Wednesday, January 16, 2013
GRP Adds Sam Rosen As EIR
Los Angeles-based venture firm GRP Partners announced Wednesday that it has hired a new, entrepreneur-in-residence for the company, Sam Rosen, who was formerly the founder of SpeakerGram in New York City, was involved in 500Startups in San Francisco, and also has been involved with ScoreBig. According to a blog post by GRP's Mark Suster, Rosen will be relocating to Los Angeles to be involved with helping GRP to review deals, network with entrepreneurs, and work on his next company.

posted on Wednesday, January 16, 2013(Full story)


Avalon Ventures Backs LoopIt
San Diego-based venture investment fund Avalon Ventures has made a seed investment in a developer of a social shopping service, LoopIt, according to the companies. Size of the funding was not announced. LoopIt is based in Cambridge, Mass., and is a spinout of Redstar Ventures, a venture incubator firm in Cambridge. Avalon's Rich Levandov was involved in the investment. Avalon--once known for its investments in early stage wireless and life science companies--has recently reinvented itself with a (More info...)

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Green Dot's Mashup Of Mobile Startup, Bank Powers GoBank
How was Monrovia, California-based Green Dot able to quickly launch itself into the mobile banking category? Through two strategic acquisitions, one made in late 2011, and one made in early March of 2012. Green Dot--which launched its mobile banking app and service, GoBank, this week--apparently was positioning itself for the move in 2011, when it acquired a small community bank in Utah, with a mere $35.7M in assets, and with the acquisition in March of last year of mobile software developer Loo (More info...)

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Redpoint Ventures Closes $400M Fund
Venture capital fund Redpoint Ventures, which has an outpost in Los Angeles, has some new cash in the bank, after announcing $400M in a new fund today, Redpoint V. The firm--which has investments in such local companies as Gravity, Chill, Sonos, and Machinima--said the new fund will go towards early stage investing. The new fund follows Redpoint IV, which also was a $400M fund, which was raised three years ago. It's unclear how much the new fund will invest in Southern California companies; Redp (More info...)

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Siemer Ventures Gets First Exit, At CloudTrigger
Santa Monica-based Siemer Ventures, the venture investing arm of investment banking firm Siemer & Associates, reported yesterday that it saw the first exit in its portfolio recently, with the sale of company CloudTrigger. The fund also reports that it now has 39 digital media and technology startups in its portfolio. Siemer said it added five new companies in the last quarter, and had 24 new investments in 2012. Among the new companies on its portfolio list, which had not been disclosed earlier, (More info...)

posted on Wednesday, January 16, 2013(Full story)


MediaPass Powers Weekly World News Paywall
In the quest to re-make the business of publishing and journalism, there's been a lot of hand wringing and debate over the merits and complexities of online paywalls. One Los Angeles startup is helping the industry to figure it all out, with its software, which helps online publishers easily implement online paywall and subscription plans. Now, MediaPass signed up another big customer for its software this week, Weekly World News. MediaPass is powering a paywall solution for Weekly World News, p (More info...)

posted on Wednesday, January 16, 2013(Full story)


PICS Auditing Lands $35M
PICS Auditing, a software-as-a-service developer which provides contractor screening and credentialing software, has raised $35M in a funding round, the firm sai dtoday. The minority funding came from Norwest Venture Partners. PICS said the new funding will go towards expansion into new sectors and geographies. Jon Kossow and Rob Arditi, both at NVP, join the company's board with the funding. PICS is headed by John Moreland, and helps large organization mange their contracts, suppliers, and vend (More info...)

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A Serial Entrepreneur's Tale: Convertro's Jeff Zwelling
One of the big sources of success in Southern California's technology industry has been the rise of a number of serial entrepreneurs, who not only have succeeded once, but a number of times. One of those is Jeff Zwelling, the founder of Convertro, who had prior success at EchoSign (sold to Adobe) and YLighting (sold to a private equity firm). We've talked with Jeff before about his path before, but the WSJ tells the story again of how Convertro actually grew out of Zwelling's experience at YLigh (More info...)

posted on Wednesday, January 16, 2013(Full story)


Lynda.com's Growth Trajectory: Revenues Doubled In Last 3 Years

The massive, $103M funding round for Carpinteria-based Lynda.com might have been a surprise for some, except perhaps readers of this publication, who over the years have gotten a glimpse of the growth rate of the company in recent years. The firm--which said it has been profitable since 1997 in its announcement this morning--disclosed that it now has over $100M in annual revenues, and 400 employees. Much of that growth has been in the last three years, according to the numbers we've pulled fro (More info...)


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MuckerLab Unveiling New Startup Class Today
MuckerLab, the Los Angeles startup accelerator headed by Erik Rannala, is presenting its newest startup class today in a Demo Day. The accelerator said that the demo day is a culmination of its latest three month program, which included ten new companies in mentoring, collaboration, funding, and access to its network of investors and entrepreneurs. MuckerLab's prior class included such hot Los Angeles startups as SurfAir, Retention Science, Wallaby, and InstaCanvas.
The newest startups out of M (More info...)


posted on Wednesday, January 16, 2013(Full story)


Lockerz Axes Plixi Team In San Diego
Lockerz, the Seattle-based social shopping and e-commerce site backed by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, has axed the company's San Diego office, in addition to laying off around 30 percent of its staff. Lockerz' San Diego team came from the January, 2011 acquisition of Plixi, which was formerly known as TweetPhoto, which developed software and services which allowed Twitter users to share photos. Lockerz said in a statement that the cuts were a result of "realigning our organizational structu (More info...)

posted on Wednesday, January 16, 2013(Full story)


Lynda.com Inks Massive, $103M Funding Round
Lynda.com, the online video education provider which has been one of the region's most successful, bootstrapped companies--is no longer bootstrapped, after inking a massive, $103M growth equity round. Lynda.com said today that it has raised a big growth round from Accel Partners and Spectrum Equity, and also reported that the firm exceeded $100M in topline revenues last year. According to Eric Robison, the firm's CEO, the funding round will go towards increasing the firm's global reach and expan (More info...)

posted on Wednesday, January 16, 2013(Full story)


ChowNow Raises $3M For Mobile Food Orders
ChowNow, a startup which provides social, mobile, and web-based online ordering for restaurants, said this morning that it has raised $3M in a Series A funding. The funding was led by GRP Partners, and also included Double M Capital, Daher Capital, Karlin Ventures, and Velos Partners. The firm, which was founded by Christopher Webb and Eric Jaffe, develops software which lets restaurants take food orders from Facebook, mobile phones, and the web to receive and process orders. The startup said t (More info...)

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Local Corporation Launches In UK
Irvine-based local search site operator Local Corporation said this morning that it has launched a new, local search site in the U.K., the first U.K. version of its flagship local search site. As part of the launch, Local.com said it has inked an expanded search advertising agreement with Yahoo Inc., to cover both its efforts in the U.S. and the U.K. The firm said that Yahoo's search results will appear across the new U.K. site as part of the deal. Local.com's websites allow consumers to find lo (More info...)

posted on Wednesday, January 16, 2013(Full story)


XCOR Books Flights For AXE
Mojave-based commercial spaceflight firm XCOR Aerospace has booked a new customer for its yet-to-be-launched suborbital spacecraft, after Unilever Group and Space Expedition Corporation (SXC) said that Unilever is purchasing 22 flights on XCOR's aircraft as part of an advertising campaign for AXE. The firms said that the flights are part of a new ad campaign called AXEApollo for the AXE brand men's cologne, body spray, and other personal care product line. Unilever said it will award its first w (More info...)

posted on Wednesday, January 16, 2013(Full story)


Nimble Ties Into Zapier, FreshDesk, Import2
Santa Monica-based cloud-based contact relationship management software developer Nimble has integrated its software with three new partners, the firm said late last night. Nimble said it has tied into Zapier, FreshDesk, and Import2, and allows for automatic connections between the various products and Nimble's CRM and contact management software. Nimb le said that the integrations include the ability for users of Zapier to send leads into Nimble; allows Freshdesk users to see full customer reco (More info...)

posted on Wednesday, January 16, 2013(Full story)


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