Thursday, July 12, 2012
Siemer & Associates
Siemer & Associates LLC is the global merchant bank serving the digital
media, software and technology industry.

Activision Blizzard On Block, Says Report
Los Angeles-based videogame maker Activision Blizzard is on the block, with majority owner Vivendi looking to sell the video game business, according to reports this week. Reuters, citing five sources "close to the situation," said that the firm is looking for bidders on Activision. Vivendi owns 60 percent of Activision Blizzard. The article said that Time Warner, Microsoft, Chinese gaming firm Tencent, as well as a number of private equity firms have been approached about the sale.

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Siemer Ventures Funds Tradesparq
Los Angeles-based venture fund Siemer Ventures, the early-stage, venture capital investor run by David Siemer and Eric Manlunas, has funded Tradesparq, the operator of an Asian, B2B marketplace that matches volume buyers and suppliers. Financial terms of the investment were not disclosed. Siemer disclosed the investment to its supporters in an email this week. Tradesparq is based in Shanghai and Hong Kong. The firm's online service helps buyers find and source products using social networking, p (More info...)

posted on Thursday, July 12, 2012 (More)(Full story) Set For Launch
A new, Los Angeles-based startup creating luxury t-shirts,, appears to be gearing up for a launch today, with the backing of celebrity Jennifer Lopez, plus tech entrepreneurs Brian Lee and MJ Eng. The firm--which has recently been recruiting t-shirt graphic designers to help develop t-shirts for both men and women--is reportedly launching Thursday. Brian Lee is best known for Legalzoom and ShoeDazzle. A recent job posting by Teeology said it will be a "fashion-forward luxury tee shi (More info...)

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Demand Media Expands Into eBooks
Los Angeles-based Demand Media has a new market on its sights: electronic books. The firm said today that it has launched two, new electronic book series, part of what the firm said is the "next chapter" of its Demand Studios efforts. The company said it is launching five eBooks about pets, and thirteen books about wine, as the first of its ebook efforts. Both the pets and wine series are now available for download from Amazon. The company did not say how many eBook titles it is looking to publi (More info...)

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Elevance Renewable Sciences Finds $104M
An Illinois firm whose technology is based on, and licensed from Pasadena-based Materia and Caltech, has raised a whopping, $104M funding round. Woodridge, Illinois-based Elevance Renewable Sciences, a developer of processes for creating specialty chemicals from renewable oils, said the Series E funding came from Lacustrine Limited, a Malaysian investor, along with Total Energy Ventures international. The funding will go towards its strategic growth plans. The funding comes even as Elevance has (More info...)

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DreamHost Gets $288K For Employment Training
Los Angeles-based hosting provider Dreamhost has tapped into an interesting source of funding to help provide training to its employees: a grant from the State of California. The hosting provider said it has received $288,200 from the state's Employment Training Panel (ETP) to help provide training to its nearly 200 employees. The grant will provide it with license training software and executive leadership training. The company said it is the first web hosting company in California to take adva (More info...)

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CallWave Lives On As FuzeBox Finds Funding
Remember Santa Barbara-based Callwave, the onetime developer of Internet call waiting and Internet fax services? It turns out the company still exists--albeit under another name and management--and just became, again, a venture backed startup. Callwave, which started in 1998, gained venture funding, went public in an IPO in 2004, went private, and then switched its business model to online meeting and collaboration software, renamed itself to FuzeBox back in 2009 and moving its headquarters to S (More info...)

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X Prize's Diamandis Ties Together Space Mining, Virgin Galactic
Peter H. Diamandis, who heads the X Prize Foundation, the Marina Del Rey-based organization which runs a series of prizes designed to encourage the development of technology to benefit society, has just tied together two of the efforts he's involved in, after spaceship developer Virgin Galactic said Wednesday that asteroid mining venture Planetary Resources are now working together. Virgin Galactic--the firm backed by Sir Richard Branson, which is developing vehicles to deliver people, and now c (More info...)

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Qualcomm Backs Indian E-commerce Firm
San Diego-based Qualcomm has backed an online e-commerce company in India, Big Shoe Bazaar India Pvt Ltd.. According to Big Shoe, it has raised INR 100 Cr. (approximately $1.8M US) in a Series C funding round, which was led by Fidelity Growth Partners India, and Qualcomm, via Qualcomm Ventures. Other investors in Big Shoe include Nexus Venture Partners and Catamaran. Big Shoe runs, an online retailer of shoes, footwear, apparel, and other related products. Qualcomm has an Indian arm o (More info...)

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Poptent Raises $5.5M For Crowdsourced Video
Los Angeles-based Poptent, which is harnessing crowdsourcing to help brands and agencies to develop advertisements, said this morning that it has raised $5.5M in a funding round. The round was leds by MK Capital. Poptent, which is led by Andy Jedynak, has a network of filmmakers, video directors, and producers who respond to requests for commercial ideas and videos. The firm says it now has more than 50,000 videographers in its network, and has sourced commercials for Dell, Intel, Eucerin, Jagua (More info...)

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CallFire Tops 50,000 Users
Santa Monica-based telephony API provider CallFire reported today that it has just passed 50,000 users for its service. CallFire, which is led by Dinesh Ravishanker, also said that it recently achieved just under $10M in sales and is profitable. The service allows businesses to create voice and text messaging applications via its cloud-based telephony API, including call tracking, IVR, text messaging, voice broadcasting, and other apps. The firm was bootstrapped by Ravishanker and his co-founde (More info...)

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Punchcard, Wipit Partner To Tackle Prepaid Wireless
Punchcard, the Pasadena-based startup providing loyalty focused mobile applications and Wipit, another local startup focused on mobile payments, said this morning they're partnering to offer their services to the prepaid wireless market. The two said they are partnering, to provide a way for business owners to reward un-banked and underbanked consumers for shopping at their stores. Wipit runs a mobile payment service where consumers can pay for purchases from a mobile app or online from a prepai (More info...)

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FileTrek In European Distribution Deal
Los Angeles-based FileTrek, the cloud-based file sharing, collaboration, and revision tracking software firm headed by Dale Quale, said today that it has linked with a European firm in a distribution deal. The firm said the partnership with Empowered Technology will help it meet demand and increasing opportunities in Europe. Financial details of the partnership were not announced. FileTrek's software allows for file sharing, with the twist that the cloud-based service also handles managing track (More info...)

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Fetch Recruiting, Inc.
Fetch Recruiting, Inc. (
Technical Recruiting for LA based Startups and High-Growth Companies

PwC Emerging Company Zone
Visit the Emerging Company Zone, sponsored by PricewaterhouseCoopers, for access to the latest MoneyTree venture capital report; thought leadership articles, information on IPOs and more.

Trinet White Paper: Options for handling your HR functions
HR is a necessity when you have employees. And what could be better than taking a set of duties which although a necessity, are not a core competence off your plate? According to a Small Business Association study, the average small business owner spends 25%+ of the time handling employee-related paperwork.

This average increases to a staggering 35-45% if the tasks include recruitment, hiring, and training of new employees. After all, you have no interest in processing payroll twice a month, negotiating benefits with insurance carriers, or worrying about how to comply with a litany of government regulations. You entered into business to build a lasting legacy, deliver great products or services, and generate revenue doing what you do best. So why NOT outsource HR? Read this paper to learn more.

Read more at:

LAVA's Annual Venture Capital Panel - August 14th, Santa Monica
LAVA Special Event
LAVA's Annual Venture Capital Panel

Tuesday August 14, 2012
6:00pm - 9:30pm

Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows, 101 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401

Meet the top VCs who are investing in Southern California. Find out what they are looking to invest in. Find out what does it take to secure Venture Capital for your company. Learn about the hottest trends and the mistakes NOT to make.

Moderator: Jon Funk, Founder, Ocean Road Partners

Confirmed Panelists

Jim Andelman, Managing Partner, Rincon Venture Partners
David Caseras, Principal, Vicente Capital Partners


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