UCLA Startup, ImaginAb, Closes $21 Million Series B Financing

UCLA brainchild ImaginAb has hauled in another $21 million in venture cash to advance its antibody-re-engineering technology

From FierceBiotech:

“UCLA brainchild ImaginAb has hauled in another $21 million in venture cash to advance its antibody-re-engineering technology, a biotech approach to imaging that the company believes will help personalize treatments for cancer and immune disease.

Mérieux Développement, the investment arm of French life sciences outfit bioMérieux, led the latest round, joined by repeat investors Novartis ($NVS), Cycad Group and Nextech Invest. Each is betting ImaginAb’s novel take on imaging agents will help investigators better understand disease and match patients to their ideal therapies…”

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About ImaginAb [web]

Silicon Valley Goes to the Beach

Powered by video and fed by stars, a startup boom in west Los Angeles is giving California a second high-tech mecca

From Time:

The second-floor office of Tradesy, a 16-month-old online consignment shop, has all the requisite trappings of a digital startup. Inside an open, loftlike space, seven 20-somethings work at a central pod of desks near an L-shaped kitchen stocked with free snacks and drinks. Employees’ dogs scamper beneath their feet while a team of programmers, eyes glued to computer screens, huddles in a separate room.

But there is a giveaway clue that Tradesy isn’t based in Silicon Valley or one of the dozens of other tech hubs that have taken root from Austin to Omaha: a deck off the kitchen is piled with surfboards. From there, the Pacific Ocean and the wide white-sand beach of Santa Monica, Calif., is about 300 yards away–easy walking distance when the waves are breaking…

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California Still Home to Most Women-Owned Businesses

California has an estimated 1.1 million women-owned firms, 427,800 in LA alone. These businesses employ 984,000 (393,400 in LA) and contribute $200 billion ($85.3 billion in LA) to the economy.

From L.A. Biz:

Business is picking up for women in California, and across the country, according to the fourth annual American Express OPEN State the of Women-Owned Businesses Report.

“We’ve seen much more diversity in the kinds of businesses women are owning over the past 10 to 15 years,” Julie Weeks tells me. Weeks is an American Express OPEN research advisor and author of the report. “We looked at the number of women-owned businesses started every day,” says Weeks.

Weeks is the President and CEO of Womenable, a for-profit social enterprise that looks to grown women’s entrepreneurship worldwide. Her report analyzed the 1997, 2002, and 2007 data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s quinquennial business census, the Survey of Business Owners..

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UCLA Startup, Bruin Biometrics, Raises $10 Million Round

Funds will be deployed to market developed products, complete clinical trials and continue R&D on the product pipeline.

From BusinessWire:

LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Bruin Biometrics, LLC (“BBI”), a medical device company with two biometric sensing products ready for market in Europe and the United States, announced it has closed a $10 million round of funding which was oversubscribed by almost $2.7 million. The funds will be deployed to market the developed products, complete clinical trials and continue R&D on the product pipeline.

“Investors are responding to this important opportunity ideally timed to solve critical issues that cost healthcare systems globally billions of dollars in expensive, preventable diagnostics and treatments. BBI’s biometric scanning technology is proven and ready to improve patient care simply and inexpensively,” said BBI’s Chief Executive Officer Martin Burns. “Investors, physicians and hospitals understand these sensors detect a number of key health conditions. They soon will become another essential tool used by nurses and other healthcare workers to check a patient’s vitals, just as the blood pressure cuff is used today…”

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Culver City-based, NantHealth, Launches $1B Clinical Operating System (cOS)

(cOS) is an open, cloud-based platform for collecting and processing data to help deliver safer, more accountable care.

From MedCity News:

“Culver City, Calif.-based NantHealth is backed by a $1 billion from pharmaceutical magnate Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, and represents the rollup of eight legacy companies started or purchased by Soon-Shiong. It officially launched in January after nearly two years in stealth mode under Soon-Shiong’s NantWorks umbrella.

The company announced its presence at HIMSS in Orlando, Fla., Monday by unveiling the NantHealth Clinical Operating System (cOS), an open, cloud-based platform for collecting and processing data to help deliver safer, more accountable care. NantHealth is positioning cOS as the “centerpiece” of this massive investment…

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As The LA Tech Scene Heats Up, Accelerator Amplify Raises $8 Million

Amplify is announcing its second fund, which is just over $8 million from yet another list of marquee investors.

From TechCrunch:

“Back in 2011, there were only a handful of startup accelerators and incubators in the burgeoning LA tech scene. Of course, as “Silicon Beach” has grown over the past few years, this has changed. Amplify was one of the initial accelerators that debuted a few years ago, with backing from big names like Eric Schmidt, reality TV king Mark Burnett and Accel Partners. Today, Amplify is announcing its second fund, which is just over $8 million from yet another list of marquee investors.

The list includes a mix of traditional tech investors and CEOs as well as a few well-known names in the media and entertainment worlds. They include Accel, Greycroft, Siemer Ventures, Deep Fork Capital, Karlin Ventures, Jarl Mohn (ex CEO of Liberty Digital), Ron Burkle (Yucaipa Companies), Jim Wiatt (ex CEO William Morris Agency), Ed Wilson (ex President Fox Television, Tribune and CBS), Ben Silverman (ex co-Chairman NBC Entertainment), Rick Barry (founder & CTO Sycamore Networks), Rob Glaser (Founder/Chairman Real Networks), Joe Lewis (head of Amazon Studios), and David Baron (VP of content Hulu), among others…”

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Los Angeles Tech Venture Capital Almanac

Detailing the trends and players in Los Angeles’s growing technology venture capital ecosystem.

From CB Insights:

“Los Angeles has its roots firmly in the entertainment business and the creative industries. But over the past several years, the greater LA area has developed a burgeoning array of tech startups operating in diverse markets ranging from eCommerce to mobile messaging to multi-channel networks. Among the emerging tech companies that call LA home are Snapchat, Nasty Gal and Fullscreen.

And while venture capital financing to the LA tech ecosystem trails that of other U.S. venture markets such as New York and Silicon Valley, it’s clear that venture capital investors see the Southern California hotbed as an increasingly attractive area for tech innovation and creativity that can appeal to the masses. Since the start of 2009, venture investors have deployed $3.5 billion across 525 deals involving tech companies in the greater Los Angeles area…”

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Venture Almanac data shows a healthy and maturing SoCal startup ecosystem [web]