Thursday, December 17, 2015
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Ligand Buys OMT For $178M
San Diego-based Ligand Pharmaceuticals said Thursday that it is paying $178M in cash and stock for genetic engineering firm OMT. OMT develops genetic engineering technology used to create human therapeutic antibodies through animals. Ligand said it will pay $178M, split between $92.6M in cash and $85.4M in Ligand common stock for OMT. OMT is based in Palo Alto.

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Matcherino, With San Diego Founder, Finds $1.25M For eSports Startup
Matcherino, an online crowdfunding startup focused on funding eSports matches, has raised $1.25M in a funding round, the company said today. The startup--whose co-founder, Mario Gutierrez, is based in San Diego--said the funding was led by Madrona Venture Group, and also included Vulcan Capital and angels. Matcherino's headquarters are listed in Seattle, where the company's other co-founder, Grant Farwell, is based. Gutierrez is a computer science graduate from San Diego State University. Farwel (More info...)

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Purch Acquires ShopSavvy For Mobile Shopping Apps
Purch, the online publishing company which owns Tom's Guide,, TopTenReviews, LAPTOP, and a number of other online properties, has acquired mobile shopping app developer ShopSavvy. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. Purch has offices in Culver City, thanks to its acquisition of Tom's Guide a few years ago, when Purch was known as Best Media Network. ShopSavvy develops a barcode scanning and mobile shopping app which highlights local sales for retailers.

posted on Thursday, December 17, 2015(Full story)

Tastemade Raises $40M
Santa Monica-based food content and programming startup Tastemade has raised $40M in a Series D funding, the company announced this morning, to further expand its content channels. Tastemade said the funding was led by Goldman Sachs' Merchant Banking Division, and also included Redpoint Ventures, Raine Ventures, Comcast Ventures, Liberty Media, Scripps Networks Interactive, and Tohokushinsha Film Corporation. Tastemade, which was founded by Lary Fitzgibbon, develops content around food, travel, (More info...)

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TaskUs Opens Office In Australia
Santa Monica-based customer support outsourcing provider TaskUs--which is based in Santa Monica, but has a vast operation in the Philippines--said it has opened up a new office in Melbourne, Australia. TaskUs said the new sales office comes as a result of signing a deal with Australian online lending company Nimble, and a plan to grow its operations in Australia. Financial details of the deal with Nimble were not announced, but TaskUs said it will provide 24/7 customer support for the company. T (More info...)

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RealD Wins Patent Infringement Action
Beverly Hills-based 3D movie projection technology developer RealD reports that it has won a patent infringement ation against competitor MasterImage, after a U.S. International Trade Commission investigation and ruling. According to RealD, the US ITC has reached an initial determination, which concludes that RealD's patents were valid and infringed by MasterImage. RealD had filed an ITC complaint alleging MasterImage's Horizon3D cinema products violate its patents.

posted on Thursday, December 17, 2015(Full story)

ShipHawk Names Two VPs
Santa Barbara-based ShipHawk, which is developing a cloud platform to help retailers with logistics automation and shipping, has hired to new executives. The company said it has named Koreen Pagano as Vice President of Product and George Chapman as Vice President of Engineering. Pagano joins ShipHawk from, where she was Director of Enterprise Product. Pagano also previously had founded Tandem Learning. Chapman joins from Digifit, where he was CTO, and also served at j2 Global Communic (More info...)

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Masimo Names Retired Senator Harkin To Board
Irvine-based patient monitoring device developer Masimo announced this mroning that retired U.S. Senator Tom Harkin has joined the company's board of directors. Harkin is the former Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pension (HELP) Committee. Harkin retired in January. Masimo said Harkin's insight into the health system will be valuable to Masimo; Harkin was involved in such efforts as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the (More info...)

posted on Thursday, December 17, 2015(Full story)

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

Early Stage Commercial Insurance - Pacific Unified Insurance Agency
We are a commercial insurance broker working with startup and early
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