College savings app UNest has acquired Littlefund, another money gifting and savings app. The companies did not disclose terms of the acquisition. UNest, which occupies a WeWork space in North Hollywood, is developing an app that helps users set up and manage 529 tax-advantaged college savings plans on their mobile phones. The company hopes to shorten and simplify the application process for opening a 529 account, making it easier for families to save for their children’s education. According to a statement from UNest, acquiring Littlefund will accelerate the company’s growth by doubling the app’s user base to more than 60,000 people. It also adds features, such as gifting, to UNest’s Android and iOS apps. Littlefund founders Mimi Chan and Isaac Dressman will join UNest as head of experience and head of research and development, respectively. UNest Chief Executive Ksenia Yudina said in a statement that Littlefund will provide a simple, integrated way for family and friends to send gifts to a child’s UNest account.
Conservative news and opinion website The Daily Wire will relocate its headquarters from Sherman Oaks to Nashville, according to a report from Deadline. Founded in 2015 by right-wing political commentator Ben Shapiro, filmmaker Jeremy Boreing and Caleb Robinson, The Daily Wire has grown to become one of the most popular publishers of conservative content. Its flagship podcast “The Ben Shapiro Show,” consistently ranks among the top 10 most listened to podcasts on iTunes. The company has about 75 employees. The Deadline article said they will have until Oct. 1 to decide whether to follow the company to Nashville. It added Boreing said about 80 percent are likely to make the move. The relocation is expected to begin in November.
A 52-unit multifamily property at 6251-6267 Reseda Blvd. in Tarzana has sold for $11.7 million. Built in 1960, Reseda Garden Apartments stands two stories and spans 41,944 square feet. Executive Director of the National Multi Housing Group at Marcus & Millichap Los Angeles Rick Raymundo represented both the buyer and seller, both private LLCs. “According to CoStar, this is among the largest Los Angeles County transactions to both originate and close during the pandemic,” Raymundo said in a statement.
Precious metals investment firm American Hartford Gold has opened an office in Woodland Hills. The new location at 6320 Canoga Ave. is only the second office for the Los Angeles-based company. Between the two locations, the company expects to employ 100 people. The company cites strong demand for physical gold and silver investments as the reason for the expansion. This year American Hartford Gold exceeded $300 million of gold and silver transactions. “We are grateful for our performance as a company, especially amid a turbulent market like the one we experienced in the first half of 2020,” Chief Executive Sanford Mann said in a statement.
Universal City production studio Hit Parader plans to launch an e-sports platform for celebrities. Called Rock N’ Jock, the video game streaming platform will pit musicians, athletes and other influential figures against one another in both tournament formats and online play. The platform will debut with a celebrity-only tournament comprising eight teams competing for charity. The winning team will receive an undisclosed sum of money to donate to a nonprofit of their choosing. The competition will be produced and broadcast by Super League Gaming, a Santa Monica e-sports giant that trades publicly on the Nasdaq. The Hit Parader brand is better known for the rock music magazine that published under the same name between 1942 and 2008. The company was revived earlier this year as a production studio for television, film, live events and now e-sports.
Santa Clarita Valley
Princess Cruises in Santa Clarita has announced the sale of two of its ships, the Sun Princess and Sea Princess, to undisclosed buyers. The sales follow a previous announcement from parent company Carnival Corp. that it would offload 18 older, less efficient ships from its fleet to cut costs as cruise activity remains on hold in most of the world. As a result of the sales, all future cruises on the ships have been cancelled. Princess Cruises President Jan Swartz said in a statement the Sun Princess and Sea Princess “contributed to significant growth in Australian cruising,” having sailed a combined 14 million guest nights around Australia and New Zealand.
Incora, the aerospace parts company formerly known as Wesco Aircraft Holdings, is moving its corporate headquarters from Valencia to Fort Worth, Texas, according to the office of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. The company already has two offices in the Texas city and plans to spend $6 million at its new headquarters. Chief Executive Todd Renehan said that the new, larger office space in Fort Worth will allow Incora to bring its teams together to increase efficiency, encourage collaboration and support the growth of the business. “This centrally located site also will offer more accessibility and availability to our customers and colleagues across the U.S. and in Europe,” Renehan said in a statement. Wesco Aircraft was acquired in January by Beverly Hills-based Platinum Equity for $1.9 billion. Platinum combined Wesco with Pattonair, a supply chain management services business based in the United Kingdom. In April, the companies announced the name change to Incora.
Mechanix Wear LLC has become a licensee of DuPont Personal Protection, an arrangement that will allow the glove manufacturer to incorporate DuPont’s materials into its products. Under the deal, the Valencia company will have access to DuPont Kevlar, a cut- and heat-resistant material that meets or exceeds international standards for protection and performance. Company Chief Executive Michael Hale said that Mechanix Wear is always looking for way to improve its gloves. “By combining our technologies (with DuPont’s) and connecting our engineering teams, we’ll be able to improve the quality and durability of Mechanix Wear’s existing gloves as well as develop new products for additional industries,” Hale said in a statement.
Volkswagen Group of America Inc. is moving a design center into the new Oxnard Engineering Campus in Ventura County. Volkswagen, which had long occupied 10,000 square feet in Santa Monica, will now take all of the more than 150,000 square feet at the industrial park developed by BLT Enterprises. The campus, situated on nine acres in Oxnard, will be home to the Volkswagen Test Center California as well as both the Audi Engineering and Volkswagen Quality teams. The industrial park will also serve as headquarters for Volkswagen’s Design Center California, which has relocated from Santa Monica.
Amgen Inc. announced its 2020 Golden Ticket winners: startup companies BigHat Biosciences and Trilo Therapeutics. The biotech giant chooses several startups every year for its Amgen Golden Ticket treatment. Both companies, based in the Bay Area, will have access to Amgen’s scientific experts and business leaders for the year. Also, the companies will have bench space at nearby MBC BioLabs, a life science incubator in San Francisco and San Carlos. “BigHat Biosciences and Trilo Therapeutics are working on promising early-stage innovation that address serious illnesses such as cancer, autoimmune diseases, infectious diseases and others, which is why funding these companies and providing them the necessary lab space to move their science forward is so important,” Flavius Martin, vice president of oncology, inflammation and site head at Amgen South San Francisco, said in a statement. BigHat is working on creating more robust antibodies at a faster rate for the immune system, while Trilo is developing therapies that inhibit disease-causing proteins in the body.