The Playa Vista company gained almost $110 million in value last week, or 18%, after releasing healthy fourth-quarter and full-year 2015 earnings. The buying spree followed a big sell-off in January that crushed many tech companies.
Snapchat ads. Snapchat released two features and announced a partnership to bolster the young company’s rocky relationships with advertisers.
A second addition debuted during the Oscars, allowing people to link to Snapchat’s short recap of the awards show based on user-submitted videos. The video opens in the Snapchat app when installed or in a Web browser. The feature could introduce Snapchat videos -- and ads -- to more people.
National Engineers Week. As part of National Engineers Week, Funny or Die, USC’s engineering school and the National Academy of Engineering released a comedic video imagining a world in which engineers are the celebrities featured on TV and in magazines.
'Candy Crush.' Activision Blizzard Inc. completed its $5.9-billion acquisition of “Candy Crush”-maker King Digital Entertainment. The mobile game maker will operate as its own unit within the Santa Monica video game giant. Activision shares took a hit in mid-February after the company posted what analysts called disappointing earnings to close out 2015. But there's hope that a new slate of games from King as well as the Blizzard Entertainment unit's new "Overwatch" game will generate stronger sales than the company has forecast.
Another China investment. A subsidiary of Chinese tech-services firm Hangzhou Liaison Interactive Information Technology Co. has invested $75 million in Carlsbad, Calif., gaming products maker Razer at a $1.5 billion valuation, taking 5% of the company. Razer sells laptops, keyboards, smart wristbands and other gear aimed at video game enthusiasts.
Weedmaps. Irvine-based Weedmaps, which provides an online database of medical marijuana shops, promoted Chief Operating Officer Doug Francis to be its chief executive. Former CEO Justin Hartfield is now chairman. Francis said in a statement that he’s hoping to grow the company into new markets, develop new online services for business customers and add more content for consumers. Weedmaps brings in 4 million visits a month and has 170 employees.
Signal Sciences. Venice-based cybersecurity start-up Signal Sciences announced last week that it raised $9.7 million in venture funding last year from Index Ventures and several prominent security experts.
Another Venice start-up. Commercial real estate software company CREXi announced a $4.3-million seed funding from Lerer Hippeau Ventures, Freestyle Capital, TenOneTen, Founder Collective, Karlin Ventures and Leon Capital Group. CREXi says its goal to digitize deal-making in commercial real estate is catching on, with almost 200 properties listed on its portal in about three months.
Expansion. Boston Consulting Group’s Digital Ventures group plans to double its headquarters office space in Manhattan Beach to 54,000 square feet, or enough to hold about 300 employees. BCGDV develops digital projects for clients, sometimes investing in the ideas or spinning them out into separate companies.
The Expo Line train will begin running to Santa Monica on May 20, and officials are partnering with ride-hailing app Lyft to understand riders’ travel patterns.
Elsewhere on the Web. Tinder Chief Executive Sean Rad encourages employees to travel to understand how people in other countries use the dating app, according to L.A. Biz. Tinder recently opened an office in India.