Tuesday, November 13, 2012
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LAVA Breakfast Panel: Beyond the "A" Round!
Venture industry professionals discuss the challenges, pitfalls, and successes of post "A" round venture funded companies. The three panelists- Peter Trepp, past CFO, Service Mesh; Kim Kovacs, CEO, OptionEase and Jason Beck, VP - Vicente Capital Partners will share their experiences during the panel discussion. Moderated by Alan Spatz, Member, TroyGould.

http://www.lava.org/events/event_details.asp?id=267608

Biosynthetic Technologies Gets $7M
Irvine-based Biosynthetic Technologies, a firm developing synthetic biomolecules from plant oils, has raised $7M in funding from Monsanto, in addition to other funding from BP Ventures and other investors, the firm said recently. The company--which was part of the OCTANe Launchpad program--said the deal was part of a license and supply agreement between Monsanto and Biosynthetic Technologies. Biosynthetic said its bio-based synthetic oils "match or exceed" the performance characteristics of the (More info...)

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Phone Halo Turns To Crowdfunding For Wallet Tracker
Santa Barbara-based Phone Halo has launched a crowd-funded project to develop a Bluetooth-based device to track users' wallets, the company said Tuesday. The company--started by two UC Santa Barbara graduates--said it is developing a device, about the size of a credit card, which will let users track their wallet or purse via GPS and Bluetooth, so that when a user's wallet or purse is separated from a user's iPhone, they can track down those devices. Phone Halo's executives include a number of S (More info...)

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SpaceX Tests Grasshopper Rocket
SpaceX, the Hawthorne-based commercial spaceflight and rocket operation headed by tech mogul Elon Musk, showed a successful test of a new, vertical takeoff and landing vehicle today, the SpaceX Grasshopper. The company said the 10 story vehicle lifted nearly two stories in an 8-second, test hop in McGregor, Texas earlier this month. The test is the first toward creating reusable rockets, which would allow a rocket to land on earth--intact--rather than being destroyed on re-entry into the Earth's (More info...)

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Fan Appz Launches Social Media Marketing Product
Los Angeles-based Fan Appz, which is headed by Jon Siegal, said today that it has launched a new social media marketing product. The firm said its Personalized Marketing Platform is aimed at brand, to help them turn their fans into customers. Fan Appz said it differs from other, social media marketing products because it is focused on helping brands close a sale. The firm's software runs across such social services as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Tumblr, Pinterest and Instagram. Jon Siegal was pr (More info...)

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Call of Duty: Black Ops II Hits Stores
Activision's latest title from the Call of Duty franchise, Call of Duty: Black Ops II, hit the stores today, as Activision looks to set another record for sales for the combat game. Activision has consistently set sales records with the franchise, with the most recent release--Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3--racking up an impressive $1B in sales last December in just 17 days. Modern Warfare 3 set numerous launch records ($400M in 24 hours, $775M in five days) last December. This year, the Call o (More info...)

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Minitime Takes On Family Vacations
A new, Los Angeles-based startup, MiniTime launched today, looking to make it easier for families to plan their vacations. The company, headed by John Smelzer and founded by Nimrod Lev and Oleg Sandler, revealed that it has raised $1M in a seed funding from Ross Levinsohn and other angels, and is now looking to make it easier for families to find accommodations and attractions for families. Smeltzer is a former VP from Yahoo.

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How Sendgrid Makes Sure Those App Emails Go Through, With Jim Franklin
If you're an application developer, sending emails through your application can be a chore. It turns out it's not just a quick line of code to send an email -- it's also a hassle to make sure that those emails get delivered, that your email isn't classified as spam, and handling all sorts of delivery issues. How do you offload all those headaches? Sendgrid (www.sendgrid.com) has stepped into that void, providing application programming interfaces (APIs) and all the infrastructure required to han (More info...)

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DogVacay Lands $6M In Series A
DogVacay, the online marketplace which lets pet owners connect with others to find dog boarding, has raised $6M in a Series A round, the firm announced this morning. The funding came from Benchmark Capital, and comes on top of earlier, seed funding from First Round Capital, Science Inc., and others. As part of the funding, Benchmark's Bill Gurley joins the company's board of directors, and Bob Kagle at Benchmark will become and advisor to the company. Los Angeles-based DogVacay, which is headed (More info...)

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Consumer Brands Finds Funding
Aliso Viejo-based Consumer Brands, a company that acquires domain assets and brands and develops them as individual properties, said today that it has scored a "multi-million" dollar financing. The funding came from Black Diamond Ventures. Size of the round was not announced. Consumer Brands develops domain name-focused websites around verticals, including sites like Dementia.org, Anxiety.org, DietDiva, and more. The firm is headed by Michael Gleason.

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Epic Sciences Gets $13M For Cancer Diagnostics
San Diego-based Epic Sciences, a firm developing cancer diagnostics technology, announced today that it has raised $13M in a Series B equity round. The round came from Domain Associates, Roche Venture Fund, and Pfizer Venture Investments, along with individuals. Kim Kamdar of Domain joins the company's board with the funding. Epic Sciences is developing diagnostic tests using molecular characterization of tumor cells in a blood stream, as a way to detect caner and monitor cancer treatments. The (More info...)

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Auryn Launches Photo Enhancement, Sharing App
Auryn, a developer of mobile applications for the iPhone and iPad, said today that it has launched a new photo enhancement and sharing app. The new app, which is free from the Los Angeles company, said it allows users to turn their pictures into "works of art", using dozens of different rendering, filtering, framing, and other effects. The firm said users can then share those creations with friends via Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr. Auryn develops a large number of mobile apps, a large number of (More info...)

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