Los Angeles Business Journal


Minding Stores

Pasadena taps eclectic lineup to pull in crowdsPasadena looks to sell itself as a hip shopping and dining spot by courting quirky and high-end stores.

By Subrina Hudson April 7, 2014 midnight   $$ Share

Gymnasium Muscles Into Kids’ Market

Cave CrossFit looks to make play with new program for children.

Cave CrossFit works out a plan for a new kids’ program.

Hitting Brakes to Go Forward

Vycon sets up kinetic energy storage system at subway station.

Vycon hopes its kinetic energy storage system gets on a roll from installation at a subway station.

Breezing by Age Milestone In L.A. County

Armstrong gardening business traces roots back to 1889.

Armstrong Garden Centers planted itself in Los Angeles way back in 1889.

Taking Pass on Politics

The death of Mickey Rooney last week got Michael Levine reminiscing.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County

J2 Global Inc., a Hollywood Internet services and media company, has acquired Critical Software Ltd., a Staffordshire, England, email security and management company operating under the brand name iCriticalTM.

Fruit Bar Makers Launch Cold War

FOOD: Duo says rival ice-cream distributor is freezing them out.

Fruit bar makers claim new rival is using its powerful ice-cream distribution network to freeze them out.

Dodgers Still Not Reaching Base

TV: Carriers say high price of channel will lose customers.

Time Warner Cable may have dropped the ball in its plan for other carriers to pick up its new Dodgers channel.

Shoemaker Pairs Well With Luxury

FOOTWEAR: Collector steps it up as $1,000 sneaker designer.

Former Wall Street exec has proved a high-end shoo-in as the maker of $1,000-plus sneakers.

In the Dumps

City zones may bury waste haulers

Waste haulers fear getting dumped by city of L.A.’s new franchise zone plan.

Risk, Returns

Banking: Low-profile First Credit rides bridge financing to become L.A.’s most profitable lender for three years running.

First Credit has crossed over into elite territory with its high returns from bridge financing.

Disappointed by Test Results, Investors Flee Puma

BIOTECH: Sector selloff also a factor as shares of cancer drug maker plunge.

Puma shares take a drubbing as investors are spooked by test results and a sector sell-off.

Bean Counter Looks to Grow Beyond Show Biz

ACCOUNTING: Nigro Karlin hopes to add sectors with its extra personal services.

Nigro Karlin looks to add more non-show business clients to its beyond-bean-counting personal service.

Steel Firm Faces Insurance Meltdown Over Lawsuit

METALS: National Fire says it shouldn’t have to cover Reliance’s antitrust damages.

Insurer refuses to cover damages against Reliance Steel for meddling with Houston competitor.

E-Commerce Site Sold on Future in Tech Incubation

INTERNET: Clearance.co in reverse merger with Miami shell company.

Executives’ connection leads to e-commerce site Clearance.co’s union with Development Capital Group.

Document Finder’s Not Looking Good on Paper

PUBLISHING: Investors shed Research Solutions over plan for reverse stock split.

Document-finding company Research Solutions at a loss with investors after planning a reverse stock split.

Duo Looks to Lock In New Cold-Storage Facility

FOOD: $75 million venture aims to handle imports, exports through Long Beach.

Construction of a $75 million, 250,000-square-foot cold-storage facility in Long Beach began last month.

Digital Media Arm Thinks It Has Virtual Match

EMPLOYMENT: Manatt division brings in 18-year industry vet Eunice Shin.

Manatt Digital Media has hired Eunice Shin to head its business consulting services, capping off nearly a year of growth for the new investment and consulting arm of West L.A. law firm Manatt Phelps & Phillips.

News of the Week

Last week’s major news from labusinessjournal.com and other sources

Boeing Co. expects to end production of its C-17 Globemaster III transport jet at its Long Beach plant three months earlier than expected.

Decision Points

Almost every day brings news of another investment in a startup technology company. But what makes an investor decide to bankroll one company and not another?

Seven venture capitalists discuss the key criteria they review before investing in startups.


Investment: Science incubated Dollar Shave Club and participated in the online razor club’s $1 million seed round in March 2012. Dollar Shave Club has since become one of L.A.’s hottest startups.

It began with a viral video. As soon as Mike Jones saw Michael Dubin swinging a tennis racket and riding a forklift through Dollar Shave Club’s downtown L.A. warehouse, he was intrigued.


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.


Investment: Double M participated in Santa Monica firm MomentFeed’s A round in December after having made seed-round investments in the company.

Before Mark Mullen upped his investment in social media marketing company MomentFeed late last year, he wanted to know if customers liked the Santa Monica company’s product.


Investment: Mucker participated in online tuxedo rental company Black Tux’s $2.6 million February seed round.

Everyone loves a wedding.


Investment: Upfront Ventures provided $500,000 in seed funding last April to downtown L.A.’s DailyLook, an online fashion retailer. Upfront followed that up by investing in DailyLook’s Series A round

Yves Sisteron didn’t get caught up in analysis paralysis when he decided to invest in DailyLook.


Investment: Plus Capital and AMC Networks co-led last year’s $4 million seed funding round of YouTube network DanceOn in August. Other investors include Nigel Lythgoe, executive producer of “So You Th

When Plus Capital Managing Partner Adam Lilling sat down with DanceOn Chief Executive Amanda Taylor, he got more than a good story.


Investment: Canyon Creek put a total of $530,000 in retail services tech company Bridg in April and October funding rounds.

Buck Jordan, managing partner at Canyon Creek Capital, says his firm is a “bridge fund” that targets companies between the seed and Series A stages.