April 2, 2024
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2 tri-county companies on Pepperdine’s most fundable list


Two tri-county companies received recognition from the Pepperdine Graziadio Business School, which named them among the top 15 most fundable firms in the nation Oct. 18.

Westlake Village-based Giftz ranked No. 12 on the list. The company’s platform allows users to exchange things like points, miles or gift cards for cash or trade them to other users. Of the 15 finalists, Giftz was the only one that uses blockchain technology.

Giftz has gotten seed funding from Santa Monica-based Goren Holm Ventures, and Bay Area investor Draper Venture Network.

At No. 15 on the list was Buellton-based Infrastructure Proving Grounds, or IPG, whose technology helps manage and secure industrial Internet of Things networks.

“One of the most challenging aspects of transforming an idea into a viable company is securing adequate funding,” said Craig Everett, assistant professor of finance and director of the Pepperdine Private Capital Markets Project. “The Most Fundable Companies initiative is designed to help exceptional entrepreneurs secure the visibility they need with the investment community as well as help angel and venture capital investors identify startups that are worthy of investment.”

Companies that were named on the 2018 list have raised nearly $17 million in capital, Everett added.

To make the list, the companies must be based in the U.S., have revenue under $10 million and still be led by their original founder. Pepperdine then evaluates the viability of each company’s business model based on a methodology by The Venture Alliance, as well as the market for its product or service, the company’s leadership and its competitive advantages. Around 100 companies are selected for a second round of more in-depth evaluation before the final list is compiled.

The two tri-county firms were among six California companies to make the Most Fundable Companies List, and four more California firms were included on a list of six “highly promising” companies. New York real estate technology company Enertiv, which helps evaluate the performance of commercial properties using IoT data and machine learning, secured the top spot.