The Strand 🌴 - May 5, 2019

Beyond Meat surges in IPO debut, SoftBank is considering a public offering for its first Vision Fund, Clearlake buys Dude Solutions, and Refactor Capital is raising its second fund.

Welcome to the thirty-third 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

Faraday Future, a Gardena, California-based electric vehicle maker, raised $225 million in bridge funding, led by Birch Lake Associates. TechCrunch

Immortals Gaming Club, a 3.5-year-old, Los Angeles, California-based e-sports organization, has raised $30 million in Series B funding from a long list of notable backers, including Lionsgate, the Milken Family, Meg Whitman, and Santa Monica-based March Capital Partners, among others. The company is also using some of the new capital to acquire Gamers Club, a Brazilian game matchmaking platform. Venture Beat

PeopleGrove, a Los Angeles, California-based online platform that connects students with alumni and mentors, has raised $4.7 million in Series A funding. Reach Capital led the round, and was joined by investors including Bisk Ventures, Collaborative Fund, GSV Acceleration, Launch Capital, Riverpark Venture, and University Ventures. Benzinga

Specright, a 4.5-year-old, Irvine, California-based software company that enables customers to control critical supply chain specifications, has raised $8.8 million in Series A funding. Pritzker Group Venture Capital led the round, with participation from earlier backers Okapi Venture Capital, Los Angeles-based Fika Ventures, and Los Angeles-based Mucker Capital. FinSMEs

VideoAmp, a five-year-old, Santa Monica, California-based company focused on optimizing cross-platform advertising, has raised $70 million in funding led by The Raine Group. Variety

Private Equity Funding

Clearlake Capital, the Los Angeles-based private equity firm, agreed to buy Dude Solutions, a Cary, North Carolina-based provider of operations management SaaS, from Warburg Pincus. PR Newswire

High Tower, which is backed by Thomas H. Lee Partners, made an investment in LourdMurray, a Beverly Hills, California-based wealth management firm. Financial terms were not disclosed. PR Newswire

Liquidity / Exits / M&A

Young Innovations, a portfolio company of The Jordan Company, acquired Crystal Tips, an Irvine, California-based supplier of disposable air / water syringe tips and adapters. BioSpace

New Funds

Refactor Capital, the Burlingame, California-based venture firm, is raising $30 million for its second fund. Los Angeles-based partner David Lee will be transitioning to the role of Chairman while Zal Bilimoria will become the sole general partner at the firm. SEC - Form D


Beyond Meat, the El Segundo, California-based focused on plant-based proteins, went public this past week, pricing at $25 per share for an implied market value of $1.46 billion. Shares surged 163% by the end of the day Thursday, giving the maker of plant-based meat substitutes a market value of $3.77 billion. In 2018, the company reported revenue of $87.9 million, up 170% from the year previous year’s net sales of $32.6 million. CNBC

On The Move

Karl Alomar has joined M13, a three-year-old, Beverly Hills, California-based venture capital firm as a partner. Alomar was previously the COO of the SaaS company Digital Ocean. Medium

Featured Jobs

Cameo, a platform where fans can book personalized video shout-outs from their favorite celebrities, athletes, or influencers, is hiring a Software Engineering Manager in the company’s greater LA office.

GOAT, the world’s largest marketplace for authentic sneakers, is hiring a Director of Account Management in the company’s greater LA office.

Snap, a camera company, is hiring a Content Design Manager in the company’s greater LA office.

News, Resources, & Required Reading

Can Bird build a better scooter before it runs out of cash? LA Times

SoftBank is considering a public offering of its $100 billion Vision Fund, along with the launch of a second fund of at least that size. If pursued, an IPO would give investors in the fund a way to cash out prat of all of their stakes if they wish. The fund may also consider a direct listing rather than a traditional IPO. Wall Street Journal

Spending spree: Ringing up April’s five largest LA funding rounds. Built in LA

These LA tech offices are designed with collaboration in mind. Built in LA

The plan to merge Rite Aid and Albertson’s has been called off. The owner of Safeway and other grocery brands had announced in February plans to buy Rite Aid’s more than 2,500 stores with the goal of becoming “a leader in food, health, and wellness.” However, a major shareholder and two proxy advisory firms came out against the proposed deal. CBS Los Angeles

The We Company (“WeWork”) announced that it confidentially filed for an IPO. In March, the company had a net loss of $1.9 billion on revenue of $1.8 billion, and net loss of $933 million on $866 million in revenue in 2017. In additon, the company was most recently valued at $47 billion following a SoftbBank investment, which would likely make it the second largest IPO this year after Uber. Business Wire

This LA company is offering $5M to mobile developers to trying their technology. Built in LA

Take a Break

Adam Levine sets price for Beverly Hills mansion at $47.5 million.

The 40 best Game of Thrones memes from season 8 so far.

Where to find the best breakfast sandwich in Los Angeles.

What I’m Listening To

@OverheardLA Posts of the Week

Unsplash Photos of the Week