Los Angeles Business Journal

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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.

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.

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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.

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.

Ride-Sharing Service Relocates to Los Angeles

BeMyDD, an online and phone service that lets customers request designated drivers to take them home, has moved its headquarters to Los Angeles from Cleveland.

PCM Buys En Pointe’s IT Business

El Segundo’s PCM Inc., makers of the PC Mall and MacMall technology product catalogs, has acquired some assets from En Pointe Technologies Sales Inc., an information technology firm that specializes in Microsoft products.

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Still in Play

Former Dodgers owner talks plans for stadium parking lots, other local ventures

Former Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt talks about running the L.A. Marathon (as the boss) and fielding more projects here.

Phone Scam Disconnects Incubator

TECHNOLOGY: Be Great founder hit with $150 million judgment.

Things not ending well for incubator Be Great after founder hit with $150 million judgment in phone scam.

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L.A. Launch List: March 13

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

Zealot Shopping Spree Continues

Venice digital media firm Zealot Networks has bought yet another marketing agency to add to its growing roster of creative agencies.

Snapchat Targets Sports League Partnerships

Venice’s Snapchat Inc. is planning to include live sports broadcasts in its app, beginning with the NCAA Basketball tournament later this month, according to a report.

MamaBear Acquires KidNotice

Santa Monica’s MamaBear, developer of a secure communication app for families, has acquired Valley Village app maker KidNotice for an undisclosed sum.

Snapchat Chief Courts Saudi Investor

Snapchat Inc.’s quest for more funding took co-founder and Chief Executive Evan Spiegel to Saudi Arabia recently.

Horse-Race Vets Dial In on Phones

YouBet.com co-founders roll dice on offering bettors mobile gambling platform.

B Spot puts its money on bringing together horse-race betting with mobile gaming.

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Making Play

VIDEO GAMES: South Korean developer Com2uS sets up office in El Segundo to score customers for its titles in United States.

South Korean developer Com2uS has launched an L.A. outpost to score a U.S. fan base for its titles.

Security Company to Set Up USC as Safety School

EDUCATION: Armorway developed patents through project at university.

A Santa Monica tech company focused on security and birthed at USC has now locked up the school as a customer.

City Attorney Charges Price Waterhouse Coopers with Fraud

City Attorney Mike Feuer has accused accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers of fraud, claiming the company lied about its capabilities in order to secure a $70 million contract with the Department of Water and Power.

Demand Media Posts Wider Loss, Names CFO

Struggling Santa Monica Web publisher Demand Media reported revenue of $43 million for the quarter ended Dec. 31, beating Wall Street expectations by about $5 million. Income was another matter, as its net loss widened.

Immigrant Entrepreneurs: Winter Wong

Foreign-born business owners talk about how they sowed success by putting down roots in Los Angeles.

Internet Companies Get to Work on Freelancers

ONLINE: Businesses see opportunities in tailoring services to growing sector.

Businesses have turned servicing the growing freelance workforce into a full-time job.

SAT Tutoring Business Tests Lower-Price Product

EDUCATION: Arbor Bridge offers pared-down, more affordable progam.

A Santa Monica test-prep company has launched a product aimed at making it easier and cheaper for high school students to get one-on-one SAT tutoring.

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Moving In

INTERNET: RadPad hopes to click in rental listings space with mobile app that lets renters make their monthly payments.

RadPad looks to make a move in the rental listings market with its app that processes payments.

Streetball Arrives With Flash

Alternative basketball tour places priority on wowing audience.

Backers of Ball Up tour look to score hoops fans with their athletic, crowd-wowing streetball.

Hearing Execs Speak Volumes on Trip

Steven Sawalich, senior director of global media and philanthropy at Starkey Hearing Foundation in Playa Vista, has traveled to 75 countries during his time at the non-profit, which delivers hearing aids to people in need.

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L.A. Launch List: Feb. 20

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

Daqri Buys Smart Headband Maker Melon

Daqri, an enterprise augmented reality company in downtown Los Angeles, has acquired Melon, a Venice wearable tech company, for an undisclosed sum.

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