The Strand 🌴 - March 31, 2019

4 LA-based companies raised money this past week, Spotify has acquired a Los Angeles podcasting startup, talent agency Endeavor is pursuing an IPO, and Postmates debuts a new delivery option in LA.

Welcome to the twenty-eighth 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

Alpha Foods, a 3.5-year-old, Glendale, California-based company that makes on-the-go meals from non-GMO, plant-based ingredients, has raised $7 million in funding co-led by New Crop Capital and AccelFoods. The Spoon

Dvele, a nearly three-year-old, Loma Linda, California-based prefabricated home builder, has raised $14 million in Series A funding led by Crescent Real Estate. Crunchbase

Linear Labs, a 4.5-year-old, Dallas, Texas-based startup that’s developing an electric motor for cars, scooters, robots, and more, has raised $4.5 million in seed funding led by Santa Monica-based Science Inc. and Kindred Ventures. A number of individual investors also participated in the round including Chris and Crystal Sacca, and former Uber executive Ryan Graves. TechCrunch

Trellis Research, a year-old, Los Angeles, California-based maker of litigation research software, has raised $2 million in seed funding led by Okapi Venture Capital. Other participants in the round include Craft Ventures, Sequoia Capital, Revel Ventures, and Intrepid Ventures, along with numerous individual investors including Clutter CEO Brian Thomas and former FCC commissioner Julius Genachowski. Venture Beat

Tripalink, a nearly four-year-old, Los Angeles, California-based developer of co-living spaces, has raised $5 million in Series A funding led by Calin SJG Fund, with participation from K2VC, eBroker, and Tekton Ventures. NBC 29

Private Equity Funding

TPG Capital agreed to buy Entertainment Partners, a Burbank, California-based provider of production workforce management and automated production software to the entertainment industry. Financial terms were not disclosed. Hollywood Reporter

Liquidity / Exits / M&A

Global Icons, a Los Angeles, California-based brand licensing company, purchased a majority stake in Los Angeles, California-based apparel retailer Fred Segal. Financial terms were not disclosed. Apparel News

Spotify announced that it’s acquired Parcast, a Los Angeles, California-based podcast network that specializes in crime, mystery, and science fiction shows. The news follows Spotify’s recent acquisitions of Gimlet Media, another reputable podcast network, and Anchor, a podcast creation app. Financial terms were not disclosed. The Verge

New Funds

No LA-based firms announced new funds this past week.


Hollywood talent agency Endeavor LLC will issue an IPO later this year. The Beverly Hills, California-based parent company of William Morris Endeavor and IMG will soon file the paperwork, according to the WSJ. Wall Street Journal

On The Move

No Los Angeles-based companies or firms gained notable new employees this past week.

Featured Jobs

FabFitFun, one of the world’s fastest growing e-commerce and digital media companies, is hiring a Mobile Product Manager in the company’s greater LA office.

HyperLoop Transportation Technologies, a global company focusing on removing barriers of speed and congestion in travel, is hiring a Financial Analyst in the company’s Marina Del Rey office.

Rival, a company building a platform for the most coveted live events on the planet, is hiring a Director of User Experience in the company’s greater LA office.

News, Resources, & Required Reading

5 LA startups to solve your storage woes. Built in LA

Another racehorse died at Santa Anita park last Sunday, marking the 23rd horse death at the facility in just over three months. The unusually large amount of rain that has fallen over the Southland this winter has been mentioned as a possible factor in explaining the surge in deaths at the race track. Fox 5 San Diego

Everything Apple announced this past week including the company’s new streaming video service, Apple News, and more. CNBC

Fun on the outskirts: 5 LA tech companies with HQs outside the heart of the city of Los Angeles. Built in LA

Lyft started trading this past Friday on the NASDAQ and ended the day up 8.7% at $78.29/share. More than 70 million shares exchanged hands by market close and Lyft ended its first day as a public company with a market valuation of $22.2 billion. CNBC

Postmates is launching a new feature called Postmates Party that lets customers within the same neighborhood pool their orders. In return, these customers get the food delivered for free, eliminating a major pinch point for potential Postmates users. The service will be offered in a handful of nearly 3,000 U.S. cities including Chicago, Las Vegas, Long Beach, Los Angeles, and more. TechCrunch

Tinder co-founder and former CEO Sean Rad has asked the New York Supreme Court to dismiss a $250 million lawsuit against him by Match Group and IAC. Match claims that Rad copied internal files and proprietary information before he left the company, violating his employment contract. The Verge

WeWork doubled its revenue, net loss, and membership between 2017 and 2018, according to an investor presentation provided by the company. At year-end 2018, WeWork had $2.2 billion of cash on hand, which is the same amount it had at the time of its public bond offering last April. The company has been expanding across Los Angeles, with locations in downtown, Century City, Manhattan Beach, Hollywood, and more. Axios

Take a Break

A rare behind-the-scenes look at how the Vatican maintains the Sistine Chapel.

Elon Musk is now a Soundcloud rapper.

Some of the best highlights from this past weekend of March Madness.

The bizarre story of the L.A. dad who exposed the college admissions scandal.

The Volkswagen Bus’ long, strange trip from hippie van to hot collectible.

This fully restored 1963 Jaguar E-Type Roadster can be yours for roughly $250K.

What I’m Listening To

@OverheardLA Posts of the Week

Unsplash Photos of the Week