The Strand 🌴 - July 29, 2019

The Boring Company raises first outside capital, Disney beats its own box office record, and SoftBank is raising Vision Fund II to the tune of $108 billion.

Welcome to the thirty-seventh edition of The Strand, a weekly-ish newsletter covering venture capital, private equity, and general business news from around the Los Angeles area. My name is Brendan Boken, a native of Southern California. Feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn, send deals/news to

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Venture Capital Funding

Ethic Inc, a New York, New York-based asset management platform, raised $13 million in Series A funding. Nyca Partners led the round, and was joined by investors including Fidelity Investments, Los Angeles-based Sound Ventures, ThirdStream Partners, Urban Innovation Fund, and Kapor Capital. Spotlight Growth

Tapcart, a Santa Monica, California-based SaaS platform that allows Shopify brands to create mobile shopping apps, raised $4 million in seed funding. Greycroft led the round, and was joined by investors including Los Angeles-based Amplify.LA, Act One Ventures, and Luma Launch. Los Angeles Business Journal

Tile, a San Mateo, California-based developer of small square-shaped tags and other technology to keep track of physical belongings, raised $45 million in funding. Francisco Partners led the round and was joined by investors including GGV Capital, Bessemer Venture Partners, Los Angeles-based Bryant Stibel, and SVB Financial Group. Venture Beat

Private Equity Funding

Radiology Partners, an El Segundo, California-based radiology practice in the U.S., raised approximately $700 million in funding, from Starr Investment Holdings. Los Angeles Business Journal

Liquidity / Exits / M&A

Philippine food giant Jollibee Foods Corporation acquired Los Angeles-based Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf for $350 million. Los Angeles Business Journal

Los Angeles-based Colony Capital acquired Digital Bridge, an investor in firms focused on mobile and internet connectivity, for $325 million. Business Wire

New Funds

Morpheus Ventures, a Sherman Oaks, California-based early-stage VC firm, is raising $200 million for its second fund, per an SEC filing. PE Hub


No Los Angeles-based companies filed for public offerings or went public this past week.

On The Move

Thomas Barrack, Chief Executive Officer of Los Angeles-based Colony Capital, will step down from his role as CEO to be succeeded by Digital Bridge co-founder Marc Ganzi. Los Angeles Business Journal

Featured Jobs

Clutter, an on-demand, physical storage and moving technology company, is hiring a Growth Associate in the company’s greater LA office.

Simplistic, an e-commerce web design, development, and consulting firm, is hiring an Associate Project Manager in the company’s Santa Monica office.

News, Resources, & Required Reading

Disney has made $7.67 billion at the 2019 global box office - and it’s not even August. This broke the previous record of $7.61 billion set by Disney in 2016. Three Disney titles have crossed $1 billion worldwide, with Avengers: Endgame surpassing Avatar to become the top-grossing film of all time. Hollywood Reporter

Edison’s utility subsidiary, Southern California Edison, has agreed to pay $2.4 billion in nonratepayer funds by a state deadline of September 10th as its contribution toward the wildfire fund that’s intended to reach $21 billion. Los Angeles Business Journal

Elizabeth Warren proposes bill targeting private equity ‘vampires’. Pitchbook

Elon Musk’s Boring Company just raised $120 million in outside investment. The company previously relied on internal investments and less conventional methods of funding. The outside capital came from notable VC firms including 8VC, Vy Capital, Craft Ventures, Valor Capital, and DFJ. Built in LA

SoftBank is raising its second Vision Fund. The company is reportedly investing $40 billion of its own capital into the fund alongside commitments from Apple, Goldman Sachs, and Kazakhstan’s sovereign wealth fund. Wall Street Journal

The Fortune Global 500. Fortune

Where will limited partners allocate their money in the near future - private equity, real assets, hedge funds, or public equities? Pitchbook

Take a Break

Lil Nas X’s ‘Old Town Road’ sets record for longest run at #1. Bloomberg Pursuits

Sugar Ray Leonard eyes a $52-million prize in Pacific Palisades. Los Angeles Times

The $30,000 desk clock that’s also a model race car. Bloomberg Pursuits

What’s so special about a Rolex Submariner? Bloomberg Pursuits

What I’m Listening To

@OverheardLA Posts of the Week

Unsplash Photos of the Week