With 2020 already a record topping year with San Diego total VC funding of over $5 billion, expect a similar blockbuster year in 2021. 2020 matched 2000 in total dollar amount, but the number of deals was way down. This means later stage mega fundings are taking precedence over early stage funding. While San Diego startups are getting some big later stage fundings, we need to make sure we’re filling the funnel up top too. I predict 2021 sees more early stage angel and angel funds come to light. I plan to be a part of that. Keep an eye out for more news here. ????
We often talk about industry clusters that San Diego is leading in. We know about biotech, but another one that is worth highlighting continuously is logistics tech. With the rise of ecommerce comes the boost to shipping; San Diego companies are on the frontlines of building technology to enhance routes, making trucking more efficient, and even creating autonomous trucking technology.
- Some of this has roots from Qualcomm, whose spin-off Omnitracs was acquired by Vista Equity, and then last year acquired San Diego-based SmartDrive Systems, a dashcam analytics system.
- Another big player is Lytx, which is private equity owned.
- There’s also two of the biggest players in the world here – Amazon Fresh engineering, and Walmart Global Tech engineering, which has offices in Carlsbad.
- Of the local venture backed startups, the late stage companies to know are TuSimple for autonomous trucking; Flock Freight, which focuses on efficient routing; Platform Science, enterprise fleet management; and Brain Corp., whose robots are taking over inventory management and cleaning.
- Of the early stage companies in logistics tech, there is Airspace Technologies with critical time logistics development; Modal AI building drone delivery tech; Shipcalm, which is building third-party logistics tech; Tourmaline Labs for fleet management; and Boxton for cloud shipping.
Say it with me now: “San Diego Does Logistics Tech!” Now let’s tell the world.