Santa Monica-based Demand Media, Inc. announced September 28 that it has completed its second round of funding totaling $100 million. The financing round was co-led by 3i and Oak Investment Partners, two leading venture capital and private equity firms. Spectrum Equity Investors also participated in this round. The new funding will be used to further increase the company’s organic and strategic growth. “We believe that this is the right time to build a different type of new media company,” explains Richard Rosenblatt, Demand’s chairman and CEO. “The additional capital will allow us to rapidly seize on unique market opportunities in a truly innovative way.” Demand Media leverages user-driven publishing, community and monetization tools to define new media companies; the privately held company was founded in May and is based in Santa Monica, with offices in San Francisco and Seattle, WA. www.demandmedia.com
Mark Wain opened Caffe Luxxe on Montana Ave. two months ago to bring “the most authentic Italian coffee experience this side of Milan” to Santa Monica. Wain trained in Seattle (now the coffee capital of America, it seems) under David Shomer of Espresso Vivace, and he is proud of his Synesso Cyncra machines, “of which only 175 have been made, and I have the only two in Los Angeles.” www.caffeluxxe.com
California Caregivers’ Association has opened a medical marijuana cooperative at Santa Monica Blvd. and Bundy Ave. Owner Wells Hsu said that this is the newest of four related facilities that he and a group of investors operate in the greater Los Angeles area. The dispensary employs 10 persons at the Santa Monica/Bundy location and services many local Santa Monica patients.
Action Apartment Association, an organization of Santa Monica area apartment building owners, has filed suit against the City of Santa Monica, arguing that its “inclusionary zoning” ordinance violates the Takings Clauses of the state and federal constitutions. The ordinance requires that builders of projects with four or more residential units include a specified number of affordable housing units to be sold at below-market prices. “The money that builders lose constructing below-market residences will be passed along in higher prices for the new housing that isn’t price-controlled,” said attorney James S. Burling of Pacific Legal Foundation, which represents the plaintiffs. “This will discourage home construction and raise costs for most home buyers.” www.pacificlegal.org
Todd Helmerson of Santa Monica is one of five employees recognized by Kinecta Federal Credit Union with its 2006 Circle of Excellence Award given to those who lead the way in personal initiative, provide superior service to members and fellow employees and greatly contribute to the overall success of Kinecta. The credit union is headquartered in Manhattan Beach and has more than $3 billion in assets and 200,000 members nationwide. www.kinecta.org
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