Here are three, Southern California startup firms--and their competitors--who are engaged in head to head battles to dominate their industry. Whoever wins, these are some of the local firms in interesting markets--and their tough, well-backed head-to-head competition--worth watching.
1. DocStoc vs. Scribd
DocStoc, based in Santa Monica, is headed by Jason Nazar, and offers a way for people to share and purchase professional documents.
Funding: Around $4.0M
Backers: Rustic Canyon Partners, Scott Walcheck, Brett Brewer, Robin Richards, Matt Coffin
Backers: Charles River Ventures, Kinsey Hills Group, Redpoint Ventures
2. HauteLook vs. Gilt Groupe
HauteLook, one of the first firms to capitalize on the sample/private sales market, is already profitable and is growing rapidly. The firm is headed by Adam Bernhard, a veteran of the fashion sales industry.
Funding: Over $41.0M
Backers: Insight Venture Partners
Backers: Matrix Partners, General Atlantic
3. eSolar vs. BrightSource Energy
eSolar, the solar thermal utility plant developer started by Idealab's Bill Gross, has a sizeable chunk of capital and notable support of Google and others, not to mention a number of contracts with utilities.
Backers: ACME Group, Google, Idealab, NRG, Oak Investment Partners, The Quercus Trust of California
Backers: Alstom, the California State Teachers Retirement System (CalSTRS), VantagePoint Venture Partners, Morgan Stanley and Draper Fisher Jurvetson
(Any other epic startup battles you think are worth watching? Let us know in comments or email!)