Tuesday, December 16, 2014
CARD.com Rolls Strawberry Shortcake Prepaid Cards
Santa Monica-based CARD.com, the prepaid, branded MasterCard provider led by Ben Katz, has inked a deal to bring a line of Strawberry Shortcake-themed, prepaid MasterCards to market, the company said this week. CARD.com said the new cards come thanks to a strategic partnership with AG Properties, the licensing division of American Greetings Corporation. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed. The prepaid Strawberry Shortcake MasterCard will give holders access to 24,000 ATMs, direct de (More info...)

posted on Tuesday, December 16, 2014(Full story)

Serviz Raises $12.5M More
Sherman Oaks-based Serviz, the on-demand handyman service led by former ReachLocal head Zorik Gordon, announced today that it has raised $12.5M in a Series B funding round. The funding came from PointGuard Ventures, Andy Sheehan, Jeff Stibel, along with Zorik Godron and Michael Kline. The company has now raised $20M in funding. Serviz previously raised funding from Groupon. The company helps connect homeowners with handymen and other home services, such as plumbers, electricians, and others. Th (More info...)

posted on Tuesday, December 16, 2014(Full story)

Upfront Ventures Raises New Fund Worth $280M
Los Angeles-based venture capital investment firm Upfront Ventures announced this morning that it has raised a fifth fund, worth $280M. According to the firm, the new fund will target early-stage technology investments, and will split half of the dollars in the fu between Los Angeles and the other half in investments nationally. The new fund is being managed by full time investment partners Greg Bettinelli, Steven Dietz, Kara Nortman, Yves Sisteron and Mark Suster, along with Venture Partner Ha (More info...)

posted on Tuesday, December 16, 2014(Full story)

SGN Ties With NetEase To Bring Cookie Jam To China
Los Angeles-based mobile games developer SGN, which is led by former MySpace founder Chris DeWolfe, said today that it is in a licensing deal with NetEase, to distribute SGN's popular mobile puzzle game Cookie Jam in China. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed. SGN said NetEase will tailor and optimize the Cookie Jam title to appeal to the international market. SGN say it is now the second largest mobile puzzle game developer in the world, only behing King Digital, and now has over 5 (More info...)

posted on Tuesday, December 16, 2014(Full story)

ChowNow Ties Into Apple Pay
Los Angeles-based ChowNow, which develops tablet-driven, online and smartphone ordering apps for restaurants, has tied its product into Apple Py. According to the company, it is the first online ordering platform to integrate with Apple's new payment system. ChowNow is led by Chris Webb. According to ChowNow, the move allows thousands of local restaurants to accept Apple Pay for purchases. Apple Pay allows iPhone users to pay for items just using their phone and a fingerprint. ChowNow is venture (More info...)

posted on Tuesday, December 16, 2014(Full story)

Sorrento Therapeutics Gets Strategic Investment From NantWorks
San Diego-based oncology drug developer Sorrento Therapeutics has scored a strategic investment from NantWorks, the biotech research company led by Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong. According to the two, the investment comes as part of a global, strategic collaboration around developing next generation immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer and auto-immune diseases. The two said they will create a joint venture, funded with $20M, which will focus on developing immunotherapy antibodies. As part of th (More info...)

posted on Tuesday, December 16, 2014(Full story)

Ceres Swaps Board Member
Thousand Oaks-based agricultural biotechnology and seed developer Ceres said Monday that it has named a new member of its board of directors. The company said Aflalo Guimaraes has joined the company, replacing existing board member Raymond Debbane. Guimaraes is managing director of The Invus Group, which is an affiliate of Ceres' stockholder Artal Luxembourg. Debbane also had represented Artal Luxembourg on Ceres' board. Ceres develops dseeds to produce crops for bioenergy, using both plant bre (More info...)

posted on Tuesday, December 16, 2014(Full story)

Voxox Expands SMS API
San Diego-based communications provider Voxox said today that it is expanding in the area of SMS APIs, and is looking to provide wholesale access to its SMS capabilities via a web service API. Voxox said it is looking to help address the needs of businesses who are looking to SMS-enable their products, services and customer communications. VoxOx said the expansion includes inbound SMS delivery to Europe; addition of UK-based telephone numbers, among other enhancements.

posted on Tuesday, December 16, 2014(Full story)

Guidance Software Names Chief Revenue Officer
Pasadena-based forensics investigation software developer Guidance Software named Jay Ackerman as its new Chief Revenue Officer this morning. Ackerman joins the company from ServiceSource, and also had served at WNS North America and Exult. Guidance said that Ackerman had been head of worldwide sales and customer success for ServiceSource, heading up those efforts as that company grew from $25M to $285M in revenues, and through that company's IPO in 2011.

posted on Tuesday, December 16, 2014(Full story)

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