Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Geni Adds Filters
Hollywood-based Geni, which operates an online site for networking with family and tracking family trees, released a new feature Wednesday that allows its users to filter out cousins on the site. According to Geni, it has a new "hide" filter which will help users find cousins using the site that they haven't met yet. Geni's web site allows family members and relatives to collaborate on family trees and genealogy, as well as share news and other information. Geni is funded by Charles River Ventur (More info...)

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Steamboat Invests In Greystripe
Burbank-based Steamboat Ventures, the venture capital arm of Disney, is one of the investors in Bay Area-based mobile games advertising firm Greystripe, which raised a $5.5M Series C funding today. Greystripe said the funding round was led by Incubic Venture Capital, and also included Monitor Ventures, in addition to Steamboat Ventures. Greystripe's services insert in-game ads into mobile games, and the firm also operates the mobile games portal site. Steamboat was the lead on Greys (More info...)

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California Technology Ventures Invests In Games Firm
Pasadena-based venture capital firm California Technology Ventures has staked a developer of a video game software engine, Blade Games, with a $4M investment. According to Blade Games, which is based in Bellevue, Washington, CTV funded the firm in an initial round of investment. Alex Suh of California Technology Ventures was involved in the funding. Blade Games develops Blade3D, a video game engine used for Windows and Xbox 360 development. The investment isn't the first for CTV in a gaming firm (More info...)

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MobileXL Signs African Customer
Los Angeles-based Mobile-XL, an angel-backed developer of mobile phone applications, said today that the firm has partnered with Nairobi, Kenya-based KenyaBuzz, which operates a local event service in Kenya. Financial impact of the deal was not disclsoed. Mobile-XL, which is angel backed by the Tech Coast Angels, said that information from KenyaBuzz will now be available to mobile phone users via its XLBrowser product.

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9 Gets Funding Round
Los Angeles-based 9, a startup offering consulting and production for brands, entertainment, media, internet and retail companies, has raised a small round of funding from private investors. Details on the amount of funding were not released. According to the firm, it will help companies that want to create and sell ideas across broadcast TV, broadband, print or digital media. The firm's founder is Patricia Handschiegel, who was the founder of Stylediary. Handschiegel sold Stylediary in 2007 to (More info...)

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Poly Plant Project Invests In Memory Firm
Burbank-based Poly Plant Project, a developer of semiconductor process technology for building polysilicon for producing solar cells and modules, has invested in a Silicon Valley firm, 4DS. 4Ds said that Poly Plant Project made the investment as part of a multi-million dollar equity investment. Amount of the investment was not disclosed. 4DS develops production processes for creating non-volatile random access memory. Poly Plant Project describes itself as helping companies design, plan and buil (More info...)

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HireRight Merges Brands
Irvine-based HireRight, a provider of employment screening software and services, has merged its brands with US Investigations Services, LLC, the firm said this morning. HireRight, which was acquired by USIS in June of last year for around $195M, said that the two firms have united under the HireRight brand name. The companies offer employment screening and background check services for employers. HireRight says it provides its services to more than 28,000 businesses across the United States. Th (More info...)

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Networkfleet Adds Satellite Mapping
San Diego-based Networkfleet, a provider of wireless management services for tracking commercial vehicle fleets, announced today that the firm has added high resolution satellite and hybrid mapping to its offering. The firm--which is a subsidiary of Hughes Telematics--said the capability will allow its customers to see a more realistic depiction of a vehicle's location and geographic surroundings. The firm said the new satellite mapping is available to subscribers and new users immediately.

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MarketShare Partners Names Advisor
Los Angeles-based MarketShare Partners, a private equity-backed provider of marketing analytics, said this morning that it has tapped a former marketing exec from Procter & Gamble as an advisor. According to the firm, Jim Stengel, curently President of his own think tank and consultancy, has joined its board of advisors. Stengel was formerly Global Marketing Officer at P&G. MarketShare said that Stengel is best known for "reinvigorating P&G's marketing culture." MarketShare Partners gained an un (More info...)

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Specific Media Bolsters Brand Analytics
Irvine-based Specific Media is reporting today that it has added a new tool focused on helping its client measure the impact of their brands. According to Specific Media, its new Brand Awareness Reports pulls data from Nielsen to measure the impact of campaigns, through such things as brand awareness, brand opinion, and the likelihood of online audiences to recommend the brand to others. The firm said the new service can be used to evaluate an advertising campaign's effectiveness "within weeks" (More info...)

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