Los Angeles Business Journal

NBC Universal Could Back BuzzFeed

NBCUniversal Inc. is reportedly close to making a $250 million investment in digital publishing giant BuzzFeed.

Marketing Firm’s Talk Program Channels Brands

INTERNET: FameBit hopes ‘FilterFreeTV’s’ influencers speak to young consumers.

These days, digital networks such as Maker Studios, Fullscreen Inc. and AwesomenessTV aren’t the only tech companies producing online videos.

TrueCar Share Price Hits the Skids

Shares of Santa Monica’s TrueCar Inc. lost a third of their value in after-hours trading Thursday after the company reported that it would miss financial targets for the second quarter and full year.

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Firm Took Marketing Path To Stand on Immigration

INTERNET: MiTú viewed Donald Trump uproar as means to engage audience.

Digital media firm MiTú used the uproar over Donald Trump’s immigration comments to channel viewers to its content.

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Flipagram Stitches Together $70 Million Funding Round

Popular photo and video-editing app Flipagram has raised a massive $70 million Series B financing round from some of the biggest venture capital firms in Silicon Valley.

Accelerator Vets Speed Way to Another Startup

SOFTWARE: Duo launched Replicated after selling off chat service Look.io.

Tech accelerators in Silicon Beach such as Amplify.LA have done their best to fortify and bolster the local technology industry over the last few years by providing new companies with seed money, office space, mentorship, and networking with VCs and other entrepreneurs.

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Playing Rough

INTERNET: Content firms contend pirated videos on Facebook’s platform could cost them millions of views, dollars.

Facebook’s video platform doesn’t play well with content owners who say they are losing money and viewers.

Clip-Sharing App Whips Up $40 Million

One Santa Monica app maker is trying to make it a whole lot easier for TV, music and sports fans to legally share their favorite clips and highlights with friends online.

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Startups Opening Door to Crowd

INVESTMENT: Firms now can get funds from nonaccredited investors.

Mobile-game developer XReal is making a play for nonaccredited investors now that crowdfunding is for real.

Healthy Boosts From Chinese Connections

For Bob Parker, life has taken some dramatic turns recently.

Kin Community Bets on Branded Content

Kin Community, an online women’s lifestyle network headquartered in Santa Monica, has launched a new branded content division called Kin Studios, which boosts the company’s ability to craft online video campaigns for advertisers.

Nativo Raises $20 Million for Online Ads

El Segundo’s Nativo, a native advertising platform for Web publishers, has raised a $20 million Series B round led by San Francisco’s Advance Vixeid Partners.

Youth Served as Startup Hires 12-Year-Old Exec

INTERNET: PingTank says boy will help photo app reach core kid audience.

It’s no secret that tech startups are often staffed with loads of young employees. But one local app developer is raising (or is that lowering?) the bar when it comes to hiring executives who can relate to teens.

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Incubator Turns Up Heat With Additional Services

TECHNOLOGY: Science credits system for successes such as Dollar Shave Club.

Science has moved beyond an incubator model to help entrepreneurs hatch successful companies.

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Online Video Firm Looks To Connect in Singapore

INTERNET: Maker holds overseas boot camp to link with tech-savvy youth.

Online video firm Maker Studios eyes Singapore’s tech-savvy youth as a major part of its big picture.

Bid Beefs Up Stock of Chin-Fat Drug Developer

BIOTECH: Acquisition by Allergan may aid Kythera rollout of Kybella product.

Kythera sees its share values swell after Allergan announces plan to buy the maker of a chin fat-removal drug.

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Revenge Fuels Energy Fight

MANUFACTURING: Ex-exec looks to zap former family firm.

Rival Alex Lidow seeks revenge by converting International Rectifier’s customers to his semiconductors.

Driving Traffic Fight

A brief encounter with tech billionaire Elon Musk three years ago wound up being financially fortuitous for David Murphy.

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Solar Farm Heats Up Prospects for Job Program

ENERGY: 8minutenergy project may generate work for Homeboy graduates.

In August, Mid-Wilshire solar power developer 8minutenergy Renewables will begin construction on an $800 million solar power farm, dubbed Springbok, in Kern County, an installation that will provide electricity to about 1 million Los Angeles Department of Water and Power customers.

Dentist Aims To Clean Up On Airplanes

Jay Grossman hopes sales of tray covers lift his charity work.

Dentist Jay Grossman hopes the sale of pockets for airplane tray tables will help cover his charity work.

Cancer Drug’s Little Boost Results in Big Fallout

HEALTH CARE: Puma stock falls 25 percent after report of turbulent clinical trial.

Puma stock takes a big dip after its cancer drug only gives a little boost beyond a placebo in a clinical trial.

Twenty In Their 20s: Jordan Furniss and Taylor Moss

From the creator of a social media platform to the founder of a bikini company, the Business Journal turns the spotlight on 20 young entrepreneurs who have gotten a jump on the business world.

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TrueCar Buckles Up for New Clash With Dealers

AUTOMOTIVE: Association’s latest effort called ‘last-ditch’ attempt to curb expansion.

Dealers’ suit looks to put the brakes on TrueCar, accusing the shopping site of brokering sales.

Angel Investor Hopes Venture Firm Takes Wing

INVESTMENT: Ex-Marine Paige Craig enlists others’ money for seed funding.

Angel investor Paige Craig looks to spread his wings with his new venture firm, Arena.

Facebook Orders Up Food Shows

Tastemade signs deal to whip up videos for new Anthology service.

Video maker Tastemade looks to fill up Facebook’s Anthology with food programming.

Auto Dealers Take on TrueCar, Again

A Sacramento trade group representing more than 1,100 of the state’s new car dealers has accused Santa Monica’s TrueCar Inc. of operating as an auto dealer and broker without a license.

Soccer Club Heads for USC

L.A.’s new soccer franchise plans to build a new stadium at the site of the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena near USC, team officials announce Monday.

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Online Video Maker Sees Featured Role for Movies

ENTERTAINMENT: Stable of Internet talent to star in AwesomenessTV films.

Online video creator AwesomenessTV pictures a future as a feature film producer.

Phones in Line For Power Play

TECHNOLOGY: Wireless rivals battle to take charge of market.

UBeam’s battle for the wireless phone-charging market dials up talk of the VHS-Betamax war.

Wealthiest Angelenos: Rise of the Tech Billionaires

The tech sector – epitomized by Snapchat’s familiar ghost logo – suddenly dominates the ranks of L.A.’s wealthiest. And a new generation now has the opportunity to reshape the region.

Change has come on line as tech reshapes the list of Wealthiest Angelenos and L.A.’s business scene.

Ridesharing Services Hope to Deliver for Parents

INTERNET: HopSkipDrive, Sloop in drive for kid fares not covered by Uber, Lyft.

Need to get your kids from school to soccer practice in Santa Monica while you’re at work? There are now a pair of services for that – and they’re not named Uber or Lyft, since it is the policy of those companies not to carry passengers under the age of 18.

Activision Beats Estimates, Lowers Full-Year Guidance

Santa Monica video game publisher Activision Blizzard Inc. beat first quarter earnings projections, posting adjusted net income of $116 million (16 cents a share) on revenue of $1.28 billion.

Viral Video Firm’s Focus Limits Options on Office

REAL ESTATE: Expanded Jukin’s need for production space complicates hunt.

A year ago, Culver City viral video licensor and distributor Jukin Media employed fewer than 40 people and made do in its 6,500-square-foot headquarters on Jefferson Boulevard.

Greece Trip Finds Shaq at Road Loss

As the longest tenured photographer working for the National Basketball Association, 57-year-old Andrew Bernstein has seen his share of playoff action.

Video-Editing App Proves Cut Above for Investor

INTERNET: Developer says Ferris eventually won over Upfront’s Mark Suster.

When music-video director and tech entrepreneur Paul Boukadakis landed a pitch meeting with Upfront Ventures partner Mark Suster in early 2014, he knew it would be a tall order to convince the famed venture capitalist that his mobile video app was the next big thing.

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Capital Gain?

FINANCE: Local tech executives divided over whether changes to crowdfunding rules will pay off in more money for startups.

Local tech execs are split on whether new crowdfunding rules will link startups with investors.

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SPECIAL REPORT: Seeding the Future

A rush of angel and VC investment in L.A. means fast times for local tech startups, but speedbumps for the region’s once-hot accelerators.

An expanded field of seed money options is powering up startups while forcing accelerators to shift strategy gears.

Music Startup Tunes Up Online Platform for Bands

INTERNET: WorldArts hits stage at South by Southwest festival to push service.

Culver City startup WorldArts Media Inc. is trying to fill a similar role to the one occupied by Myspace Music in the mid-2000s by giving bands an online platform to promote themselves, post a variety of content and interact with fans.

System Puts Social Media To Work for Employers

INTERNET: SpringRole taps networks for data, feedback to identify job candidates.

SpringRole employs big data and social media to help tech companies find job candidates.

New Music Service Focuses on Social Media

A Los Angeles startup called urRadio is aiming to bridge the gap between social media platforms and streaming music services.

Online Postage Provider Hopes New Deal Delivers

INTERNET: Stamps.com acquires competitor Endicia to expand customer base.

Online postage provider Stamps.com addresses new client markets with acquisition of Endicia.

Passing Propane Torch

When Julie Johnson entered the propane business founded by her father 30 years ago, she stood out as one of the few women in a male-dominated industry. And it was her father who had to mentor her so she could take over one day, making sure the men in the industry respected her.

L.A. Launch List: March 27

The Los Angeles Business Journal brings you a weekly roundup of L.A. launches.

Santa Monica Startups Land Major Financing

Two Santa Monica tech companies announced today that they’ve secured eight-figure capital raises from leading venture capital firms.

Pasadena Firm Launches New Influencer Marketing Platform

Pasadena advertising firm Ayzenberg Group has boosted its digital offerings with a new platform that connects digital marketers and brands with social media celebrities known as influencers.

ParkMe Expands to Venice and Hollywood

Santa Monica’s ParkMe, which provides real-time parking information through its app, has expanded its service to Venice and Hollywood.

OpenX Upgrades Ad Fraud Detection Capabilities

OpenX, a Pasadena automated online ad exchange, has launched a new platform designed to improve the quality of its inventory and help eliminate ad fraud.

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Hitting Road, Minding Health

Stay Fit Housing helps business people work out their travel plans.

Stay Fit Housing makes room for healthy services to pursue business travelers.

Marketer Pictures Film Campaign With Instagram

INTERNET: TheAmplify casts online influencers in ‘Insurgent’ video promotion.

Culver City social media marketing firm theAmplify, which launched in January 2014, has broadened its range of creative offerings to include green-screen video production for campaigns on Instagram featuring popular influencers.

Sidecar Brings Delivery Service to L.A.

San Francisco ride-sharing company Sidecar is bringing its business delivery service to Los Angeles.

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