The Strand 🌴 - June 30, 2019

I'm back after a few weeks off! SpaceX gets an investment from the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, Sound Ventures invests in Alma, and Clearlake Capital raises $1.4B for its newest opportunities fund.

Welcome to the thirty-fifth 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

Venture Capital Funding

Alma, a New York, New York-based co-practicing community of therapists, coaches, and wellness professionals, raised $8 million in Series A funding. Tusk Venture Partners led the round with participation from Los Angeles-based Sound Ventures, First Round Capital, Primary Ventures, Box Group, and Able Partners. Built in NYC

Metropolis Technologies, a year-old, Los Angeles, California-based mobility startup focused on building integrated networks to enable the future of mobility, has raised $17.5 million in seed funding. New York-based Zigg Capital led the round with participation from Los Angeles-based Slow Ventures and RXR Realty. Business Glitz

Miss Grass, a two-year-old, Venice, California-based cannabis brand with a content and e-commerce platform, has raised $4 million in funding. Investors in the round include Listen Ventures, Los Angeles-based Casa Verde Capital, Advancit Capital, Firstminute Capital, Third Kind Venture Capital, and Muse Capital. Forbes

Paloma Health, a one-year-old, New York, New York-based vertically integrated healthcare company focused on hypothyroidism, has raised $2.5 million in seed funding led by Los Angeles-based Crosscut Ventures, with participation from Human Ventures and FJ Labs. Alley Watch

Restaurant365, an eight-year-old, Irvine, California-based maker of restaurant-specific accounting, back office, and reporting software, has raised $88 million in new funding led by ICONIQ Capital. Orange County Business Journal

Wondery, a Los Angeles, California-based podcast publisher, has raised $10 million in Series B funding. Waverley Capital and Powerhouse Ventures led the round with participation from return backers Lerer Hippeau, Greycroft, BDMI, Advancit Capital, and Water Tower Ventures. Wall Street Journal

Private Equity Funding

Cortec Group acquired Aspen Medical Products, an Irvine, California-based designer and manufacturer of upper and lower spinal orthopedic bracing products. Financial terms were not disclosed. PE Professional

Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan invested in Los Angeles-based SpaceX, the maker and operator or rockets and spacecraft. Financial terms were not disclosed. Space News

Liquidity / Exits / M&A

Swander Pace Capital led an acquisition of Bragg, a Santa Barbara, California-based maker of apple cider vinegar. Other participating investors include Dragoneer, Katy Perry, and Orlando Bloom. SP Capital - Press Release

New Funds

Clearlake Capital Group, L.P., a Santa Monica, California-based private investment firm, raised $1.4 billion for its new fund, Clearlake Opportunities Partners II. Los Angeles Business Journal


ConversionPoint, a Newport Beach, California-based SaaS platform for marketing and e-commerce, formally withdrew its $40 million IPO registration. The company had previously postponed the offering last month. NASDAQ

On The Move

Ann Sarnoff, former BBC executive, will be the new CEO of WarnerMedia, replacing Warner Bros. chief Kevin Tsujihara. Hollywood Reporter

Teddy Citrin, investor at Greycroft, has been promoted to principal. Greycroft

Featured Jobs

Gimbal, a marketing and advertising automation platform, is hiring a Sales Development Representative in the company’s greater LA office.

Rex, a company utilizing artificial intelligence and big data to disrupt the traditional real estate brokerage model, is hiring a Chief of Staff in the company’s greater LA office.

Flexport, a global logistics company, is hiring a Global Customs Associate in the company’s greater LA office.

News, Resources, & Required Reading

Busloads of tourists used to visit Los Angeles luxury stores - not anymore. LA Times

Jony Ive, designer of the Mac, iPod, and iPhone, is leaving Apple after more than two decades to start his own design firm. Financial Times

Santa Monica street vendors struggle amid new licensing rules after the city passed an emergency ordinance establishing its Comprehensive Sidewalk Vending Program in April. LA Times

Social Capital co-founder Chamath Palihapitiya is spinning out a company from his venture capital fund-turned-family-office. The new entity, temporarily dubbed CaaS (short for capital-as-a-service) Technologies, will focus on providing data-driven insights to VC firms. TechCrunch

Tesla is developing the means to manufacture its own battery cells, according to current and recent employees. The car company has previously relied on Panasonic to manufacture battery cells in the past since the two companies previously signed a partnership deal back in 2014. CNBC

There’s no turning back: Los Angeles is a tech town now. Brittany Walker and Nick Kim wrote about why LA is having a moment - and why they are betting their careers that LA is the tech hub of the future. Medium

Take a Break

Home of the Week: Beverly Hills estate boasts a full cast of Hollywood players. LA Times

How to bring Old Hollywood into your home.

What I’m Listening To

@OverheardLA Posts of the Week

Unsplash Photos of the Week