Amazon acquires Ring for $1B, IMDb partners with Funny or Die, local tech recognized, and more

by John Siegel
March 1, 2018

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Ring acquired by Amazon for $1B

Similar to how a D+ in Algebra failed to stop yours truly from covering the local tech community, Santa Monica-based Ring's unsuccessful appearance on Shark Tank proved to be nothing more than a hiccup in the grand scheme of things. Yesterday, the company — which had raised more than $200 million since launching in 2012 — was acquired by e-commerce behemoth Amazon for $1 billion. The company, which was recently honored by Fast Company as one of the most innovative companies in the world, will reportedly continue to operate as an independent business, as best evidenced by the wide variety of positions Ring is hiring for. [CNBC]

 

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17 local tech companies named to Fast Company's Most Innovative Companies report

Nearly 20 local tech companies found themselves honored by Fast Company as the most innovative companies of 2018 recently to no one's surprise — at least locally. Joining Ring were a number of well-known local tech companies representing a wide variety of verticals, proving that the Southern California tech community is diversifying. [Built In LA]

 

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IMDb, Funny Or Die announce partnership agreement

IMDb, the Seattle-founded company that operates a second company headquarters here in LA, announced a partnership with local media company Funny Or Die on an upcoming digital series. The series will be titled "IMDb Me," and will feature celebrities recounting their most memorable roles (and ones they would like to forget). IMDb, which was acquired by Amazon almost 20 years ago for an undisclosed sum, made Built In LA's Top 100 tech companies in 2017, checking in at number 90 with 184 local employees. [Press Release]

 

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KPCC acquires LAist, plans relaunch

Fans of popular LA blog LAist can rejoice. Last week, Pasadena-based public radio station announced on its site that it had acquired the blog and planned to relaunch it under KPCC management. In an open letter to all of Southern California, the station's Chief Content Officer, Kristen Muller, sought input from readers and listeners as to what the site will look like moving forward. [KPCC]

 

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e-sports investment fund raises $38M, makes three investments

Vision Esports, an e-sports fund and management company that was formed by Vision Venture Partners, closed a $38 million capital raise and proceeded to make three strategic investments in rapid succession. With the moves, the fund became the largest shareholders in e-sports team Echo Fox, e-sports league Twin Galaxies and content company Vision Entertainment. The raise was led by Evolution Media, an investment firm backed by Creative Artists Agency and private equity fund TPG Growth. [Press Release]

 

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VR startup Virtualitics scores Series B

Virtualitics, a Pasadena-based startup that has created an enterprise platform that harnesses machine learning and virtual reality to help companies analyze large sets of data virtually, added $7 million in a Series B yesterday. The company, which was named as one of Built In LA's 50 Startups to Watch in 2018, plans to use the funding to scale its platform and onboard new clients. [Press Release]

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