Friday, August 4, 2017
LA's Tech Industry Unfavorably Linked To Rise Of Steve Bannon
How is the tech industry in Los Angeles linked to the rise of Steve Bannon? An unfavorable story, published in the Washington Post on Friday, investigates the link between a "gold farming" startup in Hong Kong, which allowed videogame players to buy virtual goods on videogames (such as Everquest) which had been gathered by low wage, Chinese workers, and the rise of Breitbart. That gold farming startup, Internet Gaming Entertainment (IGE), was founded by prominent Los Angeles investor Brock Pierc (More info...)

posted on Friday, August 4, 2017(Full story)

Plex Pharmaceutials Acquired By Collidion
San Diego-based Plex Pharmaceuticals (previously known as CalAsia Pharmaceuticals), a developer of treatments for Parkinson's disease, glioblastoma, and cataracts, announced this week that it is in a definitive agreement where Collidion has acquired 80 percent of the company's equity. The two said that Collidion will provide management and operational support as Plex continues its drug discovery programs as part of the deal. Plex Pharmaceuticals was led by CEO G. Sridhar Prasad, who will shift t (More info...)

posted on Friday, August 4, 2017(Full story)

Student Brands Acquired By Barnes & Noble For $58.5M
Los Angeles-based Student Brands, an online education company which runs such online study sites as,,, as well as a number of other brands, has been acquired by Barnes & Noble Education in a deal worth $58.5M in cash. Student Brands, which was led by CEO Thomas Swalla, also runs, and in Brazil, France and Mexico. Barnes & Noble Education said that it expects Student Brands to contribute over $10M in EBITDA t (More info...)

posted on Friday, August 4, 2017(Full story)

Buy It Installed Gets Funding Round
Irvine-based Buy It Installed, which develops an automated system that automatically connects consumers with installers when they purchase products from online retailers, has raised a round of funding, the company disclosed this week. The funding was led by Skyview Ventures, and also included the Tech Coast Angel, the ACE Fund, and Crosspoint Venture Partners. But It Installed's founder is Todd Banhidy.

posted on Friday, August 4, 2017(Full story)

Cylance Extends Into Home Antivirus Market
Irvine-based cybersecurity software developer Cylance said on Thursday that it has extended into the home market, and has rolled out its first software product for the consumer market, CylancePROTECT Home Edition. According to Cylance, the new software brings its AI-driven antivirus to the consumer security market. The software will initially only be available to employees of Cylance's enterprise customers. Pricing on the software was not announced. Cylance is led by Stuart McClure.

posted on Friday, August 4, 2017(Full story)

J2 Global Pays $20M As Part Of Oookla Acquisition
Los Angeles-based J2 Global says it has paid $20M in a contingent payment, related to the company's acquisition of Oookla, back in 2014. J2 Global said the payments were part of a total of $52M spent on acquisitions plus its regular dividend in Q2. j2 Global announced its results on Thursday, saying its Q2 2017 revenues increased to $273.2M, an all time record.

posted on Friday, August 4, 2017(Full story)

Willdan Acquires Integral Analytics
Anaheim-based Willdan Group said on Thursday afternoon that it has acquired Integral Analytics, a developer of data analytics software for the utility industry. Financial terms of the acquisition were not announced. Willdan said it expects the acquisition to add $10M in revenues in 2018. Integral Analytics was based in Cincinnati, Ohio, and was founded in 2005. The company develops software used by utility managers to evaluate, plan, and dispatch electricity resources.

posted on Friday, August 4, 2017(Full story)

rfXcel Gets $30M From Kayne Partners
San Ramon, California-based rfXcel, a developer of supply software used to track regulatory compliance and to battle counterfeit pharmaceuticals, has raised $30M in funding from Los Angeles-based Kayne Partners. The Series B funding will go towards expanding rfXcel's geographical presence. Leon Chen of Kayne Partners joins rfXcel's board of directors as part of the funding. Kayne Partners is the growth private equity arm of Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors, L.P.

posted on Friday, August 4, 2017(Full story)

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