Swagbucks Buys Sodahead

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Los Angeles-based prodege , the parent company of Swagbucks , said this morning that it has acquired Sodahead , the online polling and discussion platform founded by Jason Feffer. Prodege is venture backed by Technology Crossover Ventures. Sodahead was venture backed by Mission Ventures, Mohr Davidow Ventures, and the Tech Coast Angels.

LeisureLink Ties With Software Firm

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The company is venture backed by Clearstone Venture Partners , Kodiak Ventures, Mission Ventures , the Pasadena Angels , the Tech Coast Angels , as well as others.

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Image Metrics Buys Big Stage

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Big Stage, which was once known as Clone, was venture backed by Mission Ventures, Selby Ventures and the Tech Coast Angels. Santa Monica-based Image Metrics , a developer of facial animation technology, announced Thursday morning that it has acquired Big Stage , the developer of avatar creation software. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

SodaHead Upgrades Polling Software For WordPress

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Los Angeles-based SodaHead , the developer of online polling services and software, has just launched a major upgrade to the company''s polling software for WordPress. The company is backed by Mohr Davidow, Mission Ventures, The Tech Coast Angels, Ron Conway, and others.

Big Stage Entertainment Raises $2.7M

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Los Angeles-based Big Stage Entertainment is announcing this morning that it has raised an additional $2.7M According to the company, the funding came from Mission Ventures, Selby Ventures, and the Tech Coast Angels. Tags: capital venture entertainment stage in a Series B funding for the firm. The company said the new funding will go to accelerate research and development, along with sales and marketing.

Big Stage Hires VP

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Big Stage Entertainment is venture backed by Mission Ventures, Selby Ventures, and the Tech Coast Angels and based on technology spun out of the University of Southern California. Pasadena-based Big Stage Entertainment , which is developing technology for creating 3D avatars, said Tuesday that the firm has hired on Patrick Barry as the firm's Vice President of Content Alliances.

SodaHead.com Trumpets User Wins

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Los Angeles-based online social question and answer site Sodahead.com said today that the firm has reached more than 1 million registered users at the site. SodaHead is venture backed by Mohr, Davidow Ventures, Mission Ventures, the Tech Coast Angels, and angel investor Ron Conway, and has raised $12.7M in venture funding since its launch in September of 2007.

LeisureLink Signs Destination Rewards

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The company is venture backed by Clearstone Venture Partners, Mission Ventures, the Pasadena Angels, the Tech Coast Angels, and others. Pasadena-based LeisureLink has signed on a loyalty and incentive company, Destination Rewards, as part of its travel services, the firm said earlier this week.

Layoffs Hot Keyword for Second Half of January 2009

SoCal CTO

Last month we Launched Los Angeles Tech and in the announcement we provide the Hot List for the first half of January 2009. This hot list is based on various social signals of what people are writing about, reading, bookmarking, searching, etc. You can go to the Hot List post to see what was hot then. But, in running it now for the second half of January, the keyword that popped to the top was: Layoffs And this is definitely a sign of the times.

Big Stage Adds Animated Avatars Into Skype

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Big Stage is venture backed by Mission Ventures, Selby Ventures and Tech Coast Angels, and is based on technology developed at the University of Southern California. Pasadena-based Big Stage Entertainment , a developer of 3D avatar creation software, has released new software today which allows users of the popular Skype voice calling application to lip synch spoken words through a photo-realistic avatar.

Big Stage Targets Content Creators

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Los Angeles-based Big Stage Entertainment , which develops avatar creation technology for turning photos into animated, 3-D likenesses, said Wednesday that the firm has launched a new effort targeted training content creators on the firm's products. Big Stage is venture backed by Mission Ventures, Selby Ventures and the Tech Coast Angels.

Big Stage Licenses Technology To Virtual World

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Big Stage is venture backed by Mission Ventures, Selby Ventures, and the Tech Coast Angels. Pasadena-based Big Stage Entertainment , which develops 3D, avatar creation technology, has signed on a virtual world as a licensee of its technology. Big Stage said that photo-realistic, 3-D virtual universe Blue Mars 2150 has licensed its 3-D, facial modeling technology. Financial impact of the win was not disclosed.

SodaHead Partners With Technorati

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Los Angeles-based Sodahead , the online question and answer site backed by Mission Ventures, Mohr Davidow Ventures, and the Tech Coast Angels, said Monday that it has tied together in a strategic partnership with Technorati. According to the firm, the deal will allow its members to access Technorati content, embedded within its online community, plus feature SodaHead's polls on Technorati posts.

Big Stage Hits The iPhone

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Los Angeles-based Big Stage Entertainment , a venture-backed startup developing 3D animation technology used to create avatars, said this morning that the firm has created a new application which works on the Apple iPhone. Big Stage is venture backed by Mission Ventures, Selby Ventures and the Tech Coast Angels.

SodaHead.com Swizzles Site

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Encino-based SodaHead.com , the venture backed, online questions-and-answers site, has swizzled its web site, saying this week that it has redesigned its site to make it easier for its users to find topics. SodaHead.com is venture backed by Mission Ventures, Mohr Davidow Ventures, and the Tech Coast Angels; the firm raised $8.4M

Big Stage Partners With GGL Global Gaming

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The firm is venture backed by Mission Ventures, Selby Ventures, and the Tech Coast Angels; the firm's technology is a result of CIA-funded research efforts at USC. Pasadena-based Big Stage Entertainment , which develops 3D avatar technology, said today that it has partnered with video game company GGL Global Gaming, to provide free game content on its web site.

Big Stage Opens API

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Big Stage is backed by Mission Ventures, Selby Venture, and the Tech Coast Angels. Pasadena-based Big Stage Entertainment, which is developing 3D avatar technology, said today that it has opened up its proprietary 3-D facial modeling system to third parties.

Big Stage Emerges From Beta

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Pasadena-based Big Stage Entertainment , the venture-backed startup which is developing photo-realistic avatar technology, has exited its beta and officially launched its site. The firm said the official launch will allow users to create what the firm calls an "@actor" -- a 3D avatar which can be inserted into movie and TV clips, music videos, still images, and elsewhere. The firm had launched a beta of its site in August.

Big Stage Partners With A-Team Producer

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Big Stage is venture backed by Mission Ventures, Selby Ventures, and the Tech Coast Angels; the firm's technology is based on research developed at the University of Southern California and for the CIA. Pasadena-based Big Stage Entertainment, whcih provides technology to create 3D avatars, said today that it has partnered with Stephen J. Cannell Productions, the firm behind "The A-Team" and "The Greatest American Hero."

Los Angeles Tech Launched - Hot List

SoCal CTO

I'm happy to announce the launch of the Los Angeles Tech Content Community. The goal is to create a place where it's relatively easy to find current content and highly relevant content surrounding Los Angeles Technology. To be clear Los Angeles Tech is a jump off point. The bottom line is that Los Angeles Tech is trying to help find and navigate that content.

Q3 Southern California Venture Deals Around $879M

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A quick analysis by socalTECH of our tracking of venture capital deals in Southern California finds that there was around $879M in venture funding activity here in Q3. The biggest are for venture activity in the quarter was Biopharmaceuticals, which was $299.13M of the quarterly total. PricewaterhouseCoopers/National Venture Capital Association, and VentureOne will release their quarterly nationwide results of venture activity later this month.

SodaHead Connects With Twitter, Facebook, Yahoo

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Los Angeles-based SodaHead.com , an online site focused on a combination of news discussion and questions and answers, announced today that the firm has connected the site to Facebook, Twitter, and Yahoo. SodaHead, which is venture backed by Mohr Davidow Ventures, Mission Ventures, and the Tech Coast Angels, as well as angel investor Ron Conway, recently swizzled the site into a "social news" site, where people can debate and discuss breaking news and topics.

Big Stage Adds New Content From GGL Global Gaming

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Big Stage is venture backed by Mission Ventures, Selby Ventures, and the Tech Coast Angels. Pasadena-based Big Stage Entertainment , the startup which uses photos to create animated, 3-D facial avatars of users, has added new content from a game from GGL Global Gaming. Big Stage told its users yesterday that they could now insert their avatars into content from Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures, a video game published by Funcom.

Big Stage Partners With VIDiGREET

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Los Angeles-based Big Stage Entertainment, a USC spinoff developing avatar technology, announced a new effort to provide its technology to third parties. The firm said that it has signed on fellow Los Angeles startup VIDiGREET as its first client. Big Stage is venture backed by Mission Ventures, Selby Ventures, and the Tech Coast Angels; the firm's technology was developed at the University of Southern California.

Southern California Deals Total Around $932M For Q2

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A recent analysis by socalTECH, of our detailed tracking of venture capital investment activity in Southern California, finds that there was around $932M in funding raised in the area in Q2, a rise from roughly $700M in Q1. The most active investors in the region, in terms of activity, were the Tech Coast Angels , with five investments or follow up investments in the quarter, followed by Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers with three investments.

Venture Totals Drop In Southern California For Quarter

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A study of the venture capital deal flow in Southern California conducted by socalTECH shows that venture capital deals dropped for Q3, to around $720M in deals, in a market dominated by clean technology firms. The numbers, which were drawn from venture deals tracked and reported in socalTECH's proprietary venture capital database, found that there was $719.7M in venture capital deals in the third quarter, down dramatically from $1.2B

Venture Conference Highlights SoCal Startups

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Southern California's top startups showed up in force Friday at the Westin South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, for the Technology Council of Southern California's annual VentureNet conference.

Report: Southern California Venture Capital Totals $464M In Q3

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Venture capital investments in Southern California in Q3 totaled to $464.18M, according to the latest numbers released by the PricewaterhouseCoopers/NVCA Money Tree Report this evening, based on data from Thomson Reuters. billion invested in 780 venture capital deals for Q3. Silicon Valley had the lion's share of the venture funding dollars in Q3, with $1.75 For the quarter, San Diego County garnered the most venture capital, with $231.3M

MySpace Startups: Startups From MySpace Vets

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Los Angeles-based MySpace has been among the most visible of Southern California's Internet era success stories, although the site--now owned by News Corporation--has had its own share of ups-and-downs, as well as questions about its future. Venture backers : Austin Ventures.