Thursday, July 31, 2014
Safire Partners Executive Search
Safire Partners has completed 500+ retained executive searches since 2006 working with emerging businesses in Southern California. Please visit our website to see an updated list of our clients and searches completed at We are always interested in meeting new candidates and potential clients, so feel free to email our Managing Partner, Todd Gitlin at

ScoreBig Links With Hilton
Los Angeles-based discounted sports and event ticket company ScoreBig said Thursday that it has linked up with hotel loyalty program Hilton HHonors, where members of that program will receive savings on their ticket purchases, and also earn points for spending through ScoreBig. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed. ScoreBig said the move--its first, hotel loyalty program partnership--will give Hilton HHonors members savings on tickets to live events from the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, and c (More info...)

posted on Thursday, July 31, 2014(Full story)

Hulu Updates Android App, Offers Up Free Content
Los Angeles-based streaming television provider Hulu said this morning that it has updated its Android app, and will offer up a selection of free content on the app. The move--the first to offer free content on its mobile apps--gives access to both current and past episodes of television shows, which Hulu said would mostly mirror the, ad-supported site. The move is significant in that Hulu had previously required a subscription to Hulu Plus for any mobile device access via its apps. Hul (More info...)

posted on Thursday, July 31, 2014(Full story)

Vakast Nabs $1.3M In Seed For Vacation Rental Search Marketplace
Newport Beach-based Vakast, a startup aiming at the online peer-to-peer marketplace for vacation rentals, has raised $1.3M in a seed funding round, the company announced this morning. Vakast said the funding came from Chinh Chu (senior managing director, Blackstone Group) and Ken Pansuria (founder, Fine Hospitality Group), as well as Nicky Nguyen (NJ Enterprises). The company said it is offering up an online travel agency specifically focused on vacation rentals. The company said it is looking t (More info...)

posted on Thursday, July 31, 2014(Full story)

Privlo Gets $350M In Debt For Technology Driven Mortgage Loans
Los Angeles-based Privlo, a technology driven startup offering up mortgage loans to consumers, said this week that it has raised $350M in a debt financing round, along with $3.8M in equity. The equity funding came from Spark Capital and QED Investors; source of the debt funding was not announced. Privlo provides private origination of residential mortgages, focused on borrowers who do not conform to traditional, government-backed loans, all run via its online platform. The company is led by Mich (More info...)

posted on Thursday, July 31, 2014(Full story)

Swagbucks Buys Sodahead
Los Angeles-based prodege, the parent company of Swagbucks, said this morning that it has acquired Sodahead, the online polling and discussion platform founded by Jason Feffer. Financial terms of the buy were not disclosed. According to Prodege, it will acquire all of SodaHead's assets and staff from its Encino headquarters, and will move them to Swagbucks offices in El Segundo. Prodege is venture backed by Technology Crossover Ventures. Sodahead was venture backed by Mission Ventures, Mohr Davi (More info...)

posted on Thursday, July 31, 2014(Full story)

Report: Apple Cutting Beats Staff
It looks like Apple Computer is in the midst of pruning away staff over at Santa Monica-based Beats, two months after it acquired both Beats Electronics and Beats Music for $3 billion. According to a report from Mac industry publication 9to4mac, Apple executives are in Santa Monica, sorting out which Beats employees will or will not be working for Apple. Apparently, Apple is moving many employees to Cupertino, although it will continue to operate out of Beats' Santa Monica offices.

posted on Thursday, July 31, 2014(Full story)

Insights: Amidst Change is a Constant: Life is Still Two-Way
For today's Insights and Opinions section, we share an essay from Sally Falkow, founder and president of Meritus Media, a digital public relations and social media agency based in the Los Angeles-area.

Social media. Wherever you go, you see and hear about it.

But it was not that way 20 years ago. In fact, 20 years ago, it did not even exist. If you were transported back two decades to 1994 and described today’s world to a group of people, they would have said that you were crazy.

W (More info...)

posted on Thursday, July 31, 2014(Full story)

Invoca Trumpets Sales Figures
Santa Barbara-based call marketing automation software developer Invoca, which is led by Jason Spievak, said yesterday that its systems have converted $2.5 billion in sales for its customers since the company was founded. Invoca said that $1.7 billion of those sales came in the last 12 months. Invoca did not say what that translates to in terms of the company's revenues, however, said it has seed revenue growth of more than 1200 percent over the past three years. Invoca's systems are used for i (More info...)

posted on Thursday, July 31, 2014(Full story)

BlackLine Reports 60 Percent Rise In Revenues
Los Angeles-based financial software developer BlackLine Systems, which develops financial close automation software, reported yesterday that its revenues were up nearly 60 percent in the second quarter of 2014, compared to the prior year. The company--whose software is used by companies to speed up preparation of their quarterly reports--did not report any actual revenue numbers. BlackLine said it signed up such new clients as the Boston Globe, JetBlue, Keurig Green Mountain, Thales Australia, (More info...)

posted on Thursday, July 31, 2014(Full story)

Portfolium Raises $900,000 In Seed Funding
San Diego-based Portfolium, a startup developing an online platform to share a students' academic portfolio, has raised $900,000 in a seed funding, according to startup incubator EvoNexus. The funding came from the Tech Coast Angels, Taner Halicioglu of Keshif Ventures, and others. Portfolium is based in EvoNexus, which said this newest funding brings the total raised by its startups to $573M. Portfolium was also part of EvoStart, the early stage accelerator run by EvoNexus.

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Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP Expands Santa Monica Office
Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP, Southern California’s leading business law firm, has announced the expansion of its Santa Monica office at 1453 3rd Street Promenade, Santa Monica, CA. This office is located on the corner of Third Street Promenade and Broadway Boulevard. The growth of the Firm and its Preccelerator Program has provided the opportunity for this expansion. The new office opening makes an inspiring statement about the support and involvement that Stubbs Alderton will continue to contribute to the Silicon Beach marketplace. - See more at:

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