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AP Photo/Reed Saxon

Several Los Angeles-area venture capitalists have been trying to learn more about Palisades Venture Capital, a stealthy group that recently announced a $20 million investment in Gamemine (sub-based mobile gaming platform) and a $5 million deal for BlockFraud (mobile billing fraud prevention).

The firm's website does not identify any team members, and its original version stole some boilerplate from Spark Capital. Plus, the firm's name is very familiar to the old moniker of a veteran group now known as Palisades Growth Capital.

So Axios did some digging:

  • Palisades Venture Capital was formed by Los Angeles entrepreneur Daniel Starr, with funding from his family and friends, with a focus on mobile startups. You might know Starr from an appearance on Bravo's Million Dollar Listing (it's okay, we won't tell).
  • Starr's resume includes stints with companies like Blockbuster and SendMe, but his current startup is... GameMine. Yup, the $20 million investment was largely self-funding. Moreover, Starr and partner Flaviu Rus also are listed as executives on an SEC filing for BlockFraud -- although Starr says that is an attorney error, and that he and Rus are only investors in that company (which is led by CEO Massimo Cristini, formerly of Infobip).
  • Starr told me that Palisades does have committed capital (i.e., it's not a fundless sponsor), and that the stealth was mainly so that he could invest without the distraction of unsolicited deal-flow (sorry). As for the website boilerplate, he blamed that on an outsourced web dev in Finland. The firm name comes from his partner happening to live in the Palisades.

Go deeper

2 hours ago - Health

Pfizer says COVID vaccine over 90% effective in kids

A health care worker preparing a Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine dose in New York City on Oct. 21. Photo: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

Pfizer and BioNTech said their COVID-19 vaccine was more than 90% effective at protecting children between the ages of 5 and 11 from symptomatic infections from the virus, according to a study posted online by the Food and Drug Administration Friday.

Why it matters: Pfizer is seeking an emergency use authorization to vaccinate children — one of the last groups of Americans still largely ineligible to receive a coronavirus vaccine.

Changing the inflation conversation

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Inflation looks like it’ll run hot for longer than plenty of smart people thought it would. The conversation over just how much more Americans will have to pay for their stuff has taken on a new intensity, as supply problems show few signs of fading.

Why it matters: The rate of price growth has remained consistently strong in recent months — a time that some thought would bring cooling prices after an initial reopening spike. What goes on with prices will influence the decisions made by Congress, the Biden Administration, and the Federal Reserve.

The biggest headline from Biden's town hall

President Biden greets attendees during a commercial break in Baltimore last night. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

What matters from President Biden's town hall with CNN's Anderson Cooper at Baltimore Center Stage on Thursday:

The biggest headline: Biden is jettisoning the corporate tax increases that White House officials have insisted, for the past 10 months, are wildly popular across the country. He admitted he doesn't have the votes.

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