. It’s a good idea to fill a cooler with ice and make a case or two available so that everyone can access water easily.

Finally, stay active! Plan activities that involve going outside, enjoying the cold weather, and moving around. Cold air curves appetites and boosts energy.

Additionally, plan rest periods for the entire family. People tend to eat to compensate for feelings of tiredness. A rest period can consist of watching a holiday movie or another activity that doesn’t require substantial exertion.

Most of all, strike a balance between epicurean festivity and healthiness. Some holiday food staples are a must but substitute food items and ingredients that are lower in calories, fat, and sugar as much as possible.

Obesity in the United States: A Kid’s Point of View

If you’re not careful, your passionate pleas for healthy eating can send the wrong message to your child. Today, children are sensitive about their weight. The proliferation of media messages made possible by the internet has compelled schoolgirls as young as six years old to start expressing concern about body image and weight.

The way that you talk to your children about their weight can have lifelong implications. To start, remember that it’s a two-way conversation. Also, you’re a step ahead if your child starts the discussion.

If they do, allow them to share their thoughts about the issue whenever they desire. During talks about weight, acknowledge your child’s feelings about the topic.

If you struggled with weight in the past, it helps to share that experience with your child. Also, your child must understand that you love them no matter what their size is.

Whatever you do, avoid judging and negative comments. This kind of language can have a harmful and lasting emotional effect on your child.

Finally, move the conversation beyond talk – take action. Kids learn by example, so show them how to eat healthily and stay active by doing the same.

Parents must protect their children from a host of threats, from food allergies to excessive internet content. Weight gain is an additional threat that can negatively affect the welfare of your child.

When taking steps such as changing family eating habits to ensure the welfare of your loved ones, it’s always a good idea to consult with your family physician and pediatrician. Furthermore, try not to make radical changes in the family diet.

Start with a plan and make small changes until you reach your goal. This list of healthy eating tips for kids can help you.

And remember, every family is different. Change takes time, so remain observant, patient, and positive.

See Also: Foods That Will Help You Keep Your Family Healthy

The post A Parent’s Guide to Healthy Eating During the Holidays appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Seth Meyers pokes fun at Republican panic around the impeachment inquiry

On Thursday’s episode of Late Night with Seth Meyers, the host examined the US House of Representatives’ vote to endorse the impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump – a vote that many Republicans had insisted would not pass.

In fact, White House counsellor Kellyanne Conway appeared on Fox News claiming “[The Democrats] don’t have the votes” — a clip Meyers juxtaposed deliciously with various news bulletins announcing the vote had passed.

“What? We can’t trust Kellyanne Conway?” joked Meyers. “I guess up is up and down is down.”

Meyers also touched on the possibility that Trump’s ex-national security adviser John Bolton will be called to testify, which will be interesting considering their less than amicable split. Read more…

More about Donald Trump, Seth Meyers, Late Night With Seth Meyers, Impeachment, and Trump Presidency

Altria writes down $4.5 billion from its investment in Juul

Facing increasing scrutiny from international and domestic regulators, the Altria Group has decided to write down its investment into the e-cigarette company JUUL by $4.5 billion.

That’s roughly one-third of the $12.8 billion that the tobacco giant had invested into JUUL a little less than one year ago.

What a difference a year has made.

JUUL, which has become synonymous with the vaping phenomenon that has swept the U.S., was once hailed as being at the forefront of a wave of companies that were making smoking obsolete and nicotine consumption safer for consumers.

The company began running into problems as its popularity increased exponentially (in part by allegedly turning to some of the same tactics big tobacco used to target underage consumers).

As the complaints began to roll in, and as JUUL was held responsible for an explosion in the use of tobacco products among underage Americans, the regulatory scrutiny also began to increase.

First the company was compelled to limit its sale of flavored tobacco products. Now it may be forced to pull all of its flavored products outright.

None of the company’s troubles have been helped by the wave of vaping related illnesses that have swept through the U.S. causing several deaths in users across multiple states.

Indeed, a new lawsuit against the company (filed two days ago) alleges that JUUL knowingly sold contaminated pods despite warnings from at least one employee.

First reported by BuzzFeed, the lawsuit was brought by Siddharth Breja, a former senior vice president of global finance at Juul from May 2018 to March 2019.

Breja alleges he was fired for complaining about the charge — a claim that a spokesperson for JUUL called “baseless”.

“[Breja] was terminated in March 2019 because he failed to demonstrate the leadership qualities needed in his role,”a spokesperson for JUUL wrote in an email. “The allegations concerning safety issues with Juul products are equally meritless, and we already investigated the underlying manufacturing issue and determined the product met all applicable specifications.”

The write down by Altria follows an announcement from JUUL that it intends to lay off around 500 people — or roughly 10% of its workforce.