OCBJ WEEKLY EDITION

Alteryx: Analytics and Inclusion

Adams Helps Build Big Data PowerhouseRight from the start

The Scoop On Pokéworks

New CEO Runs 60-Store Chain, Counts 75 More in the Works

A race is taking place on the mainland to get the Hawaiian dish of poke to be as ubiquitous as a Big Mac, and Irvine-based Pokéworks is vying for first place

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Famed Philanthropist, Entrepreneur S. Paul Musco Dies

IN MEMORIAM: 95-year-old exec left lasting mark across OC

Sebastian Paul Musco, who began Santa Ana-based Gemini Industries and donated tens of millions of dollars to various causes in Orange County, died Sept. 18 of heart failure. He was 95

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Gaming Co. Bandai Moving Base to Irvine

REAL ESTATE: 70K-SF office lease at Source H2O

Video game maker Bandai Namco Holdings USA is moving its North American base from Santa Clara to Irvine, and has struck one of the area’s largest office deals of the year for a newly built development in the Spectrum area of the city.

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NextGen Board Battle Explodes in Proxy Fight

TECHNOLOGY: Founder Razin, Chairman Margolis at odds

A simmering dispute among top Orange County executives has broken into the open in a proxy battle at NextGen Healthcare Inc. (Nasdaq: NXGN), a billion-dollar software maker that until this year was based in Irvine

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High-End Home Market Remains Tight, Sellers Consider Price Hikes

Low Inventory Prompts More Bidding Wars

Even as pricing in Orange County’s luxury housing market hits historic highs, some sellers are electing to add significant price hikes on their listings as a result of strong market fundamentals and an ever-shrinking inventory base.

OCBJ INSIDER

Musco’s Requiem

The LA Opera returned to a full season at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion on Sept. 18, with a production of Verdi’s Il Trovatore

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Khoshbin Co. Snaps Up Former Trinity Building

REAL ESTATE: Plans for education campus scrapped

Plans to convert the former Trinity Broadcasting campus in Costa Mesa into an international language school have been nixed in the wake of the pandemic, as a notable local real estate investor has stepped up with new plans for the iconic property

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Aeon Biopharma Preps $75M IPO

DRUGMAKERS: Evolus ties; non-aesthetic uses

Aeon Biopharma Inc. believes its botulinum toxin complex, ABP-450, has the potential to be used for the preventative treatment of migraines, among other disorders related to the nervous system

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OC Register Parent ‘Well Positioned’ for Future, Says Publisher

MEDIA: Progress on digital ad services

News from social media, content marketing, digital newsletters

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Bluon Boosts Tools For HVAC Technicians

Buys XREF for Info On Replacement Parts

Irvine-based Bluon Inc. has taken another step in using tech to empower technicians who service heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems

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Frost Giant in New Digs; Expects More Financing

Dreamhaven’s Morhaime Boosts Firm to 50 Workers

Frost Giant Studios, a video game development studio founded by Blizzard Entertainment veterans Tim Morten and Tim Campbell, is the first tenant reported to date for Innovation Office Park, the new Irvine Co. office development at the intersection of Sand Canyon Road and the Santa Ana (5) Freeway

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CathWorks’ Coronary Imaging Product Makes Strides in Japan

Reimbursement OK, After Regulatory Approval

CathWorks, an Aliso Viejo medical technology firm trying to revolutionize the treatment of coronary artery disease, is one step closer to breaking through one of the world’s most impenetrable markets for device makers: Japan

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Dell Yeah Loyalty Program Revamped

600-Unit Restaurant Chain Taps Cheetah

Del Taco Restaurants Inc. (Nasdaq: TACO) is serving up a revamped loyalty program through its app named Del Yeah! Rewards

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Xponential Goes High-Tech On Studio Enhancements

AR in XStudio Continues To Evolve Digital Class Platform

Xponential Fitness Inc. (NYSE: XPOF) pumped some money and heavy tech enhancements into its Irvine Go production studio, which now boasts features such as augmented reality and a new name: XStudio

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Anaheim’s Apartment Lure Continues: $146.5M for Oasis Complex

$470K Per Unit; Next To Canyon Metro Station

Anaheim continues to be Orange County’s hub for blockbuster multifamily deals this year.

Toolmaker’s Orange HQ in Line for Industrial Development

$31M of New OC Buys For LA’s Staley Point

Investors continue to be bullish on Orange County industrial opportunities, with redevelopment plans underway for a 3-acre parcel in Orange.

Funding

iPill Dispenser this month closed a $1.5 million seed round led by Chicago’s OCA Ventures. The round will finance the Rowland Heights-based firm’s relocation to Orange County next year.

Philanthropy

Irvine’s Pacific Dental Services (PDS), which supports over 825 dental practices in 24 states, joined forces with The Smile Generation to launch the 11th annual Smile Generation Serve Day, an annual day of service and nationwide campaign of giving that focuses on providing donated dentistry to underserved patients and community service.

Alliant in Overdrive: Grows to $3B

15 Acquisitions Help Propel Insurance Broker

Tom Corbett likes to be understated. “We’ve been a little busy,” the chairman and chief executive of Alliant Insurance Services Inc. told the Business Journal in a recent interview.

Insurance Firms Rank High on Best Places to Work

The insurance industry is known as tough, full of cold calling, difficult problems and skeptical customers. Some may consider it dull.

OC Insurance Brokers Experience ‘Wild Ride’

Say Some Industries Booming Again

Orange County’s largest insurance brokers as a group saw their revenue climb 7.1% last year.

Woodside Credit Floors It

Auto lending firm surpasses $2B in volume

Woodside Credit has collected a growing base of car-loving customers as pandemic brought in more interest for auto travel

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Naturade: Bringing Plant Power to the Masses

Claude Tellis Counts New Costco Deal, Notable Backers

Company’s offerings are geared to serving populations that historically other health-food companies haven’t reached out to, and are designed to be affordable

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Felgner’s Lifetime of Vaccine Work Put to Rapid Use

HEALTHCARE: UCI disease expert’s efforts applauded

Skeptics of the seemingly fast rollout of COVID-19 vaccines can take comfort in knowing the medical technology is actually 40 years in the making

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Simon Foundation Plans Big Expansion

NONPROFITS: Founder to boost assets to $400M+

Simon Foundation for Education and Housing President Sheryl Bourgeois will oversee foundation operations, boost assets via outside contributions and launch new initiatives

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Fresh N’ Lean Eyes Billion-Dollar Status

New Las Vegas facility to boost output

Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner was named Fresh N’ Lean’s head of sports wellness last month to help develop a Whole30-inspired meal plan

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Figpin’s Collection of Licenses, Fans Keeps Expanding

Enamel pins find new buyers online

Figpin now holds 30 licenses including deals with Disney and Warner Bros., with access to all intellectual property owned by them

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Pedego Finds Fun in Booming Electric Bike Sales

Founder eyes 1,000 stores, future IPO

Retail locations promote growth and consumer interest as the business advises trying electric bikes before buying online

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Buddy Group Makes Friends: Sales Up 132%

Deutschman counts ties to Bain, Gray

Buddy Group reported $4.6 million in revenue for the year ended June 30, a 132% jump from the same period two years prior

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OC’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies Enjoy 56% Growth

Local Employee Count Climbs 18%; 60 Entries

Orange County’s fastest-growing private companies continued to post amazing revenue growth despite the pandemic that slowed down many companies last year

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All Fun and Games for P&P Imports

Consumer Goods Distributor Surpasses $100M in Revenue

Real estate expansion in the works as the now 50-employee operation continues to grow; reported $104 million in 2020 revenue

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OCBJ INSIDER

The Register Goes Remote

The Orange County Register has cut back its local real estate presence, marking one of the more prominent examples of an OC company moving to more of a remote-working strategy

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Chef Pangilinan Mixes it Up in Trying Year

Supply, staff issues; catering work

Business Journal’s Chef of the Year for 2019, Chef Ross Pangilinan, had an eventful 2020 after opening Long Beach restaurant and fighting back against pandemic woes

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Indie’s $159M Buy Boosts Laser Expertise

New offerings for self-driving cars

Indie Semiconductor is quickly putting some of the nearly $400 million in funds it raised from going public a few months ago to use

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Tony Smith: An Expanding Menu at Restaurant365

Sees rebound for restaurants it serves

Acquisitions are on the menu as the restaurant industry rebound is helping boost demand for Restaurant365's back-of-the-house software

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Tim Nguyen: From Refugee to Fintech Star

MeridianLink sports $2B market cap; July IPO

MeridianLink has had 20 years of uninterrupted growth and profitability, including during the 2008 Great Recession and last year’s pandemic

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Nicolaas Verheem: Building a Box Office Hit

Untethered video tech nabs a 2021 Oscar

Current company goal is to support the media and entertainment industry in its recovery as it begins its bounce back, while also continuing to support the local community

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