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Snapchat brings in $538 million from investors

Snapchat Inc. is ready to start collecting serious revenue from advertisers, but that doesn’t mean it’s done raising money from investors too.

Los Angeles’ most famous technology start-up has raised $538 million from a collection of 35 investors since mid-February and could raise $112 million more, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday.

Shares being sold in the up to $650-million round of funding, if completed, are being priced such that Snapchat is valued at $16 billion, CNBC reported Friday. Snapchat had been seeking a valuation of up to $19 billion when it started fundraising in February. Most recently, a $200-million investment by Chinese online shopping giant Alibaba made in recent months had valued Snapchat at $15 billion.

The new haul brings Snapchat’s total funding to date past $1 billion.

The disclosure comes as Snapchat seeks deals with a wider range of advertisers. Snapchat’s social-media app includes features for its nearly 100 million...

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Avago to buy Broadcom in $37-billion deal

Long before Snapchat or Silicon Beach were ideas, chip maker Broadcom Corp. grew from its roots in a Santa Monica condominium into a 10,000-worker powerhouse in Irvine that helped turn Orange County into a technology hub.

Co-founders Henry Samueli and Henry T. Nicholas III became billionaires in the process, and Nicholas championed Orange County as a burgeoning Southern California version of Silicon Valley.

But now, with growth in the semiconductor industry slowing and its players consolidating to better survive, Broadcom said Thursday that it, too, would merge into a rival company — removing one of the region's mainstay independent tech companies.

In a $37-billion deal, one of the largest in the tech industry, Broadcom agreed to be bought by Avago Technologies Ltd., a Singapore chip maker run out of San Jose. Avago, through spin-offs, traces its history to Hewlett-Packard Co.

It's the biggest deal for Avago, an aggressive acquirer as the industry contracts. And so important that it will change...

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Broadcom's co-founders built a behemoth as a formidable team

The Broadcom tale of the two Henrys is a study in contrasts: one man deliberate and reserved, the other anything but.

Henry T. Nicholas III and Henry Samueli founded the Irvine chip maker in 1991 and went on to become two of Southern California's best-known and richest entrepreneurs, giants in the tech industry.

When they hit it big, Samueli, the reserved Henry, bought a house in Corona del Mar, toys for his three kids and a Porsche Boxster for one of his employees, but kept his leased Cadillac.

Nicholas, the brash one, sprang for a Harley-Davidson, a red Ferrari, a black Lamborghini and, for longer trips, a Las Vegas charter aviation service with three jets and a helicopter. Home became a 15,000-square-foot mansion on a Laguna Hills estate with waterfalls, two pools, a big wine cellar and to-die-for views.

He made no apologies for his outsized lifestyle.

"I get what I want," Nicholas told a Times reporter in early 2000, "because I always want to win."

On Thursday he and Samueli notched...

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With Broadcom exit, headquarters flight from Southern California continues

Irvine chip maker Broadcom Corp. is the latest of many corporate headquarters to exit Southern California, leaving the business community puzzling over the causes and effects.

The technology stalwart — set to be sold for $37 billion in cash and stock to semiconductor rival Avago Technologies — launched in Santa Monica in 1991 and then moved to Orange County in 1995.

After Thursday's transaction, the company will be incorporated in Singapore, mostly for tax reasons, but its principal operating headquarters will be in San Jose. A significant presence will remain in Irvine.

Some experts say the loss of corporate headquarters and their influential business leaders rob the region of prestige and hampers its ability to attract other companies and workers. Others counter that such losses mean little beyond bragging rights, especially in cases like Broadcom, where the merged company is expected to leave the bulk of its workforce in place.

"It's kind of an ego boost, almost a macho thing, counting...

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Google to store an unlimited number of photos and videos for free

Google wants you to know you can snap and shoot with abandon.

The tech giant Thursday introduced a service to store and organize an unlimited number of photos and videos for free.

The Google Photos app will be available on both Android and Apple devices and support pictures of up to 16 megapixels and 1080p high-definition video.

“Photos and videos become littered across mobile devices, old computers, hard drives and online services (which are constantly running out of space),” the company said in a blog post. “It’s almost impossible to find that one photo right at the moment you need it, and sharing a bunch of photos at once is frustrating, often requiring special apps and logins.”

Google had previously provided 15 gigabytes of free storage across its platforms, which includes Google+ Photos.

Yahoo’s photo service, Flickr, offers 1 terabyte of free space, enough for 208,333 16-megapixel Jpeg photos. Apple provides five gigabytes of free storage, enough for 1,402 such photos.

Google Photos...

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10 drone and robot start-ups move onto Qualcomm campus for the summer

Crack open a consumer drone today and you’ll most likely find radio antennae, a camera and sensors all packed separately into the machine, wasting weight and energy.

Smartphones became lighter and more powerful as their components grew more interconnected, and chipmaker Qualcomm wants to bring the same miniaturization and integration to the emerging arena of affordable drones and robots. To get a better idea of what robotics chipsets should look like, Qualcomm has brought 10 start-ups to its San Diego headquarters for the summer.

“Our goal is to kickstart the next wave of innovation by removing points of resistance,” said Houman Haghighi, who’s leading the Qualcomm Robotics Accelerator. It’s a collaboration between Qualcomm and a start-up mentorship program called Techstars. Qualcomm plans to invest more than $100,000 in each of the 10 start-ups.

The start-ups also receive access to the company’s products and experts while Qualcomm gets a deep view into the capabilities sought in its next-generation...

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