Fri.Jan 12, 2018

Internet Brands Acquires Avvo


Los Angeles-based Internet Brands said on Thursday that it has agreed to acquire Avvo , which operates an online legal marketplace where consumers can connect with lawyers. Financial terms of the deal were not announced. According to Internet Brands, Avvo will become part of its Legal vertical. Avvo was founded in 2006, and was venture backed by Benchmark Capital, Coatue Management, DAG Ventures, Ignition Partners, Technology Crossover Ventures, and Vulcan Capital.

Silicon Beach Report Jan. 12: Snapchat’s Big Redesign Rated Negatively by 83% of Reviews

L.A. Business Journal

Snapchat’s big redesign rated negatively by 83 percent of reviews; Pentagon refuses to answer questions about failed $1 billion Zuma satellite launch; and The IMDb Show launched

Southern California Edison Plans New EV Transportation Pilots


Southern California Edison said late Thursday afternoon that it has received approval to launch four new, electric vehicle transportation pilots, which will help expand the adoption of electric vehicles. According to Edison,the four pilot projects--worth around $4M each--were approved by the California Public Utilities Commission, and are part of a much larger effort to expand the electrification of cars, buses, medium- and heavy-duty trucks, and industrial vehicles and equipment.

SkySpecs Snags $8M to Expand Drone-Powered Turbine Inspection Service


Drone startup SkySpecs announced this week that it has raised an $8 million Series B funding round. The investment in the Ann Arbor, MI-based company was co-led by Germany’s Statkraft Ventures , the Capital Midwest Fund , and UL Ventures , and also included contributions from returning investors such as Huron River Ventures and Venture Investors. A lot has happened since we last caught up with Danny Ellis , SkySpec’s co-founder and CEO, in 2015.

IMDb Launches Its Own Weekly Show Out Of Los Angeles


Online movie information site IMDb --which is owned by Thursday that it is launching its very own, weekly show, which will be produced and filmed in Studio City. According to IMDb, the show will debut each Thursday on its website, its mobile apps, and social channels, and feature filmmaker and podcaster Kevin Smith, Tim Kash, and Kerri Doherty. IMDb said the new series will provide a "unique perspective on the week in entertainment".

Spark CEO Marrazzo on Gene Therapy Pricing & Paving the Way for the Field


After decades of research and scientific ups and downs, the first U.S. gene therapy, a single, long-lasting treatment called voretigene neparvovec (Luxturna) for rare, inherited blindness, is now on the market. But the commercial challenge facing its developer, Spark Therapeutics, is daunting. Can Spark lead the way in showing that the new kinds of payment models it is experimenting with will succeed in getting the healthcare system to pay for such pricey, one-time treatments?

Bio Roundup: #JPM18, Axovant’s Fall, CRISPR Caveat, Impact M&A & More


Have you gotten your flu shot yet this year? This winter’s flu season is shaping up to be a particularly nasty one and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week upped its tally of states reporting widespread flu activity to 46. Flu awareness was top of mind at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference held this week in rainy San Francisco.