Los Angeles Business Journal

TIANXIANG ZHUO

Investment: Karlin Ventures invested in Santa Monica mobile advertising company NearWoo’s $1.2 million seed round last August.

About half of Karlin Ventures’ portfolio companies are found through incubators.

Rubicon Prices IPO, Values Company at $450 Million

Tech advertising platform Rubicon Project Inc. priced its initial public offering Thursday at $17 a share, valuing the company at more than $450 million.

Wilcon Rebrands Firms Acquired in Recent Roll-Up

Fiber optic provider Wilcon has taken the next step in its roll-up of local telecom companies, consolidating and rebranding recently acquired firms IX2 and Freedom Telecommunications under its corporate umbrella.

Former Fox Exec Joins Machinima Board

Los Angeles YouTube network Machinima announced today Anthony Vinciquerra, former chairman and chief executive of Fox Networks Group, has joined its board of directors.

RadPad Raises $1 Million Seed Round

RadPad, a rental search app, announced today it had raised $1 million in convertible notes in a seed round led by Menlo Park’s Deep Fork Capital.

CrowdGather Will Sell Non-Core Assets to Boost Bottom Line

CrowdGather Inc., owner of a network of Internet discussion boards, is planning to sell assets as it seeks to stem ongoing losses and bolster its balance sheet as it seeks merger or acquisition targets.

Taking Technology For Spin

‘Wheel’s’ Pat Sajak spells out investment strategy in sector.

INTERNET – “Wheel” host Pat Sajak looks to add to his fortune with an investment in a daily deal and coupon site.

Movie Studio Makes Play For YouTube Connection

INTERNET: Machinima’s video-game network scores backing from Warner Bros.

INTERNET: Video game-centric YouTube network Machinima scores $18 million in funding.

Restaurant Operator Now Has Steak in Middle East

DINING: IDG dishes up its first overseas location with upscale Boa in Abu Dhabi.

DINING: IDG adds its first overseas location to the menu with a Boa Steakhouse scheduled to open in Abu Dhabi.

Virtual Piggy Inks Deal With German Videogame Firm

Virtual Piggy Inc. announced Friday it signed a partnership with Europe Games Group to allow its roughly 15 million gamers to purchase in-app items via Virtual Piggy’s Oink payment system.

Demand and Electus Digital Form Platform Partnership

Demand Media Inc. on Tuesday said it had formed a partnership with West Hollywood studio Electus.

Disney Reported in Talks to Acquire Maker Studios

Walt Disney Co. is said to be in talks to acquire YouTube network Maker Studios for $500 million, a price that could rise to as much as $900 million if certain performance benchmarks are met, according to reports on tech website Re/code and the Financial Times.

Tylt Labs Raises $20 Million Round for Early Stage Investing

Santa Monica venture capital firm Tylt Labs said it had raised a $20 million fund to be deployed in seed and A round investments.

Machinima Closes $18 Million Funding Round

Video game-centric YouTube network Machinima Inc. announced Monday it closed an $18 million financing deal with Burbank’s Warner Bros. Entertainment.

Fuhu, a Tablet Maker, Moves into Content Production

Fuhu Inc., maker of the child-friendly Nabi tablet computer, has expanded into content production.

Startup Surf Air Picks Up Vet Exec to Pilot Growth

AVIATION: Jeff Potter takes CEO reins from co-founder of members-only airline.

AVIATION: Startup airline Surf Air looks to take wing with an industry veteran as its new chief executive.

Drop Beat Then Drop Knowledge

Former student/rapper sings class’s praises in hip-hop YouTube video.

PR: Former student serves up some old-school hip-hop to promote Erik Deutsch’s social media class.

Vobile Acquires Blayze

Century City YouTube analytics company Blayze Inc. has been acquired by Santa Clara’s Vobile, a provider of video identification services to help with content rights management.

Fullscreen Announces Hires

Fullscreen Inc., the Culver City-based YouTube multi-channel network, announced two senior hires Wednesday.

AwesomenessTV Taps Disney Exec as CMO

AwesomenessTV, which serves teenage audiences, announced Tuesday it hired TJ Marchetti as chief marketing officer.

Demand Media Expands Content Solutions

Santa Monica’s Demand Media Inc. announced Tuesday the expansion of its Content Solutions service to include graphic design and original photography services.

AirPush Reported to Be Acquired

Israeli software company Perion is in talks to acquire West L.A.’s AirPush, according to a report published Tuesday on TechCrunch. The deal is said to be valued at $170 million.

Hulu Names Head of Distribution

Santa Monica video streaming platform Hulu continues to add experienced executives to the company, naming Tim Connolly as its new head of distribution.

Mandalay Digital Announces New Partnerships

Hollywood software company Mandalay Digital Group announced Monday it had partnered with nine new ad networks and direct advertisers.

E-Cig Maker Shares Its Pipe Dream

Blow adapts liquid vapor technology to create e-hookah.

SMOKING: E-cig maker Blow doubles down on vapor business with its e-hookah built for two.

Hotel Developer Sees More Rooms in Beverly Hills

HOSPITALITY: Project by Sonnenblick would be first built in city in six years.

HOSPITALITY: Sonnenblick Development hopes to check into Beverly Hills to build the city’s first new hotel in six years.

Bitium Raises $6.5 Million in Series A Round

Santa Monica’s Bitium announced Friday it had raised $6.5 million in a series A round. The company, which develops products to help companies manage passwords for employees to access various apps, has raised nearly $9 million to date.

Demand Media’s Fourth-Quarter Earnings Meet Expectations

Web content publisher Demand Media on Tuesdays reported fourth quarter earnings that were in line with analysts’ expectations.

Doremi Labs Sold to Dolby in $112 Million Deal

San Francisco’s Dolby Laboratories signed an agreement Monday to acquire Burbank’s Doremi Labs for $92.5 million in cash with an additional $20 million in contingent considerations that may be earned over the next four years.

Phone Power Becomes Broadvoice

Telecommunications company Phone Power announced Monday it had rebranded itself as BroadVoice.

Temporary Message App Speaks to Another Exec

INTERNET: Snapchat lands another high-quality hire with ex-Google engineer.

Former Google engineer is the latest high-quality exec to click with messaging platform Snapchat.

Cannery Makes Eatery’s Waffles Pop Up at Home

FOOD: Dolores’ plans to develop Roscoe’s chicken have yet to take wing.

Roscoe’s House of Chicken & Waffles is open almost around the clock: 8 a.m. until midnight on weekdays and until 4 a.m. on weekends.

Snapchat Hires Engineering Director from Google

Picture messaging service Snapchat said Tuesday it had hired Peter Magnusson as senior vice president of engineering.

Shopzilla Acquires Automated Media Buyer Connexity

Los Angeles e-commerce company Shopzilla Inc. announced Wednesday it had acquired Ventura automated media buying firm Connexity.

Hulu Taps Microsoft Veteran as CTO

Tian Lim has been named chief technology officer at Santa Monica video streaming service Hulu, the company announced Tuesday.

Multi-Channel Networks Form Trade Group

Several Los Angeles multi-channel networks are joining the Global Online Video Association, a newly formed nonprofit trade group that aims bring more advertisers to online video.

Lifting The Lids

DINING: L.A. Underground Market lets cooks test dishes at invite-only event.

DINING: L.A. Underground Market event throws a lot of cooks into the mix when they come to test dishes.

Hoteliers Have No Reservations About Koreatown

hospitality: Three new boutique hotels look to tap neighborhood’s nightlife.

HOSPITALITY: Booming nightlife has spurred boutique hotel developers to check into Koreatown.

Big Concrete Pour Makes Use of High Tech

When concrete pourers start rolling into downtown L.A. Saturday to participate in the record-setting 21,200 cubic yard concrete pour at the Wilshire Grand construction site, an app will be used to make things run smoothly.

Jukin Names Two Executives

Culver City’s Jukin Media on Friday named Lee Essner as president and chief operating officer and Jeff Levin as director of talent.

Tapiture Taps Jump Investors in Seed Round

Venice e-commerce and social media company Tapiture announced Wednesday it completed a $2.25 million seed round led by West Los Angeles capital venture firm Jump Investors.

Virtual Piggy Oinks Deal with Discover

Virtual Piggy Inc. on Wednesday announced a deal with Discover Network enabling transactions at its teen-friendly Oink payment system to take place over the the credit card company's network.

Laffster Rebrands in Effort to Expand User Base

Santa Monica’s Laffster Inc., which connects comedians and entertainers with fans through live streaming events, changed its name Tuesday to Cogo as part of a rebranding effort.

L.A. Firms Take Home Tech Awards

Los Angeles tech companies took home several Crunchies Monday night as part of website TechCrunch’s annual award show in San Francisco.

When Will Space Traveler Finally Fly?

Rene Kaerskov is hoping the Federal Aviation Administration will soon clear Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic to take tourists to space.

Fresh Take On Making Bread

Trashy Gourmet hopes sandwiches made with doughnuts hold up.

DINING: Trashy Gourmet takes sandwiches in a hole new direction by replacing bread with doughnuts.

Flipagram Rumored To Be Snapping Up Big Round

Flipagram, a popular mobile app that creates video slideshows from multiple photos, is looking to raise $50 million to $60 million in its funding round, valuing the company at $300 million, according to TechCrunch.

Crowdfunder Raises $1 Million More For Seed Round

Venice crowdfunding platform Crowdfunder announced Thursday it raised $1 million in its most recent round of seed financing.

Taking Heart

Hotels pump up Valentine prices as economy revives

Hospitality: Heartened by a rebounding economy, hotels push pricey Valentine’s Day packages.

Holiday Barbie Sales Hurt Mattel Earnings

El Segundo toy manufacturer Mattel Inc. reported higher fourth quarter net income for the period ended Dec. 31 despite a decrease in sales.

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