In The News

"Los Angeles Times,Monday", Los Angeles Times, May 31, 1999

Although giants like Seminis use heavyweight firms to raise capital, many small businesses in Southern California are turning to Beverly Hills investment advisor West Coast Capital. The firm advises businesses looking to raise $5 million to $20 million.

The boutique firm provides a link between folks with money to invest and entrepreneurs who can be clueless when it comes to raising capital.

“I want us to be known as the money-raising source,” said President Lorne Goldberg, 30.

With only three people, West Coast is developing an impressive deal list, advising such local firms as:

Los Angeles-based restaurant chain Rosti on a $4.1-million equity deal.
Los Angeles-based grocery delivery firm Pink Dot on a $3.1-million equity deal.
Publicly traded, a Los Angeles-based interactive on-line horse racing service, on a $6.5-million private financing.
Thrifty Lavanderia, a Los Angeles-based chain of coin-operated laundries, on an $18-million debt and equity deal.

“We like pedestrian-type businesses, those with cash flow and predictability. That’s not to say we’re not interested in the Internet space, but cash flow is king,” said Goldberg, who founded the company in late 1995.

Goldberg, with a background in the real estate investment business, saw an opportunity to serve a growing, underserved market for small and mid-sized firms and decided to start his own company. Goldberg’s firm has added an office in New York.

Although relatively unknown, the niche firm increasingly helps broker financings with venture capitalists and such Los Angeles equity funds as Riordan, Lewis & Haden.

“He’s a bulldog for the entrepreneur,” said Jim Armstrong, a venture capitalist with Idealab Capital Partners, a venture firm in Pasadena. While at Austin Ventures in Texas, Armstrong worked with Goldberg on a deal.

“He’ll handle all the meetings, all that stuff. He can get the venture capitalists on the phone. He gets good meetings with top people.”

Recently, West Coast Capital has partnered with John Kaufman, formerly in charge of operations for Koo Koo Roo, to acquire the franchising rights for San Francisco based Baja Fresh restaurants.

West Coast Capital also sees opportunity in Salt Creek Grille, a growing chain of Southern California restaurants, led by former managers of the Islands Restaurant chain. West Coast said it is about to complete a private financing of an undisclosed amount for the chain, which has a flagship restaurant in Dana Point.