Friday, April 17, 2015

FastPay Funds Altitude Digital In $30M Financing

Friday, April 17, 2015

Los Angeles-based FastPay, the provider of financing products for ad and media driven companies which is led by Jed Simon, has backed mobile and video advertising products firm Altitude Digital with $30M in financing, Altitude said Thursday. Terms of the financing were not announced. Altitude Digital, which is based in Denver, Colorado, offers up a video ad and mobile, supply side advertising platform. FastPay offers up invoice-based financing to many media businesses, who usually see long delays between ad impressions and actual payments from advertisers.

 
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Upfront Ventures Leads $20M Investment In Heads-Up Display Developer Navdy

Friday, April 17, 2015

Los Angeles-based Upfront Ventures is the lead investor in a developer of a new, heads-up display which connects to your smartphone, projecting messages, information, and more directly on your windshield. According to San Francisco-based Navdy, it raised $20M in its Series A round, bringing it to a total of $33M in funding. Upfront was the lead, with Formation8, Qualcomm Ventures, Promus Ventures, Eniac Ventures and Wareness.io also participating. The company is looking to commercially launch its product later this year.

 
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Fliptu Gets $1.2M For Social Aggregation Tools

Friday, April 17, 2015

Los Angeles-based Fliptu, the developer of social aggregation tools for music and entertainment brands, has raised $1.2M in a seed funding round, the company said Friday. The startup--led by Jeremy Gocke--said the funding came from Scout Ventures, Rick Dalzell (former Amazon CIO), Rich Heise (early Groupon investor), Hivers & Strivers, Kelly Perdew, and other angels. The company said it will use the funds to bolster its product team and expand into new verticals. Fliptu offers up a social aggregation platform which helps brands pull together related content from fans and others, in a highly visual way, allowing that social stream to be used in social campaigns.

 
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Sony Documents, Emails Go Online At WikiLeaks

Friday, April 17, 2015

A huge collection of internal documents and emails from Sony Pictures Entertainment--stolen from the company in a massive hacking last year tied to the movie "The Interview"--has been posted online by WikiLeaks. WikiLeaks said it had posted a searchable database of 30,287 documents and 173,132 emails from Sony, claiming it did so to show "the inner workings of an influential multinational corporation." WikiLeaks said in a statement that the documents were "public domain", despite the fact that they were stolen by hackers. The U.S. has blamed the massive shutdown of Sony's computers and hacking of Sony's corporate information on North Korea. The Interview makes fun of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

 
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Bitium Rolls Out In Google Apps Marketplace

Friday, April 17, 2015

Santa Monica-based Bitium, the developer of identity and access management software led by Scott Kriz, has rolled out its products in the Google Apps Marketplace, the company said Thursday. Bitium said its products are tightly integrated and work with Google Apps for Work, helping to secure business applications. Bitium is venture backed by Polaris Ventures, Amplify, Resolute VC, Double M Partners, Social Leverage, Karlin Ventures, Lazerow Ventures and Rob Glaser. The company says its customers include Fullscreen, Movember, Demand Media, and GroupM, among others.

 
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Lytx Wins Commercial Trucking Insurance Customer

Friday, April 17, 2015

San Diego-based Lytx, which develops video-based, driver safety systems, reported a win with trucking insurance company Canal Insurance Company. Lytx said Canal will offer up its Lytx DriveCam Program to its fleet customers as a value added service. Lytx said its Lytx DriveCam Program helps prevent collisions, reduce injuries and save lives by offering up video, predictive analytics, real-time driver feedback and coaching for fleets.

 
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Precision Health Economics Acquired By Precision For Medicine

Friday, April 17, 2015

Los Angeles-based Precision Health Economics, a provider of health economics consultancy and analytics, has been acquired by Maryland-based Precision for Medicine. Financial terms of the buy were not disclosed. PHE was founded by Drs. Dana Goldman, Darius Lakdawalla, and Tomas Philipson, professors at the University of Southern California and the University of Chicago.

 
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Southern California Sees $1.9 Billion In Q1 Deals, Biggest Since Dot Com Boom

Friday, April 17, 2015


Southern California saw a staggering $1.9 billion in investments in Q1 of 2015, according to the latest numbers from the PricewaterhouseCoopers/National Venture Capital Association
MoneyTree report, which was released this evening, The quarter was the biggest, investment quarter for Southern California since the dot com era. The last quarter to ever reach the same investment heights was more than fourteen years ago, in fourth quarter of 2000, when $1.95 billion was invested in the region at the tail end of the dot com boom.
More than half of this quarter's investment due to a single, nearly $1 billion investment in Hawthorne-based SpaceX. Other large funding deals in the quarter included $186M invested in Lynda, $76.28M invested in San Diego's aTyr Pharma, and $50.0M invested in SmartDrive Systems.

The Los Angeles area saw a total of $1.476 billion in Q1 deals--including that giant round for SpaceX--San Diego saw $270.1M in investments, and Orange County saw $172.81M in funding. Biggest industries for funding were Industrial/Energy, with just over $1.0 billion invested--again thanks to SpaceX--then Software, with $316.95M in deals. Biotechnology companies were the third most popular investment area, with $165.3M invested.

The most active investors in Southern California for the quarter were Frost Data Capital (8 investments); Upfront Ventures (7 investments); Wavemaker Partners (6 investments); and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (4 investments)....

 
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KeyInfo, Wilcon:Fiber Ring Connectivity For LA and Ventura County

Key Information Systems, Inc. (KeyInfo), a leading cloud and infrastructure
provider offering integrated solutions to enterprises, has announced the
launch of its dedicated fiber ring built in partnership with Wilcon, the
premier West Coast provider of private fiber optic networks. The KeyInfo
fiber ring brings high-speed, private connectivity to businesses in Los
Angeles and Ventura Counties. Because of its characteristic high security,
fiber is an ideal choice for industries with highly regulated or sensitive
data requirements. Organizations in the healthcare, financial, retail and
government verticals can depend on Wilcon’s absolute physical layer
security to protect the data in transit.

For more information about the KeyInfo fiber ring, please visit our
website at:
http://keyinfo.com/solutions-we-build/Connectivity/fiber/


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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Stocktwits Raises Funding Round

Thursday, April 16, 2015

San Diego-based stock messaging service Stocktwits has just raised a new funding, which the company said came from its existing investors, plus strategic Asian financial technology investors, and strategic investors in the fund and ETF business in North America. Stocktwits did not say how large the investment was, however, a recent regulatory filing indicates it recently closed $1.2M on a $2.0M funding round. In a blog post, Stocktwits said it will use the funding to help it grow even faster. Stocktwits offers up a Twitter-like platform to trade stock tips and discussions, all linked to public company trading symbols, along with tools to help public companies with getting news out about their companies.

 
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FreedomPop Rolls Out New Upgrade Option

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Los Angeles-based FreedomPop, which offers up free wireless broadband and voice calling plans--up to a limit--rolled out a new software update over the last week, which it says will let FreedomPop phones switch between VoIP and traditional cellular voice networks. According to FreedomPop, the new software will be an upgrade option, its "Premium Voice" option, via Google Play. FreedomPop did not announce the cost of the new features.

 
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Rubicon Project Launches Beta Of Two Products

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Los Angeles-based Rubicon Project has launched two new products into beta, saying this week that it has launched DSP Builder and HFC2, both developed in the company's "innovation lab". DSP Builder is a development platform for creating real-time bidding applications. HFC is a "high frequency cloud" computing product, a cloud computing product specifically developed for applications similar to Rubicon Project's own online advertising exchange. Rubicon said the cloud computing product offers low network latency, ultra high throughput and massive complex event processing, and uses unique architecture, custom-engineered hardware, and specially programmed silicon chips.

 
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Tinder Hooks Up With Instagram

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Los Angeles-based Tinder, the developer of the immensely popular swipe-left or swipe-right dating app, has just released an update which connects the app directly with Instagram. Tinder said that the integration allows users to scroll through the Instagram profiles of their potential matches, directly within the app. Tinder also has deepened the amount of information you get on matches, showing common social graph connections--if you have any--and also expanded interests you can share with your matches.

 
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Procore Technologies Finds $30M For Construction Project Management Software

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Carpinteria-based Procore, the developer of construction project management software led by Craig "Tooey" Courtemanche, said this morning that it has raised $30M in a growth funding round. The funding was led by ICONIQ Capital, and also included existing investor Bessemer Venture Partners. Procore said the funding will go towards accelerating growth of its business. Procore develops cloud-based software which is used to manage large construction projects, using both the web and mobile phones. The software handles access to all project documents, including contracts, RFIs, schedules, and drawings.

 
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Angel Group Gives Luis Villalobos Award

Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Angel Capital Association, a national association for angel investors, said Wednesday that it has awarded the Luis Villalobos Award to a company, for being the most innovative angel backed company from its members. According to the ACA, it has awarded the special recognition to Ann Arbor, Michigan-based RetroSense Therapeutics, a biotech developing life-enhancing gene therapies to restore vision to patients suffering from blindness. The ACA's award is named after Tech Coast Angels founder Luis Villalobos, who passed away in 2009. The ACA began giving away the award in 2010. Villalobos was also a founder of the Angel Capital Association.

 
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Centurylink Installs Fuel Cells In Irvine

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Telecommunications company CenturyLink said this week that it has made the first deployment of Bloom Energy's fuel cells in a multi-tenant data center in Southern California, as a part of the company's sustainability efforts. Bloom Energy's equipment converts natural ga and air to generate energy, and offers up cleaner--and usually, cheaper--onsite energy generation for companies. The companies said that the use of fuel cells is a much cleaner way to generate electricity, and also reduce water use.

 
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Pelican Products Names Division President

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Torrance-based Pelican Products has named a new division president, saying that it has appointed Dave Williams as President of Pelican BioThermal Division, the company's temperature controlled packaging products division. Williams replaces Tom Anderson. Williams was most recently VP of Strategic Initiatives for Pelican, and previously had served as VP of Capital and Engineering at Technicolor. He also had been at Nimbus. Pelican Products is backed by private equity investor Behrman Capital.

 
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provide guidance and strategic planning during various phases and also
advise regarding employee benefit structures to assist in employee
recruiting and retention. Coverage placements include D&O, Property,
Liability, Workers Comp, E&O, Cyber/Network Security and Employee
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Contact:

John Huttinger, CIC, CRM
Vice President
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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Acorns Finds $23M To Turn Spare Change Into Stock Portfolios

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Wish you could turn your spare change into a stock portfolio? Well, apparently, you can--thanks to Newport Beach-based Acorns, a new startup which said today that it has raised $23M in a Series C funding round. Acorns offers up iOS, Android, and Amazon apps which automatically round up debit and credit card purchases, and poolls those into an investment account. The Funding came from Greycroft Partners and e.ventures and also included Sound Ventures, Garland Capital, and MATH Venture Partners. Acorns said that so far, 75 percent of its users are under the age of 35; the company says its apps help eliminate the traditional barriers that prevent individuals from saving and investing. Acorns is led by Jeff Cruttenden.

 
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Karlin Ventures Looks To Help Develop LA's Rising Tech Leaders With Program

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Los Angeles-based venture capital investor Karlin Ventures is hoping to help develop rising, technology executives--particularly those at the VP level--with a new program it is launching today called Karlin Fellows. According to the firm, the new fellowship program will help mentor vice president level managers of growing LA startup, to help those leaders grow. Karlin said it will run four, master classes each year, targeting 12 to 15 rising leaders--with the hope of helping them drive LA's next wave of tech companies. The company said it will help mentor those leaders in areas such as business development, marketing, engineering, and product management. Karlin has tapped experienced execs, including Dan Macklin, co­founder and VP of business development at SoFi and Raja Subramoni, head of product marketing at Sonos, for its first session, which will be held early this summer. Karlin said the new program will be available both to execs from its portfolio companies, as well as others in the community.

 
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LA Dodgers Launch Sports, Technology, Entertainment Accelerator

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The Los Angeles Dodgers and R/GA said Tuesday afternoon that the two are setting up a new, startup accelerator in Los Angeles, called the LA Dodgers Accelerator. According to the two, the new startup accelerator will focus on companies at the intersection of sports, technology, and entertainment. The accelerator says it hopes to have a mix of early-stage startups developing new technologies, products, and services, as well as later-stage companies. The accelerator said it is initially looking for 10 startups for the program, who will gain the "full resources" of the Dodgers, owners, and partner organizations. The LA Dodgers Accelerator did not say if it would be investing in those startups in the program; the program's mentor list includes a significant number of sports figures, with a sprinkling of local and other VCs.

 
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Marlin Equity Buys Cybersecurity Firm From General Dynamics

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Los Angeles-based private equity investor Marlin Equity Partners said Tuesday that it has agreed to acquire Fidelis Cybersecurity Solutions from General Dynamics. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed. Fidelis Cybersecurity Solutions offers up products and services to combat threats and prevent data and intellectual property theft. Fidelis is based in Waltham, Mass.

 
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Semtech Sells Off Defense, Microwave Business

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Camarillo-based semiconductor developer Semtech said late Tuesday that it has completed a divestiture of its defense and microwave communications infrastructure business. Semtech said it sold its business to Jariet Technologies, in exchange for a minority equity interest in the new company. Semtech had originally planned to divest and shut down its defense and microwave communications business, which it had acquired as part of its buy of Sierra Monolithics in 2009.

 
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Guidance Software Snags EMC Vet For New CEO

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Pasadena-based Guidance Software has named Patrick Dennis as the company's new President and CEO, according to the company. Dennis joins Guidance Software from EMC, where he was Senior Vice President & Chief Operating Officer for EMC's Cloud Management Division, and also had been Chief Operating Officer for EMC's Enterprise and Mid-Range Systems Business groups. Interim CEO and CFO Berry Plaga shifts back to CFO. Guidance Software developers digital forensics and investigation software, used for security incident response, compliance, law enforcement and litigation, and other efforts.

 
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- All-inclusive Managed Services
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KeyInfo, Wilcon:Fiber Ring Connectivity For LA and Ventura County

Key Information Systems, Inc. (KeyInfo), a leading cloud and infrastructure
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KeyInfo, Wilcon:Fiber Ring Connectivity For LA and Ventura County

Key Information Systems, Inc. (KeyInfo), a leading cloud and infrastructure
provider offering integrated solutions to enterprises, has announced the
launch of its dedicated fiber ring built in partnership with Wilcon, the
premier West Coast provider of private fiber optic networks. The KeyInfo
fiber ring brings high-speed, private connectivity to businesses in Los
Angeles and Ventura Counties. Because of its characteristic high security,
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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Report: Majority of Snapchat's Audience Are Millenials

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

It should not be a surprise to users of Snapchat, however, a new report confirms that the majority of Snapchat's audience are Millenials. According to the U.S. Digital Future in Focus Report, released by comScore this week, 71 percent of Snapchat's adult audience are Millenials, between the ages of 18 to 34 years old, with 45 of its users being between 18 to 24 years old. comScore aid it found that Snapchat was the youngest social network among the ones it tracks. Among other tidbits from the report: Myspace apparently is seeing a "renaissance" in its following, with a 469 percent growth rate in 2014, to nearly 40 million visitors; Tinder was the third fastest growing mobile app in 2014, measured per comScore, with a 737 percent increase in year-to-year unique visitors; and LA dominated the top, YouTube channels by desktop unique viewers, with Disney/Maker Studios, Fullscreen, Machinima, and ZEFR among the top ranked properties.

 
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SpaceX Successfully Launches Falcon 9 Into Space, Again

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Hawthorne-based SpaceX has delivered another payload into space, successfully launching its sixth, commercial resupply mission to the International Space Station Tuesday afternoon. SpaceX successfully launched the Dragon spacecraft into orbit, deploying the vehicle's solar panels, in preparation for docking with the ISS later this week. SpaceX has not yet reported on the success or failure of its reusable rocket landing test, which it hoped to land on a floating platform in the ocean, however, SpaceX CEO and founder Elon Musk said on Twitter that the rocket successfully landed on its drone ship--but landed too hard for survival The SpaceX Dragon is delivering 4,300 pounds of supplies, and more than 250 science and research experiments to the ISS.

 
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eHarmony Rolls Android Wear App

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Santa Monica-based online matchmaking service eHarmony is jumping into the smart watch market, saying today that it has launched its mobile app for Android Wear and Samsung Gear S. According to eHarmony, the move is a part of the shift by the company to a "mobile-first" product development process. eHarmony said the app will display notifications that are sync'd with a user's phone, allowing users to see a match's name, age, location, photos, and messages. eHarmony already offers up Android and iPhone apps; however, the company has yet to announce a similar app for the new Apple Watch. eHarmony has been in the midst of a major overhaul of its infrastructure to adjust to the new, young, mobile driven market--which is more comfortable with apps like Tinder than eHarmony's online roots.

 
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Rocket Lab: We're Creating A Battery Powered Rocket

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Los Angeles- and New Zealand-based aerospace startup Rocket Lab has unveiled its approach to delivering small satellites into space: new, battery powered rockets. The startup--which is backed by Khosla Ventures, K1W1, Bessemer Venture Partners and Lockheed Martin--claims it has created new technology which uses high-performance brushless DC electric motors and lithium-polymer batteries to drive payloads into space. The company says its technology--being incorporated into its "Electron" small orbital launch vehicle--will be capable of delivering up to 100 kg to a 500 km sun-synchronous orbit. Rocket Lab said its engine is entirely 3D printed.

 
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SpaceX Scrubs Latest Launch, Tries Again Today

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Hawthorne-based SpaceX scrubbed its first launch attempt in its latest mission to the International Space Station on Monday due to weather, saying that the next launch opportunity for the Dragon is today at 1:10 p.m. SpaceX is launching another, Commercial Resupply (CRS) mission to the International Space Station from Cape Canaveral, Florida, and will also attempt a landing of its reusable rocket booster on a small platform out at sea. SpaceX has so far launched six, successful missions to the International Space Station, halfway through a contracted 12 missions for SpaceX to demonstrate its ability to deliver cargo to and from the ISS. The latest mission will deliver more than 4,300 pounds of supplies, and more than 250 science and research experiments to the ISS, and return around 3,000 pounds of cargo--and trash--back from space.

 
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TrueCar Launches #DogsInCars Hashtag Charity Campaign

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Santa Monica-based TrueCar is launched a new, social promotion Monday, where the company will donate $1 for every time someone uses its hashtag #DogsInCars--part of an advertising push by the company. According to TrueCar, it will donate $1 for every time the #DogsInCars hashtag is used in an Instagram photo, up to $50,000, to the Best Friends Animal Society. The charity effort is part of TrueCar's currently running TV ad spots, all of which revolve around dogs in cars.

 
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WorldViz Gets Funding From Intel

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Santa Barbara-based WorldViz, a developer of virtual reality software, said this morning that it has raised a Series A funding round from Intel. Financial details of the funding were not announced. According to the company, it is developing virtual reality applications aimed at the enterprise market. WorldViz is led by Andy Beall, and was founded in 2002. WorldViz offers up a number of tools and services for creating virtual reality applications, which it says are used by more than 1,500 Fortune 500 companies, academic institutions, and government agencies, particularly in the area of architectural visualization.

 
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ZipRecruiter Launches TV Ad Campaign

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Santa Monica-based hiring software developer ZipRecruiter, which is led by Ian Siegel, is embarking on a big television advertising campaign, the company said Monday. ZipRecruiter said it would be running a mix of 60-second, 30-second, and 15-second spots nationally on cable and online. ZipRecruiter did not say how much it is investing in the television advertising campaign. The company did say that the ads were developed by the company by Santa Monica-based agency Tiny Rebellion.

 
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Pulse Electronics Goes To Oaktree

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

San Diego-based Pulse Electronics, which develops electronic components in the wireless communication, power management, military and aerospace, and other industries, has been acquired by private equity investor Oaktree Capital Management. The two companies said that the deal was worth $17.0M, and gives Oaktree 100% ownership of Pulse Electronics. As a part of the deal, Pulse will be delisted from the public markets. Pulse was advised by Dentons US LLP, and Oaktree was advised by Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton and Garrison LLP. Pulse's Special Committee was advised by Latham & Watkins LLP and Houlihan Lokey Capital. The deal had originally been annoucned on March 2nd.

 
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CBRE Buys Environmental Systems Inc.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Los Angeles-based commercial real estate services and investor CBRE said this morning that it has acquired Environmental Systems, Inc. (ESI), a system integrator and provider of energy management services. Financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed. CBRE said that ESI provides managed services to help commercial property owners to remotely monitor and analyze energy usage in their buildings. ESI apparently manages over 180 million square feet of facilities at over 2,800 sites throughout the US. ESI was based in Brookfield, Wisconsin.

 
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Monday, April 13, 2015

Dubb Launches Marketplace For Creatives, Finds Funding

Monday, April 13, 2015

Are you a photographer, interior designer, event planner, or other creative freelancer? Los Angeles-based Dubb, a new, angel-backed startup, has launched a new, mobile marketplace to help you find customers. According to Dubb, its new, mobile marketplace is aimed at both professional and semi-professionals, and helps creative professionals post listing of their services, and helps buyers browse and search for those services, handling everything from instant chat and payment. The mobile marketplace provides transaction history, testimonials, background checks, portfolios, and other tools. The startup says it is backed by angels, including Kris Gutta, Rashesh Patel, Venkat Ketineni and Brian Liu, Chairman and Cofounder of LegalZoom.

 
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Upfront's DataSift Hit By Twitter Shift

Monday, April 13, 2015


DataSift, the social data API and analytics firm which is heavily backed by LA's Upfront Ventures, has been hit by a major change by Twitter, which is totally cutting off access to its data via DataSift. According to Twitter, it is looking to create "direct" relationships with its data partners, and is shutting off access to third party data providers--including DataSift. Twitter said that, instead, anyone needing its fire hose of data should go through Gnip, the social data provider which Twitter acquired last year. DataSift said that Twitter has "seriously damaged the ecosystem this week" and saying that Twitter "doesn't understand the basic rules of this market."


Despite the setback, DataSift said it is instead turning to Facebook, the "undisputed largest source of social data on earth" for much of its data. Upfront Ventures was the series A investor in DataSift, which had represented a part of the company's strategy of investing in the Twitter ecosystem. This is the second Twitter-related Upfront investment to be blindsided by Twitter; a former investment, Ad.ly, had faced a ban by Twitter forcing that firm to also rethink its model; Ad.ly's CEO at the time, Sean Rad, is now CEO of Tinder.

 
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Events.com: Creating A New Events Management Software Giant, with Gregg Parise

Monday, April 13, 2015


Is the world ready for another event management software provider? San Diego's Events.com (www.events.com) thinks so, saying it is prepared to create a new platform—built in the social and mobile age—designed to help manage all kinds of events, in a way which has been completely overlooked by the incumbent event registration and management providers. Gregg Parise, the CEO of the company, sat down to talk to us about the company's launch. Gregg also spoke to us about how the move of Active Network out of San Diego—-a huge dislocation for the local high tech community—actually benefited Events.com, by allowed it to quickly ramp up its employee base and offerings, particularly since one Event.com's Chairman was a co-founder of Active.

What is Events.com all about?

Gregg Parise What we are doing, is we are going into the event management software space, and doing it through a platform technology. Essentially, what we are doing is creating a two sided marketplace. We have different competitors, from Cvent to Active network to Eventbrite, and each one is very good at some functional part of the software solution. However, what we are doing is far more focused on the broad events space, and we have all the same solutions those folks have, but with a critical difference, in that our platform is a two way platform. We're all about communications, outreach, and consumer facing products, in addition to those core business solutions built around the enterprise....

 
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