Tuesday, August 19, 2014

3BLACKDOT Snags Machinima Vet For Game Development Effort

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Los Angeles-based 3BLACKDOT--founded by Machina Vets Angelo Pullen, Luke Stepleton, Adam Montoya, and Tom Cassell--said Tuesday that it has snagged another Machinima vet, Marwan Abderrazzaq, to head up game development at the company. Abderrazzaq was previously Director of Franchise at Machinima. The company said that he worked with Warner Bros. and Microsoft on premium content efforts tied with Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn, Mortal Kombat: Legacy II and Street Fighter: Assassins Fist. He also has previously worked at Electronic Arts, Collective Studios, Activision, and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.

 
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Intuit Chops 120 In Woodland Hills

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Financial software developer Intuit is cutting 120 employees in Woodland Hills, according to a state Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification, part of a larger cut involving locatoins in Illinois, Virginia, and Arizona. The layoffs--first uncovered by the San Fernando Business Journal--apparently are due to a shift at the company towards more cloud-based services. Intuit had sold much of its Woodland Hills operations, Intuit Financial Services, to private equity firm Thoma Bravo back in July of 2013. The cuts apparently are slated for September 15th.

 
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Flywheel Targets LA Airport Rides With Advance Booking

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Flywheel, the venture backed startup offering up an Uber-like experience for users--except via licensed taxi and transportation services--is rolling out advanced booking to Los Angeles users this week. According to Flywheel, the new service lets customers pre-book a ride to the airport, via either its iOS or Android apps. The company had been offering up pre-booking over the last month for the San Francisco area. The company said the new booking feature allows for advance booking up to two weeks in advance. FlyWheel currently services San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Seattle.

 
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Epicor Sale Off The Table

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Epicor Software, the developer of supply chain management software which has its roots and still has significant operations in Orange County, is off the block, after its private equity investors did not see enough interest--or high enough prices--for the business. According to the WSJ, Apax Partners has decided to retain the company, after testing the market for a sale of Epicor. The news on that move came in May. Apax bought Epicor  

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Uber, DogVacay Tie To Help Animal Shelters

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

In a move which brings two of the hottest online, peer-to-peer marketplaces in the area together, ride service Uber and dog boarding marketplace  

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Why Sidevision Is Tying Content, E-Commerce Together, with Justin Wu

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


How do you make online video more interactive--and profitable? Los Angeles-based Sidevision (www.sidevision.com) has developed a set of tools--aimed at content creators, multi-channel networks (MCNs), and others--to help connect online videos with e-commerce. We recently spoke with co-founder and CEO, Justin Wu to learn more about the company, which so far has received a small seed funding from Warner Bros. as part of that company's Warner Media Camp accelerator.

What is Sidevision all about?

Justin Wu: Sidevision is a video e-commerce platform which allows brands and content providers to better monetize their videos with interactive apps.

How do you do that?

Justin Wu: We integrate with any video platform, such as YouTube, Vimeo, Kaltura, and we're built on top of an API. With our backend tools we can push products to the front of videos, allowing content providers to drive shopping activity.

How did you get involved with the Warner Media Camp?

Justin Wu: Last year, we talked to Media Camp about our idea, when it was at a much earlier stage. This year, after working with Team Downey, and several other accelerators, our idea became more developed. We found applications here where Warner Bros. could use it as an enterprise, to allow them to do what they do on social, mobile, and the web more interactive, and have greater interaction with their viewers....

 
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Report: SpaceX Raising New Funding At Near $10 Billion Valuation

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A new report this morning says that Hawthorne-based spaceship and rocket developer Space Exploration Technologies is in the midst of raising a new round of investment, which values the company at around $10 billion. Amount of funding, and the investors involved, have not been disclosed. The report came from TechCrunch. If true, the valuation of SpaceX near the $10 billion mark would about double its last known valuation of roughly $4.8 billion.

 
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Lynda.com Names Chief Revenue Officer, Opens San Francisco Office

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Carpinteria-based Lynda.com said this morning that it has named a new Chief Revenue Officer, Andrew Wait, and opened up a new office in the San Francisco area. According to the online learning site, Wait was previously President of EF Englishtown, an online English school, and prior to that was SVP and General Manager of Ancestry.com. Wait also has served at Blurb, Bank of America, Hilton Hotels and Kodak Gallery (Ofoto). The company said the new San Francisco office will allow the company to access the Bay Area's talent pool, and will allow it to hire for key positions in marketing, engineering, product management, and user interface and experience.

 
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Teledyne Buys Atlas Hydrographic

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Thousand Oaks-based Teledyne Technologies has acquired German company Atlas Hydrographic GmbH, a designer and manufacturer of marine sonar systems. Financial terms of the asset buy were not disclosed. According to Teledyne, it will use the buy to strengthen its marine acoustic imaging business. The acquisition was made by Teledyne's subsidiary, Teledyne RESON GmbH. Atlast Hydrographic's marine sonar systems are aimed at mid and deep water applications, such as ocean survey and marine science. Teledyne has a very diversified collection of businesses in instrumentation, digital imaging, aerospace, defense, and engineered systems.

 
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ID Analytics Names Chief Revenue Officer

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

San Diego-based ID Analytics, the developer of risk management software and technology, said today that it has named Daniel Rawlings as the company's Chief Revenue Officer. Rawlings joins the company from Smith Micro Software, where he had been Chief Strategy Officer and Chief Revenue Officer. Rawlings also has served at Oracle, LogicalApps, Perfect Commerce, KhiMetrics Software, and SourcingLink. ID Analytics is now owned by LifeLock.

 
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Cytori Sets CFO

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

San Diego-based biopharmaecuticals developer Cytori Therapeutics has named a new Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer. According to the company, it has appointed Tiago Girao to the position, replacing existing CFO Mark Saad, who the company said is leaving the company for another opportunity. Girao was most recently VP of Finance and CFO of NuVasive. He also was a Senior Manager at KPMG, and also had served at Ernst & Young.

 
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SAM Congratulates Beats Music and Beats Electronics

Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP would like to congratulate long time client
Beats Electronics and Beats Music in their acquisition by Apple, Inc.

In addition to acting as Beats' counsel since its formation in 2008 by Dr.
Dre and Jimmy Iovine, SAM was involved in the sale to Apple. Attorneys
assisting in the acquisition transaction included Scott Galer, Gaurav
Krishan and Mariam Tonya Karson.

For more information about our services, contact Heidi Hubbeling at
hhubbeling@stubbsalderton.com or (310) 746-9803.


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Monday, August 18, 2014

Radical.FM Starts Accepting Bitcoin

Monday, August 18, 2014

Venice-based Radical.FM, the online, add-free music streaming service, has begun accepting Bitcoin. According to Radical.FM, it is using Bitcoin payments provider Bitpay, to let users donate Bitcoin to support its service. Radical.FM is led by Tom McAlvey. The company says it has access to 25 million songs in its music library.

 
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Algorithmia, Co-Founded By USC Grad Student, Gets $2.4M

Monday, August 18, 2014

A new startup, Algorithmia, which was co-founded by a USC PhD student, said today that it has raised $2.4M in a seed funding round, to go towards its online marketplace for computer software algorithms. The startup--which was co-founded by Kenny Daniel, who was recently pursuing a PhD in Artificial Intelligence at USC--says that it has created an online platform to let software engineers find different algorithms for us. The funding came from Madrona Venture Group, Rakuten Ventures, Deep Fork Capital, and angels. Algorithmia is based in Seattle. The company said Daniels specifically left the USC Ph.D. program to found Algorithmia.

 
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Allergan Swaps CFO

Monday, August 18, 2014

Irvine-based Allergan said this morning that it has swapped its CFO, naming Jim Hindman as its new Executive Vice President, Finance and Business Development and Chief Financial Officer. Hindman replaces Jeff Edwards, who Allergan said has stepped down due to family commitments. Edwards will remain with Allergan to help transition the role. Edwards had been at Allergan for 21 years, with the last nine years as CFO. Hindman also is a longtime Allergan vet, having been at the company since 1984. He has been Senior Vice President, Treasury, Risk and Investor Relations since 2002.

 
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YouMail Updates iPhone App

Monday, August 18, 2014

Irvine-based YouMail, which develops enhanced voicemail service and related mobile apps, has rolled out a new update to its iPhone app. According to YouMail, the new app now supports new gestures for accessing voicemail messages quicker, a new navigation drawer, ways to add unwanted callers to its "ditch list", and other enhancements. YouMail offers up both iPhone and Android apps to access its enhanced voicemail services, which features things like voicemail sharing, personalized greetings depending on the caller, voice-to-email, and many other features.

 
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Insights: Do you really want to be the first to market?

Monday, August 18, 2014

In our Insights and Opinions section this morning, Dave Berkus, an angel investor and private equity investor, asks startup--do you really want to be first to market?




Over the years, as I managed my several computer companies as CEO or executive chairman, I made the decision to go to market with a brand new product that had never before been exposed to my customer’s marketplace. In each case, after overwhelming publicity, certainly noticed by a great number of potential decision makers, and after record-breaking sessions at industry trade shows to introduce these to the potential buyers, the products failed in the marketplace.


...that have led me to ask my current crop of CEOs as I serve on various boards, "Do you have the resources to evangelize the market, educate your potential customers, AND sell your product?"





Read the rest of Dave's essay, Do you really want to be the first to market?.

 
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Vantage Media Rolls Private Ad Marketplace Product

Monday, August 18, 2014

Los Angeles-based Vantage Media, the advertising technology company led by Patrick Quigley, said last week that it has launched a new product, providing a private, self serve, real-time bidding marketplace for publishers. According to the company, its new Private Marketplace product is based on its existing real-time bidding technology, and helps publishers better monetize its mobile and online visitors. Pricing on the new product was not announced. According to Vantage Media, another, Southern California technology company--Campus Explorer--is among the very first companies to use the product. CampusExplorer is the online service which helps students connect up with schools, colleges, and universities.

 
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Iteris Staves Off Delisting

Monday, August 18, 2014

Santa Ana-based traffic management technology developer Iteris has staved off delistings efforts by the NYSE, saying last week that the NYSE has accepted the company's plans to regain compliance with listing standards on the exchange. The company said on July 17th that it had received a noncompliance letter from the exchange, due to its inability to file a 10-K for the year ended March 31, 2014. The company apparently has been having issues completing its fiscal 2014 audit. Iteris trades on the NYSE as ITI.

 
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EnGenius Rolls New Outdoor Wireless Access Point

Monday, August 18, 2014

Costa Mesa-based EnGenius Technologies announced a new, outdoor wireless access point this morning, aimed at providing better wireless access over large outdoor areas. According to the hardware developer, its new product supports up to 1300 Mbps on 5Ghz and 450 Mbps on 2.4Ghz, and also can act as part of a mesh network. The new product, the ENH1750EXT 802.11ac 3x3 Dual Band Wireless Ruggedized Outdoor Access Point, costs $999.

 
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Friday, August 15, 2014

How Kixer Is Connecting Mobile Web Users To Apps

Friday, August 15, 2014


Many online business today have a big problem: users are increasingly coming to their websites as mobile users, not desktop users, which means lower ad revenues and conversions. How do you make those mobile users just as profitable as desktop users? Los Angeles-based Kixer (www.kixer.com) has figured out one way--which is to connect those mobile users with ads from app developers, who have the opposite problem of trying to boost their user base. We recently spoke with the CEO and co-founder of Kixer, Keith Bonnici--most recently SVP of Business Operations at Scopely--about the startup, which recently announced a seed financing round.

What is Kixer?

Keith Bonnici: We have created a platform that lets standard web publishers tap into the growing pool of money being spent by app developers to market their products. Right now, half of Facebook's revenues comes from app developers getting users to install their products. Many app developers rely on Facebook for distribution, which has built a product which allows developers to transact on cost-per-install basis; we've built off that Facebook app provisioning platform, and allowed app developers to also tap into mobile users on web sites.

What's your background?

Keith Bonnici: Both myself and my two other cofounders have seven years in publishing. We come from the desktop publishing space, and all worked together at a prior company....

 
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Conversion Logic Applies Data Science To Video Ad Attribution

Friday, August 15, 2014

A new, Santa Monica company, Conversion Logic launched yesterday, in an attempt to help companies better understand how their video advertising is doing--using data science. The new startup, which was founded by Trevor Testwuide and Alison Lohse, says it is looking to make it easier for brands, ad agencies, media buyers, and digital marketers to gain insights into video, to better understand what video ads are providing conversions. Testwuide and Lohse were both formerly at Visual IQ, and Lohse also had been at Razorfish. The company's board of directors includes Brian Baumgart (founder of Gradient X), Clark Landry (founder of SHIFT), Kim Reed Perell (CEO of Adconion Direct), and Evan Rifkin (founder of Burstly).

 
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Factual Launches New Tool WIth Dropbox, Tastemade

Friday, August 15, 2014

Los Angeles-based geodata provider Factual has tied up with Dropbox and Tastemade on the launch of a new product called Geopulse Geotag, the company said yesterday. Geopulse Geotag is a "reverse geocoder", which helps with geographic labeling of images, messages, events, and more created on mobile devices. According to Factual, Dropbox is using the new product in Carousel by Drobox, its photo gallery product, which will show users where photos and videos were taken. TasteMade, which lets consumers share videos about their favorite restaurants is using Factual's product to tag videos with location data, to help build its database of restaurants. Financial details of the deals were not disclosed. Factual maintains a giant database-in-the-sky that captures geocoded data on things like businesses, restaurants, and much more, and has been offering up that data to mobile app developers and others to power their mobile features.

 
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CheckAlt Scores Four New Credit Union Customers

Friday, August 15, 2014

Los Angeles-based CheckAlt, the developer of payment processing technology led by serial entrepreneur Shai Stern, said this week that it has signed on four new credit union customers for its mobile deposit technology. Financial impact of the win was not announced. CheckAlt said it signed up University & Community Federal Credit Union; Legal Community Credit Union of Colorado; Jordan Federal Credit Union; and Gulf Coast Community Federal Credit Union, all of whom are using its technology inconjunction with products from partners CU Wireless and iParse.

 
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ViaSat Expands In Arizona

Friday, August 15, 2014

Carlsbad-based wireless networking and satellite technology developer ViaSat says that it is in a big expansion at its facilities in Arizona, and is in the midst of building a new, 116,000 square foot campus for its operations there. According to ViaSat, the new campus, at the Arizona State University Research Park in Tempe, will include a two story office building, a manufacturing building, and more, and will initially support as many as 350 employees, with another future increase slated to allow the company to house over 400 total employees at the location. The new location nearly doubles its space from its existing operations at the location. ViaSat has over 3,300 employees worldwide.

 
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IDrive Targets Enterprise Linux Backup

Friday, August 15, 2014

Los Angeles-based online backup provider IDrive, which is led by Raghu Kulkarni, said Thursday that it has launched a new service specifically targeting the enterprise market. The company said its new IDrive DataCenter service provides enterprise level, cloud backup of Linux servers, and is aimed at data center and hosting companies. The company said the new service lets customers make automatic, scheduled backups, supports 256-bit AES encryption, and more. The company said the new offering is its first into the enterprise market; it has previously focused on consumer and SMB customers.

 
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Conversant Hires Former Bing Shopping Executive

Friday, August 15, 2014

Westlake Village-based Conversant, the online advertising and marketing technology company which was until recently known as ValueClick, has hired on the former head of Bing Shopping as a VP. Conversant said this week it has named Raju Malhotra as Senior Vice President of Products, to drive its product strategy. Malhotra was previously at Centro, and also served at Microsoft leading product strategy and the launch of Bing Shopping. He also has served at McKinsey as a management consultant. Conversant said that Malhotra will be based in Chicago.

 
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SAM Congratulates Beats Music and Beats Electronics

Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP would like to congratulate long time client
Beats Electronics and Beats Music in their acquisition by Apple, Inc.

In addition to acting as Beats' counsel since its formation in 2008 by Dr.
Dre and Jimmy Iovine, SAM was involved in the sale to Apple. Attorneys
assisting in the acquisition transaction included Scott Galer, Gaurav
Krishan and Mariam Tonya Karson.

For more information about our services, contact Heidi Hubbeling at
hhubbeling@stubbsalderton.com or (310) 746-9803.


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CONNECT with decision makers in the maritime business and public sectors
DISCOVER new technologies through live demonstrations and displays
UNDERSTAND the challenges of continued sustainable growth
MEET the leaders who influence technology deployment

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Thursday, August 14, 2014

AuditFile, Started At UCLA, Raises $3M For Auditing Software

Thursday, August 14, 2014

AuditFile, a developer of cloud-based auditing software for CPAs, has raised $3M in a funding round, the company said Thursday. The company was founded by Kevin Bong, who started the company in his dorm room at UCLA as a senior. According to the company, his brother, Steven Bong, convinced him to turn down job offers and move back home to the Bay Area to work on the company full time. The funding came from Banneker Ventures, Tim Draper, Nas Draper, as well as other angel investors. The company now has its headquarters in San Francisco. Kevin--now COO--studied computer science and accounting at UCLA.

 
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DogVacay's New VacayCam Helps Capture Dog Candids

Thursday, August 14, 2014


Santa Monica-based online pet sitting marketplace and community DogVacay has a cute, new feature, which helps the company's hosts capture great canine candids. The company said its new iPhone app features a new tool called VacayCam, which uses the sounds of barks, meowing, and squeaky toys to capture the attention of pets for cute candid photos of pets that sitters are taking care of. The app also lets users add cute stickers and phrases to send to pet owners. The update to the tool comes along with such new features as finding nearby veterinarians and animal hospitals, tools to help sitters diagnose issues with a dog, FAQs, and more. Video of the new feature embedded below.



 
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Vadio Gets Backing From Mucker Capital, Amplify, Others In $2M Funding

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Vadio, the developer of a platform which helps match music videos and ads with streaming music, said Thursday that it has raised $2M in a seed funding round, which included Mucker Capital, Amplify.LA, as well as other LA investors. The company--which has operations in Los Angeles and Portland, Oregon--said it raised the funding from Ed Wilson (former President of NBC Enterprises), Robin Richards (former CEO of Vivendi Universal, and who also has been involved with Internships.com, NTI Group, MP3.com, and other local startups); Marc Geiger (Lollapalooza, William Morris Endeavor); Irwin Federman (US Venture Partners, NVCA), along with both Mucker Capital and Amplify.LA. Vadio is led by entrepreneur Bryce Clemmer, and recently inked a deal with Vevo to help match Vevo's large library of music videos with other online, music streaming sites.

 
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More information » (Subscribers only)

CurbStand Ties With Fatburger On LA Valet Promotion

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Los Angeles-based mobile app developer CurbStand, which lets users locate, pay and tip valet parking providers, has tied with LA hamburger chain Fatburger on a new promotion, the company said today. According to CurbStand, it is launching a new campaign called #soLAvalet, which will offer up valet parking at Fatburger locations in West Hollywood and downtown Los Angeles at its location on Figueroa. CurbStand's app let users locate valet parking, figure out pricing, and tip the valet--all directly from a mobile phone. The company says that, so far, it serves 80 locations and more than 140 businesses in the Los Angeles area, and expects to expand to six more U.S.cities within the next year.

 
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Geneva Healthcare Gets $1.8M

Thursday, August 14, 2014

San Diego-based Geneva Healthcare has raised $1.8M in a funding round, the company said this morning, to go towards the development of its platform for managing data from cardiac devices. The company said the funding came from high net worth individuals, including cardiologists, physicians and successful technology entrepreneurs. Geneva Healthcare, which is led by Kai Worrell, says it has already been deploying its technology across hospitals in Southern California. The company says it is now in hiring mode after the funding.

 
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Amazon To Open New Fulfillment Center In Redlands, Hire 2500

Thursday, August 14, 2014

E-commerce giant Amazon.com is expanding in Southern California, saying today that it is opening up a new, fulfillment center in Redlands, to help deliver large items to customers. According to Amazon.com, the new 700,000 square foot fulfillment center is looking to hire 2,500 people, to help pick, pack, and ship things such as big screen televisions and kayaks to its customers. The new fulfillment center is the company's fifth, and comes on top of existing centers in San Bernardino, Moreno Valley, Patterson and Tracy. Amazon claims that its jobs at its fulfillment centers are 30 percent higher than traditional, retail positions.

 
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Second Sight Medical Files For IPO

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Sylmar-based Second Sight Medical, a medical devices maker developing treatments for outer retinal degenerations, such as retinitis pigmentosa, filed for an IPO this week, saying that it is looking to raise up to $45M in an IPO on the Nasdaq Capital Market. The IPO is being underwritten by MDB Capital Group. The company said it expects to offer its stock at $9.00 per share, trading under the symbol EYES. Second Sight Medical is backed by medical devices mogul Alfred E. Mann.

 
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NRG Energy Buys Goal Zero

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Energy giant NRG Energy--which runs its solar power business out of Carlsbad--has acquired consumer solar power products maker Goal Zero, the company said today. Financial details of the acquisition were not announced. Goal Zero is a maker of solar charging products, and is well known in the outdoor and adventure products area. According to NRG, it will use the acquisition to help cross sell products between system power, residential solar and personal power, helping to educate Goal Zero's customers about rooftop solar, and also offering up Goal Zero's solar products with NRG's retail electricity offers. NRG is based in New Jersey, but runs both its utility scale and commercial solar installation business out of Carlsbad, California.

 
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Hovelstay.com Gets $1.2M To Help You Find Anti-Luxury Digs

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Looking for dump to stay in while traveling? A new, Glendale-based startup, hovelstay.com, said it has launched a new site to help college students to find affordable lodging--including the proverbial "dump"--and has raised $1.2M in venture funding. According to hovelstay.com, the Series A funding came from private investors in London and Dubai. Names of those investors were not disclosed. hovelstay.com sais that its site is aimed at traveling students, and features only properties with pricing under $99. The site currently limits usage to people with verifiable, .edu addresses, and offers up properties for a day, a week, or by the semester. hovelstay.com said it wants to be the "anti-luxury" vacation rental site. The startup is led by Michael Bolger.

 
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