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James Cutchin

Stories by James

J2 Denounces Short-Seller Report

Internet services firm J2 Global Inc. has hit back at a short seller report that drove its stock down 9%.

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Ares Raises $3.5 Billion for Distressed Investing

Private equity fund will pursue opportunities during Covid-19 downturn

Century City-based asset manager Ares Management Corp. has closed a $3.5 billion private equity fund.

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Pipe Technologies Raises $60 Million

Company will use funds for SaaS platform

Hollywood-based Pipe Technologies Inc. has raised $60 million in an extension of its February seed round.

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Clearlake Capital Acquires $6 Billion Asset Manager

Clearlake Capital Group has acquired a majority stake in WhiteStar Asset Management.

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Furniture Startup Raises $4 Million

Outer attracts investment from Mucker, Wavemaker

Santa Monica-based outdoor furniture startup Outer Inc. has raised $4.3 million in seed funding. The investment round was led by Santa Monica-headquartered Mucker Capital, with participation from a range of other venture investors including Santa Monica-based Wavemaker Partners.

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Open Raven Raises $15 Million Series A

Kleiner Perkins, Upfront back data security startup

Data security startup Open Raven Inc. has raised $15 million in Series A funding. The round was led by storied Menlo Park venture firm Kleiner Perkins with participation from existing backer Santa Monica-based Upfront Ventures.

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Cashless Transactions Gaining Favor

Pandemic boosts usage in food, beauty sectors

At many Los Angeles businesses, cash has become a casualty of Covid-19.

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Cause for Concern

Economic uncertainty raises the prospect of an increase in going concern filings

Covid-19 has brought one of the greatest periods of market uncertainty in decades. The answers to major questions like when lockdown restrictions will be fully lifted, when customer demand will rebound and the extent to which the virus will ultimately affect the economy are simply unknowable.

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Architect Equity Buys Faultless

PE firm acquires cleaning products company

Architect Equity, a private equity firm based in El Segundo, has acquired consumer products company Faultless Brands.

Buy Bye Bye

Consumer spending patterns in LA reveal impact of pandemic

Consumer spending is the backbone of the American economy, making up roughly 68% of U.S. gross domestic product. That sector has been upended by the Covid-19 pandemic.

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20 in Their 20s: Delane Parnell

"We do a ton to reinvest in our community by supplying things like computer equipment to schools across the country."

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20 in Their 20s: Michael Broughton

"Our goal was just to help as many students as possible build their credit."

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20 in Their 20s: Amanda Groves

"There is an incredible opportunity presented when you’re underestimated — to outperform and surprise."

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Wave Picks Up $30 Million for Virtual Concerts

Virtual concert startup Wave has raised $30 million in a Series B funding round with participants including Scooter Braun.

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Strength in Numbers

LA’s highest paid executives represent a broad range of industries

The Business Journal’s annual executive compensation list reflects that diversity of industries, with the top paid leaders of the county’s public companies spread across sectors ranging from aerospace to footwear.

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PPP Lifts Some Local Business, But Not All

Retailers and restaurants hope for changes to program

In the three months since its launch, the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program has faced many obstacles, from bottlenecks in the application pipeline to general lack of clarity on loan terms.

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Packaging Investment for Trilinc

Pandemic-proof Ecuadorian company receives investment

Manhattan Beach-based Trilinc Global has cleared a $3.25 million loan to a Latin American sustainable packaging company.

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Financial Platform Raises $13 Million

Millennial-focused Stackin provides advice by texts

Venice-based Stackin Inc. has raised $12.6 million in a Series B funding round. The investment was led by European venture giant Octopus Ventures.

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Sustain and Gain

Trilinc makes the most of socially conscious investing

Last year saw record levels for socially conscious investing, with sustainable fund assets reaching $960 billion globally in 2019 — the highest ever.

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Banc of California Ends Partnership

Pays $20 million to leave LAFC stadium deal

Just over two years into its 15-year stadium naming deal with Los Angeles Football Club, Banc of California has announced it is dialing back the partnership.

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K1 Sells Digital Software and Marketing Company

Aurora Capital acquires FMG Suite

Manhattan Beach-based private equity firm K1 Investment Management has sold FMG Suite to Aurora Capital Partners, a private equity firm headquartered in Westwood.

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Ares to Pay $1 Million Fine to SEC

Century City-based Ares Management Corp. has been charged with compliance failures by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Banks Are Well Positioned to Weather the Storm

Local institutions likely to play a key part in economic recovery

Banks, like a majority of other industries, will not thrive in the Covid-19 downturn. But they are one of the sectors best positioned to survive.

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VCs Defend PPP Use by Companies

Local leaders push back on complaints about funds

The federal Paycheck Protection Program has served as a lifeline for struggling companies, but it has also prompted concerns over access to capital.

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ExchangeRight Wins ‘Essential’ Bet

Firm invests in properties with health care tenants

Pasadena-based real estate investment firm ExchangeRight is carving out steady returns despite the pandemic-driven downturn.

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Nanotech Sets Series C

Graphene battery-maker raises $28 million for production

Brentwood-based Nanotech Energy Co. has raised $27.5 million to ramp up production of its graphene-based products.

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K1 Sells Finance Marketing Company

Manhattan Beach-based private equity firm K1 Investment Management has sold FMG Suite to another local private equity firm.

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Making Waves

Eric Manlunas’ unique approach to venture capital is paying off

Eric Manlunas is the founder of one of Silicon Beach’s most unusual venture capital funds, Wavemaker Partners.

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Change of Pace

After a fast start in 2020, VC activity has slowed dramatically

Los Angeles venture capital dealmaking got off to a strong start this year, but the Covid-19 downturn dealt blows to VC-backed companies and investors alike.

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Angeles Supports Covid-19 Efforts

Firm’s portfolio companies contribute on many fronts

Santa Monica-based Angeles Equity Partners is working to help its portfolio companies retool for the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Orca Secures $21 Million for Cloud

Cybersecurity company sees new opportunities

Cybersecurity firm Orca Security Ltd. has received $20.5 million in venture capital investment to build out its team and market its platform.

Loan Market Remains Active

Cautious lenders sense opportunities

Economic uncertainty is changing lending practices, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t financing available for commercial real estate in Los Angeles.

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Ares Tops Expectations for Earnings

Firm reports record management fees

Century City-based asset manager Ares Management Corp. reported a net loss of $31 million, or 33 cents per share, in its first-quarter earnings.

Local Banks Brace for Possible Hit

First-quarter earnings reports reflect steep increases in loan loss provisions

Local banks have yet to feel the financial squeeze the coronavirus pandemic has put on other industries, but they're preparing for it.

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Hightimes Acquires 13 Dispensaries

Media company pays $80M in big retail play

Venice-based Hightimes Holdings Corp. has made a major play in the retail cannabis market with the purchase of 13 dispensary locations across California.

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UMG Hits $1.9 Billion Mark

Subscriptions, streaming lift music giant’s earnings

Santa Monica-based Universal Music Group reported a strong financial performance for the first three months of this year, appearing to be largely unscathed by the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

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Lenders Brace for New PPP Funds

Second round puts focus on needs of smaller firms

Local lenders are gearing up for the next round of the Paycheck Protection Program.

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Wavemaker Plans Health Care Fund

Venture firm expecting to raise up to $100 million

Health care venture firm Wavemaker Three-Sixty Health is stepping up the timeline for its latest fund in response to what it calls a pandemic-driven “surge in demand for all things health care innovation.”

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Retail Process Remains Stalled

Costs piling up as applicants await licenses

At 10 a.m. on Sept. 3, more than 200 people signed into an online application for L.A.’s latest round of cannabis business licenses.

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OriginClear Sets Offering

Water company will use $20M plan for deals, debt

Downtown-based water treatment company OriginClear Inc. has received the green light from regulators for its sale of roughly $20 million in preferred stock.

Stem Hits the Right Notes for Artists

Music payment platform provides advance funds

Many Los Angeles musicians and talent managers have had their finances upended by the coronavirus lockdown. Some are stepping up requests for advances on future revenue, which they can do through Stem's platform.

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Pray.com Answers Call for the Digital Faithful

Platform reports traffic boost from lockdown

Pray is among a fortunate handful of companies whose businesses have actually benefited from the statewide shutdown. The platform's monthly active users grew 50% from February to March.

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Loaded for Bear

Private equity firms ready for the worst, look for the best during the market’s downturn

Private equity firms have been forced to rethink their strategies nearly overnight, searching for ways to survive — and thrive — amid the current market's uncertainty.

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City National Says No to Layoffs

Bank also plans $2 million donation

Downtown-based City National Bank has joined a host of global financial institutions in promising to avoid layoffs in the face of the coronavirus crisis.

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Mortgage Market on High Alert

Some contend coronavirus could drive up defaults

Ahead of passage of the federal government’s coronavirus rescue package last week, uncertainty roiled the commercial mortgage market.

Green Dot Taps Henry as New CEO

Financial technology veteran will also join the board

Pasadena-based Green Dot Corp. has named Dan Henry chief executive and president.

Colony Capital Settles Dispute With Investor

Activist Blackwells agrees to support Barrack’s vision

Downtown-based real estate investment company Colony Capital Inc. and activist investor Blackwells Capital have reached a settlement.

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VC Firms Lead Remote Push

Coronavirus transforms how LA works

Almost overnight, the coronavirus has transformed the way Angelenos work. For many in the VC space, though, keeping up “business as usual” has been relatively straightforward.

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Pacific Rim Perspective

Menai and CTBC have a unique view of the region’s challenges — and opportunities

As the U.S. head of one of Taiwan’s largest banks, Noor Menai has unique insight into the local economic impact of major events like the trade war and the coronavirus outbreak.

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Auditboard Carves Out a Niche in Compliance

Company finds success as ‘Apple of audit software’

Auditboard Inc. has quietly built one of the country’s fastest-growing businesses in a sector famously unwilling to move fast and break things.

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