Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Platinum Equity Acquires Electro Rent For $323.4M

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Beverlly Hills-based private equity investor Platinum Equity, and Van Nuys-based Electro Rent said Tuesday that the two are in a definitive agreement, where Platinum Equity will pay approximately $323.4M for Electro Rent. Platinum Equity said ti will pay $13.12 per share in cash for Electro Rent, which it says is a premium of 24.4 percent over the company's closing price on May 27th. The deal will take Electro Rent private. Electro Rent provides electronic test equipment rentals.

 
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Qualcomm, Greylock Back Innovium On Networking Semiconductors

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Two, Southern California investors--Qualcomm Ventures and Greylock Partners--have backed San Jose-based Innovium, on its efforts to develop semiconductors for the next generation, data center market, Innovium revealed this morning. Innovium said the funding included both undisclosed Series A and Series B funding rounds, both completed in 2015. The Series A came in the first quarter of 2015, from Walden Riverwood Ventures and Capricorn Investment Group, with participation from S-Cubed Capital and Qualcomm Incorporated (via Qualcomm Ventures). The company said the Series B included the same investors, but a lead from Greylock. Specific breakdown of the two investments was not announced. Innovium also says its founding team includes people who previously were at Caltech.

 
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Insights: Five Essential Crowdfunding Success Tips

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

For today's Insights and Opinions article, we have Melinda Moore, author of How to Raise Money: The Ultimate Guide to Crowdfunding, who gives us some tips on crowdfunding.




Instead of getting VC funding, a lot of startups and creative projects turn to the masses or the public -- often through popular crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter, AngelList or StartEngine. But to get funded, you need to be able to harness crowdfunding in all the right ways. And now Title III of the Jobs Act allows non-accredited investors to get into the game, this is a massive shift in alternative finance and the democratization of capital.

As the CEO of Moore Media Ventures, a digital marketing agency, and co-founder of Tuesdaynights, a professional networking group specifically for women which champions women in leadership and in tech -- I have written my first book: "How to Raise Money: The Ultimate Guide to Crowdfunding" which is an easily digestible, step-by-step read teaching the seasoned and those new to the startup space all about what crowdfunding is, how it works, how to select the right crowdfunding platform, and how to be successful at raising money overall. Here are 5 key tips on crowdfunding... (Continued...)



Read the rest of Melinda's five tips: Five Essential Crowdfunding Success Tips....

 
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Caltech Sues Apple, Broadcom, Avago Over Wi-Fi Patents

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Pasadena-based Caltech has sued both Apple Computer and Broadcom over their use of technology used in Wi-Fi networking. According to the lawsuit, The California Institute of Technology v. Broadcom Limited et al, which was filed in the California Central District Court, the lawsuit covers technology used in Apple's iPhone line, starting with the iPhone 5, along with the iPad, MacBook Air, Apple Watch. The patents owned by Caltech are U.S. Patent's 7,116,710, 7,421,032, 7,916,781 and 8,284,833. Caltech is specificdally suing the three companies over use of IRA/LDPC encoders, which are related to the implementation of 802.11n networking and parity checks.

 
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Levine Leichtman Acquires GL Education

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Los Angeles-based private equity investor Levine Leichtman Capital Partners said this morning that it has acquired London-based GL Education, a provider of educational assessments in the United Kingdom and Europe. Financial terms of the acquisition were not announced. Levine Leichtman said that it is partnering with GL Education's existing management team to help further grow GL Education's business.

 
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Infinite RF Holdings Acquired By Genstar Capital

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Irvine-based Infinite RF Holdings, the parent company of Pasternack Enterprises and Fairview Microwave, has been acquired by private equity investor Genstar Capital. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. Infinite RF Holdings is a supplier of radio frequency (RF) technology components, serving the aerospace/defense, industrial, government, consumer electronics, instrumentation, education/medical, and telecommunications markets. Infinite RF Holdings is led by President and CEO Terry Jarnigan, who said the acquisition would help it accelerate the growth of the company.

 
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Arecont Vision Ties With Viakoo

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Los Angeles-based IP surveillance camera provider Arecont Vision said today that it has partnered with industrial Internet-of-Things (IoT) company Viakoo. According to the companies, Viakoo joined Arecont's Technology Partner Program. Viakoo is a provider of products used for monitoring physical security systems, using IP-based infrastructure. The two said the program includes sales, development, and support contacts between the two companies in order to better engage with end user customers and integrators.

 
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improving margins. TechCXO partners combine practical experience,
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Friday, May 27, 2016

SpaceX Sticks Ocean Landing Of First Stage Of Falcon 9, Again

Friday, May 27, 2016

Hawthorne-based SpaceX once again stuck a landing on its drone ship on Friday afternoon, as part of a mission to launch a satellite into space for Thaicom. SpaceX--which had been qualifying before the mission that another landing on its barge would be "very challenging"--landed the first stage of the Falcon 9 at 5:49PM. The Falcon 9's second stage, along with the Thaicom 8 satellite, was still on its way to geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO) at the time of the landing.

 
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SpaceX Successfully Launches Thaicom 8 Into Space

Friday, May 27, 2016

Hawthorne-based SpaceX has successfully launched another spacecraft into space, with a mission to launch a satellite payload for Thaicom into orbit on Friday. The company's Falcon 9 launched at 5:39pm ET from Cape Canaveral. SpaceX was expecting to attempt another landing of Falcon 9's first stage on its landing barge. The satellite being launched by SpaceX was built to Orbital ATK as an addition to Thaicom's existing satellite constellation, and will be launching into geostationary transfer orbit (GTO) via the Falcon 9.

 
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Slacker Radio Launches Original Shows

Friday, May 27, 2016

San Diego-based Internet radio service Slacker is taking a chapter from the playbook of online video providers, and has started creating its own, original content on its service. According to Slacker, it has launched its own, 12 original shows, featuring over 250 interactive episodes, which it says will get top billing on its application. Slacker says it is looking to create an "unrivaled archive of content" through the original content effort. Slacker Radio is led by CEO Duncan Orrell-Jones, and offers up users access to music, news, and sports radio stations.

 
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SpaceX Tries Again On Thaicom 8 Launch Today

Friday, May 27, 2016

Hawthorne-based space rocket developer SpaceX is planning another attempt of a launch today, after the company scrubbed its initial attempt at launching its THAICOM 8 mission on Thursday. According to SpaceX, its next launch window is at 5:40PM ET today, with the weather currently at 90%. Elon Musk said on Twitter that Thursday's launch was scrubbed due to a "tiny glitch" in the motion of an upper stage engine actuator, saying it was "probably not a flight risk" but worth investigating. SpaceX is again planning to webcast the launch, which is from Cape Canaveral. The Thaicom 8 is a communications satellite being launching into supersynchronous orbit. SpaceX also plans to again attempt an ocean landing of the first stage of the Falcon 9, although SpaceX has been qualifying the landing as continuing to be "very challenging", despite its prior landing success.

 
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BridgeWave Gets Win In Iraq

Friday, May 27, 2016

San Diego-based BridgeWave, a developer of wireless backhaul systems, reports that it has deployed its systems in Iraq, for the Iraq Ministry of Transportation. The company said the agency has installed a mix of its 60GHz and 24GHz microwave wireless links in Iraq, to help connect its headquarters and 12 remote branches. Financial impact of the win was not announced. The Ministry is responsible for the roads, civil aviation, maritime transport, rail, and other efforts in Iraq.

 
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Western Digital Bumps Guidance

Friday, May 27, 2016

Irvine-based Western Digital has bumped its guidance for its fourth, fiscal quarter, saying it now expects fourth quarter revenues of between $3.35 billion to $3.45 billion, up from an earlier forecast of $2.6 billion to $2.7 billion. The upped guidance comes due to the company's acquisition of San Disk. Western Digital closed its $19 billion acquisition of SanDisk earlier this month.

 
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Ixia Adds QualiTest

Friday, May 27, 2016

Calabasas-based networking testing products developer Ixia said earlier this week that it has added software testing and quality assurance company QualiTest as part of its partnership program. Ixia said QualiTest is now part of its Global Solution Provider Program, which helps deliver its network test products to enterprises and service providers around the world. Qualitest is using Ixia's products for emulating media-rich network traffic, among other efforts.

 
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DreamHost Adds HTTP/2 Support

Friday, May 27, 2016

Los Angeles-based web and cloud hosting service provider DreamHost said this week that it has added full support for HTTP/2, the new web standard used for transporting web pages across the Internet. Dreamhost said that its customers can now enable HTTP/2 for their sites with the click of a single checkbox within their account configuration, at no extra cost. HTTP/2 is a major update to the Hypertext Transport Protocol, and includes major changes developed by Google, which include "minifying" scripts on pages, based on a faster web page transport protocol called "SPDY". DreamHost ssaid that HTTP/2 currently only works with secure websites hosted on Nginx.

 
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SAM Precellerator Program Now Accepting Applications!

Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP is one of the leading business law firms in
Southern California. We pioneered a fixed fee start-up package making the
formation and organization of your start-up as seamless as possible. Our
Preccelerator® Program is a platform offered to select start-up companies
out of our Santa Monica office that provides interim office space and
sophisticated legal services, with the objective of helping you grow your
idea from business concept to funded startup. The Preccelerator® Program
provides free co-working space and other perks for 5-6 promising young
startups.

The perks include:

Free 24/7 access to our co-working space on a rolling basis, including
free wireless access to the Internet and access to conference rooms for
meetings and presentations
Access to real-time legal advice and transactional legal services on site
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Access to our extensive network of mentors
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For more information about the Preccelerator Program, visit
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Thursday, May 26, 2016

Blankspaces Targets New Location In Hollywood

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Coworking space operator Blankspaces says it is planning a big expansion in mid-June, and plans to open up a new location in Hollywood. According to the company, the new space will have 14,500 feet, and will be its biggest location so far. Blankspaces currently has two other locations, one in the Mid-Wilshire district, and the other in downtown LA. The new location is located at 6600 Sunset Boulevard, and is aiming at everyone from solo entrepreneurs to small teams, with per-hour rates on workstations and conference rooms, to monthly rates on table space to offices big enough for 10 team members. BLANKSPACES was founded by Jerome Chang.

 
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SpaceX Plans Another Satellite Launch Today, For Thaicom

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Hawthorne-based SpaceX, fresh off a successful mission to the ISS, is launching yet another payload into space today, with the launch of the THAICOM 8 mission. SpaceX is planning to to launch THAICOM 8, a commercial communications satellite for Thaicom into supersynchronous orbit tonight, at approximately 5:40 pm ET, from Cape Canaveral. The company has a backup launch date of May 27th, at approximately the same time, in case of any delays. In addition to the satellite delivery, SpaceX said it will again attempt a landing on its "Of Course I Still Love You" drone ship. SpaceX will be streaming the launch live on its website.

 
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Snapchat's Latest Funding Round Hits $1.8 Billion

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Venice, California-based Snapchat has raised $1.8 billion in its Series F funding round, according to a regulatory filing by the firm this morning, in what might be the largest funding round ever for a Southern California startup. Details on the round have not been announced. The filing said that 157 investors participated in this new round, and other reports say that General Atlantic, Sequoia Capital, T. Rowe Price, Lone Pine, Glade Brook Capital, IVP, Coatue Management and Fidelity are involved in this latest funding.

 
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Belkin Spins Out Wemo Water To New Joint Venture, Phyn

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Playa Vista-based Belkin International, and safe drinking water delivery systems developer Uponor said Wednesday that the two have teamed together to create a new, joint venture, called Phyn. According to the two, the new company will bring advanced water sensing and conservation technology to market. Belkin and Uponor said that Phyn will be a standalone entity, using Belkin's former Wemo Water technology as the basis for future products. Wemo Water is a water sensing device, which uses a single connection in the home to sense water usage across the home. Belkin said it will transfer its IP, staff, and non-monetary assets into Phyn, with Uponor investing $15M for a minority stake in the company. Belkin will own 62.5 percent of Phyn, which will be headquartered in Los Angeles, with a second research and development lab in Seattle. Uponor is based in Finland.

 
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Uniregistry Rolls Out .game Domain

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Newport Beach-based domain name registration service Uniregistry said this morning that it has launched a new, global top level domain, .game. The company said that it already has pre-registered a large number of .game domains from major brands, including .game domains for all of Blizzard Entertainment's games (Warcraft, Starcraft, Hearthstone, Diablo, etc)., Activision (Call of Duty), Take-Two Interactive (Grand Theft Auto), and many others. The company is charging $318.88/year for most .game domains, although it appears to be using variable pricing with some popular keywords showing up at significantly higher prices (ie. super.game is available for $1430.00/year).

 
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Linksys Ships Speedy MU-MIMO Wireless Networking Products

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Playa Vista-based networking equipment maker Linksys has shipped a trio of devices that implement the new MU-MIMO standard, including a router, range extender, and USB adapter. According to the company, its MU-MIMO AC5400 Tri-Band Wireless Router, AC1900 Range Extender and USB Adapter support Wi-Fi 802.11ac Wave 2 technology, with the router supporting 8 antennas and a combined speed of up to 5.3Gbps. MU-MIMO is a wireless protocol update which allows multiple devices to send data to a router simultaneously, running on the 5Mhz frequency band. The AC5400 has a MSRP of $399.99, the range extender of $149.99, and the USB adapter $59.99. All three products roll out this weekend both online and at retailers.

 
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improving margins. TechCXO partners combine practical experience,
comprehensive resources and best practices to deliver objective,
high-value results.

For TechCXO Los Angeles, please contact:

Tim Noonan
Managing Partner, LA Region
TechCXO
(805)290-3720
tim.noonan@techcxo.com


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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Victorious Gets $25M For YouTube Celebrity Apps

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Santa Monica-based Victoroius, which develops mobile apps focused on YouTube creators and celebrities, has raised $25M in a funding round, the company disclosed on Wednesday. The funding came from Marker Ventures, Dentsu Ventures, Kleiner Perkins, and Redpoint Ventures. Victoroius is led by Sam Rogoway, and develops apps specifically for Internet celebrities and creators. The company has created apps for the X-Men Movies; Nash Grier; Fousey Tube; Niki and Gabi; Lele Pons; Lilly Singh; Ryan Higa; AwesomenessTV; Fail Army; Nitro Circus; and many, any others.

 
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March Capital Partners' Jim Armstrong On A New, $240M Venture Fund

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Santa Monica-based March Capital Partners (www.marchcp.com) has just announced a brand new, $240M venture investment fund, led by longtime venture investing veterans Jim Armstrong, Sumant Mandal, Gregory Milken and Jamie Montgomery. We caught up with Jim Armstrong to learn more about the new fund, areas of interest, his insights into what makes startups successful, and where he thinks the venture market is today.

What is the investment focus for this fund?

Jim Armstrong: It's broadly technology, from consumer Internet, to marketplaces, from Internet infrastructure to enterprise software. Those are broad areas, but we are not doing some deals like we have in the past, in biotech and other areas. I think there are a lot of opportunities across all of these areas of technology, especially as it relates to Southern California.

We know you invest globally, but are there specific kinds of companies you hope to focus on here in Southern California?

Jim Armstrong: In the consumer space, we know it's really a hit or miss business, but the number of shots on goals in that area have been tremendous. I spent the morning at Cross Campus, and saw some amazing things in the augmented reality area. At Idealab, we saw many shots on goal with companies who were consumer focused, and we have found the quality of entrepreneurs going to consumer Internet companies has changed dramatically, which represents a real opportunity....

 
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Amazon Opening Another New Warehouse In Inland Empire

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Amazon.com said today that it is expanding its operations in California, with two new "fulfillment centers", including one in the Inland Empire. Amazon.com said it is opening up a fulfillment center in Eastvale--which is just west of Riverside---along with another center in Northern California, in Tracy. The company said the two centers will create more than 1,500 new full time jobs. Amazon.com said the two additional fulfillment centers will increase its number of employees in California to approximately 14,000, spread across nine fulfillment centers and nine million square feet. Amazon.com already has a number of big centers in the Inland Empire, including one in Moreno Valley, another in Redlands, one in Rialto and one in San Bernardino--plus a "sortation center" also in San Bernadino. Amazon explained the new Eastvale facility will be approximately one million square feet, with "hundreds" of full time associates.

 
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NantHealth Sets IPO Pricing Range

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Culver City-based NantHealth, one of the startups out of billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong's NantWorks portfolio, has set its IPO pricing range at between $12.50 and $15.50 per share, the company said in a regulatory filing on Tuesday. The company is selling 6,500,000 shares of its common stock in the offering, which would list the company as NH on the NASDAQ Global Market. The next step in the IPO process is the company's roadshow to investors and actual pricing of an IPO. NantWorks owns 60.6% of Nant Health, with additional backing from Allscripts and other investors. The IPO, if successful, would be the second IPO of a company led by Soon-Shiong in the last year; he successfully led another NantWorks company, NantKwest, to an IPO in August of 2015. NantHealth is focused on personalized medicine.

 
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Blizzard's Overwatch Goes Live On Console, PC

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Irvine-based Blizzard Entertainment said that its first person shooter game, Overwatch, is now live across the globe on PC, PS4 and Xbox One consoles. The game has been in beta with more than 9.7 million players already. The new game focuses on a cast of "heroes" who battle for the control of different locations around the world using futuristic weapons.

 
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OneRoof Energy Cuts Staff, Realigns Business

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

San Diego-based residential solar installer OneRoof Energy has cut its staff, and says it is in a major realignment of its business operations to tap into consumer services providers and partners, rather than invest in its own direct sales. Size of the cuts were not announced by the company. According to the company, it has realigned its business to focus on what it calls its "Solar 2.0" strategy, which focuses on working with major consumer services providers and a focus on non-traditional channel partners. The company said it is moving away from the more traditional, door-to-door and other aggressive sales tactics that are being used in the solar market. OneRoof Energy is backed by Black Coral Capital.

 
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Report: Snapchat Looks For $200M At $20 Billion Valuation

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

A report published this week--which heavily relies on third party assumptions, back calculations, and analysis of regulatory filings--says that Venice, California-based Snapchat is out looking for $200M in funding again, this time valuing the company around $20 billion. The report says the additional funding is an expansion of an earlier, Series F funding of $175M.

 
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AssetAvenue Launches 30-Year, Residential Loans

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Los Angeles-based online, real estate investment lending site AssetAvenue has launched into providing 30-year, fixed loans for real estate investors, specifically to invest in the purchase of rental properties, according to the company. AssetAvenue said its new loads are intended for use in purchasing rental properties, including single-family homes, two to four multitenant units, condos and townhomes. Unlike a traditional mortgage, AssetAvenue said the new product uses not income, but an individual's Debt-Service Coverage Ratio (DSCR), to qualify loans, specifically to allow entrepreneurs who are "fixing and flipping" homes to qualify for loans.

 
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GumGum Expands In-Image Ad Deal With Publisher

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Santa Monica-based image advertising technology developer GumGum is in a deal, which will bring its in-image ads to publications In Touch Weekly, Life&Style, J-14, Closer Weekly, Woman’s World, Twist, and M Magazine, according to the company. The deal is part of an expanded partnership with publisher Bauer Xcel Media. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed. GumGum's technology is being used to place contextually-relevant ads over the images in those online publications, including across regular images, in galleries, and across slideshows. GumGum's in-image ad format introduces advertisements within photos and pictures which are published online, using image recognition and other technology to match up those ads to be relevant to the content.

 
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Penske Media Names COO

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Los Angeles-based Penske Media Corporation, which owns such media brands as Variety, WWD, Deadline, Indiewire, and other online and offline publications, says it has named George Grobar as its new Chief Operating Officer. Grobar was previously Executive Vice President of the company, and has been at the company since 2009, and before that, spent 13 years at The Walt Disney Company. He also previously served at Unisys Corporation. Penske Media--which is led by Jay Penske--says it is in midst of aggressive expansion plans, and is continuing to grow its businesses.

 
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Tipalti Takes On Accounts Payable

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Tipalti, a startup with offices in Westlake Village, said it has launched a new platform which automates the entire, accounts payable workflow for businesses. The company said its cloud-based product helps companies handle invoice collection and approval, plus also managed supplier payment operations, tax compliance, global payment remittance, and payment reconciliation with ERP systems. Pricing on the new software was not announced. Tipalti's offices are split between Agoura and Palo Alto.

 
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Clear Capital Advisors Advisors Advises Extrameasures

Clear Capital Advisors is pleased to announce that it has served as
exclusive financial advisor to extrameasures in its sale to Blackhawk
Network (NYSE: HAWK). On March 31, 2016 Blackhawk Network, a leading
prepaid and payments network, announced it has acquired extrameasures,
a prepaid consumer promotions and incentives company. Through its
customized rebate programs, extrameasures offers Visa prepaid cards
and private label merchant-specific reward and gift cards with a
proprietary platform to help businesses drive consumer acquisition,
engagement and loyalty. http://bit.ly/2367vZ7

Contact:

Peter Cowen
Managing Director
pc@clearcapitaladvisors.com

Bruce Pompan
Managing Director
bp@clearcapitaladvisors.com

http://www.clearcapitaladvisors.com


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SAM Precellerator Program Now Accepting Applications!

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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Nestigator Rolls Out New Tool For Real Estate Agents

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Los Angeles-based Nestigator.com, an online, collaborative home search site which allows real estate agents, home seekers, and other collaborate to help find homes, has rolled out a new marketing tool for real estate agents. Nestigator--led by startup veteran Jerry Slavonia--said its new ZipPro tool helps real estate agents reserve ads in their preferred ZIP codes, giving them guaranteed ad placements on active listings within the ZIP codes they subscribe to. Nestigator, unlike other real estate sites, is focusing on creating collaboration between home seekers, friends, family, and real estate agents, allowing them to connect and share real time information about properties. Slavonia was previously founder of Campus Explorer, and also was an executive at Rent.com.

 
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March Capital Partners Launches $240M Venture Fund

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Santa Monica-based March Capital Partners, the venture capital investment firm founded by venture investment veterans Jim Armstrong, Sumant Mandal, Gregory Milken and Jamie Montgomery, said this morning that it has had a final close on its first fund, at $240M. Armstrong and Mandal previously led Clearstone Venture Partners and idealab Capital Partners, Montgomery was the founder and CEO of Montgomery & Co., as well as the Montgomery Summit, and Milken was the founder and COO of AltEgo and and executive at Knowledge Universe.

March Capital Partners said it has already invested more than $100M across 15 different companies, including AppCito, App lariat, BillDesk, Bridg, CarTrade, Coho Data, Deep Forest Media (sold to Rakuten), Dojo Madness, E8 Security, OpenHouse, Pensa Networks, Perspica, quick.ly, VeloCloud Networks, Vyng and ZowDow. The firm said it invests globally, and invests in everything from mobile, enterprise, infrastructure, to gaming and other industries. March Capital Partners' founders have previously invested in such companies as PayPal, The Rubicon Project, Internet Brands and CrowdStrike. (Image: March Capital Partners founders, left to right, Gregory Milken, Jim Armstrong, Jamie Montgomery, and Sumant Mandal)

 
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Kelly Slater Wave Company Acquired By World Surf League

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Santa Monica-based WSL Holdings, the parent company of the World Surf League (WSL), said this morning that it has acquired the Kelly Slater Wave Company--the entity behind the "perfect wave" generating machine that has caused ripples across the surfing community. Slater caused a stir in the surfing industry with his secretive project to create wave machine to create what has been billed as best man made wave ever at a location at the San Joaquin valley. According to WSL and KSWC, they will tap into the technology created by Slater to develop a network of "training centers" for surfers. Financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed. The two said they will use Slater's wave technology---along with camera and sensors arrays--to provide immediate feedback for surfers to practice their skills.

 
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