Thursday, June 27, 2013
Myspace Hails Launch Response
Los Angeles-based Myspace has a new design, new owner, and is hoping for some new users with its brand new, music-focused, user interface--and says that so far, the response is good. Myspace said that so far, it has had 31 million unique site visitors check out the new site, two weeks after its new launch, and that users are also downloading its new iTunes app (995,000 downloads so far). Myspace also said that 34 percent of the traffic to its new site is coming from mobile users. The site also s (More info...)

posted on Thursday, June 27, 2013(Full story)

Amazon Studios Seeks Short Video Submissions
Amazon Studios, the content production arm of, which has a heavy presence in Los Angeles, has launched a new effort to accept submissions of "shorts"--the short videos that filmmakers have traditionally pitched to gain deals with local studios. According to Amazon, it has invited filmmakers to submit their short "concept videos", 2-15 minutes in length, which will be reviewed by its staff to consider for an option. The move is the first for Amazon to accept video pitches--the studio h (More info...)

posted on Thursday, June 27, 2013(Full story)

Ranker Takes $2M For Expansion Efforts
Los Angeles-based Ranker, the online site which lets users rank, view, vote, and share their opinions on a wide range of topics, announced today that it has raised $2M in a follow on investment round. The starup, led by Clark Benson, said the funding came from Lowercase Capital, BullPen Ventures, Data Collective, as well as prior investors Draper Associates, Rincon Venture Partners, Siemer Ventures, TenOneTen, Tech Coast Angels and Pasadena Angels. The company said the proceeds will go towards h (More info...)

posted on Thursday, June 27, 2013 (More)(Full story)

Gradient X Exits Beta
Santa Monica-based Gradient X, the programmatic mobile advertising startup backed by GRP Partners, Rincon Venture Partners, Crosscut Ventures, Founder Collective, Double M Capital, Baroda Ventures, Siemer Ventures, Walter Kortschak (Summit Capital), and Mark Suster, said today that it has exited its beta. The startup--led by online advertising veterans Brian Baumgart, Julie Mattern and Michael Lum--has been offering up technology to provide better information for mobile advertisers. Baumgart was (More info...)

posted on Thursday, June 27, 2013(Full story)

Demand Media Launches Subscription Fitness Program, Stronger
Santa Monica-based Demand Media has made an interesting move this morning, launching a brand new, subscription fitness and nutrition program. Demand Media said it new Stronger program is part of a "key initiative" to expand its paid content porfolio. Demand Media recently acquired subscription-based video workshop and instruction site Creativebug. Stronger is an offshoot of Demand Media's LIVESTRONG.COM site.

Demand Media said its new, digital fitness and nutrition program will include videos (More info...)

posted on Thursday, June 27, 2013(Full story)

Lyft Co-founder: We'd Love To Work With Sidecar, Uber On LA Issue
The move this week by Los Angeles to ban the very popular, smartphone-driven ride services Sidecar, Uber, and Lyft, might just spur the three companies to work closer together. In a chat on Reddit, Lyft co-founder John Zimmer said that his company would "love to work together" on fighting to promote and defend ride sharing as a legal alternative to taxi monopolies. Los Angeles sent a cease and desist letter to the three services this week, ordering them to cease operations in Los Angeles. All th (More info...)

posted on Thursday, June 27, 2013(Full story)

Mark Suster: New, $200M Fund, and GRP's New Name, Upfront Ventures
Despite the increase in startup activity in Southern California, local venture capital funds are still few and far between, and a large chunk of the funding here is still from Sand Hill Road. However, one, longtime local fund--GRP Partners--appears to have found the right formula for venture success, and has just raised a brand new, $200 million fund. The firm just announced that new fund, and a new name, Upfront Ventures ( We caught up with Mark Suster, one of Upfront's General (More info...)

posted on Thursday, June 27, 2013(Full story)

GRP Partners Raises New $200M Fund, Becomes Upfront Ventures
Los Angeles-based venture capital investor GRP Partners announced this morning that it has raised a fourth fund, worth $200M, and also renamed the firm Upfront Ventures. The 17-year old firm, which also said it will open up a brand new home at the center of Silicon Beach, signing a 10-year lease for a space on 7th Street in Santa Monica.

GRP Partners--which has invested in such successes as Overture, CitySearch, BillMeLater, DealerTrack, and others, and is currently an investor in Maker Stud (More info...)

posted on Thursday, June 27, 2013(Full story)

Maker Studios, Co-Founder In Legal Battle
Danny Zappin, one of the founders of Maker Studios, is not happy with his ouster. Zappin--who was replaced as CEO of the company in May--has filed suit against Maker Studios, plus co-founders Ben Donovan, Lisa Donovan, and Ynon Kreiz, plus investors Mark Suster (of GRP Partners), Dana Settle (of Greycroft Ventures), Rachel Lam (Time Warner Investments), Michael DiSanto, GRP Partners, Mida Holdings California, and Angula Investors. Zappin claims breach of contract and fraud in removing him as CEO (More info...)

posted on Thursday, June 27, 2013(Full story)

DriveCam Seeks IPO, Says Report
San Diego-based DriveCam is driving towards an IPO, and has hired a trio of investment banks to manage its IPO pricess, according to Reuters. Reuters reports that Morgan Stanley, Baclays PLC, and Credit Suisse AG have been hired to manage the company's IPO, citing three sources familiar with the move. The news is not surprising, given the firm's appointment of a board member with significant IPO experience yesterday--and the company's heavy hinting in that release of IPO ambitions. DriveCam deve (More info...)

posted on Thursday, June 27, 2013(Full story)

Telcentris Becomes Voxox
San Diego-based unified communications service Telcentris said this morning that it has changed its corporate name to Voxox, in a move that aligns the company's primary services with its name. Voxox offers up video calling, chat, fax, voicemail, and other services for both consumers and businesses, and has been operating its brand for a number of years. The company had used its Telcentris brand for its business-to-business products and services, for IP-PBX, SIP trunking, hosted contact center, a (More info...)

posted on Thursday, June 27, 2013(Full story)

WD Launches Update To Network Backup Appliances
Irvine-based WD said this morning that it has launched an updated line of WD Arkeia network backup appliances. The backup appliances provide backup and disaster recovery for small and medium sized businesses. According to WD, the new line of appliances includes four, rack-mount appliances, and include larger internal disk capacities, faster processors, memory, and integrated solid state disk drives. WD acquired the line of backup appliance when it bought Carslbad-based Arkeia back in January. WD (More info...)

posted on Thursday, June 27, 2013(Full story)

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