A weekly roundup of must-read L.A. tech investments and acquisitions.
Acquired: Ryot Corp.
Description: Ryot will train and outfit Huffington Post’s 15 international reporting bureaus with 360-degree and virtual-reality video equipment to be used for covering breaking news. The media company’s webpage, which hosts virtual reality documentaries on subjects such as the war in Syria and dolphin captivity, will continue as a branch of the Huffington Post.
Location: Santa Monica
Investors: Series D financing was led by General Catalyst Partners with participation from Dag Ventures, Mayfield Fund, Benchmark, and Tenaya Capital.
Description: The Santa Monica firm will use its funds to hire engineers, as well as sales and customer service representatives. Brighter is an online marketplace that rates dentists, lists co-pay rates, and schedules appointments. The internet firm sells its platform as a service to insurance providers, which then offer access to their members. The company recently signed a deal with Cigna – its first health insurance client.
Location: El Segundo
Seller: United Online Inc.
Description: MyPoints will complement El Segundo-based Prodege’s online shopping rewards business, Swagbucks, said Prodege Chief Executive Chuck Davis. “They have nine million registered members and Swagbucks has 19 million registered members,” he said, adding that MyPoints will expand Prodege’s reach. “Our overlap is minimal, maybe 10 percent (of users are on both platforms).” MyPoints joins a number of United Online portfolio companies sold off in recent years, including floral ecommerce site FTD Cos. Inc., as well as social networks Classmates.com, and StayFriends.com.
Location: Downtown Los Angeles
Investors: Home Box Office and Discovery Communications
Description: OTOY develops cloud-based image software that can be used to render virtual and augmented reality video content. Major shareholders in the company also include Autodesk and Yuri Milner.