By Neal Bloom
And just like that, 25% of 2019 is over. It’s been a solid Q1 for San Diego, which traditionally has a quiet first quarter of funding. The end of 2018 definitely overshadowed the beginning of 2019 since there were so many fundings late in the year, but with the continued large but low volume of late-stage rounds in Q1 2019, it was just a little under Q1 2018.
Total Venture Capital Raised:
2018 Q1 – $547.2M
2019 Q1 – $539.5M (see below, data from Crunchbase)
The large rounds for Q1 2019 include $100 million from coworking company CommonGrounds, $95 million from autonomous trucking unicorn TuSimple, and $160 million for Kyriba’s majority ownership fundraise (buyout if you want to call it that) by Bridgepoint. What is missing are the large biotech rounds we had in 2018, though the tech rounds certainly picked up the slack, and continued the 2018 funding trend amount.
|Organization Name||Categories||Headquarters Location||Last Funding Date||Last Funding Amount|
|Cardea Bio||BioTech||San Diego||3/22/19||$7.8M|
|Achates Power||CleanTech||San Diego||3/7/19||$2M|
|Juneshine||FoodTech||Scripps Ranch||2/14/19||Not disclosed|
|Halozyme Therapeutics||BioTech||San Diego||2/6/19||$30M|
|Trust & Will||Tech||San Diego||1/24/19||$2M|
|CommonGrounds Workspace||Real Estate||Carlsbad||1/16/19||$100M|
|Sun Genomics||BioTech||San Diego||1/8/19||$3M|
|Home Bay Technologies||Tech||San Diego||1/3/19||$13.5M|
|Roswell Biotechnologies||BioTech||San Diego||1/3/19||$32M|
|Forge Therapeutics||BioTech||San Diego||1/3/19||$5.7M|
In terms of acquisitions, there were a few notable ones, including Certona, recently covered in our blog; Qualcomm spun out Qualcomm Life to private equity, and the edtech startup I helped co-found Portfolium was acquired by Instructure. Also notable in Q1, though non-tech, was Cutwater Spirits, launched by the founders of Ballast Point who had their second exit in three years after also selling Ballast Point for $1 billion. We see a mafia series in the making there too. Also acquired was Adventure Sports Network, the Carlsbad-based media company behind publications like Surfer and Snowboarder.
|Company Name||Categories||Headquarters Location||Acquiring Company||Exit Date||Amount|
|Golden Hour||Tech||San Diego||Zoll||3/4/19||Undisclosed|
|Cutwater Spirits||Food/Beverage||San Diego||Anheuser- Busch||2/20/19||Undisclosed|
|Qualcomm Life||BioTech||San Diego||Francisco Partners||2/11/19||Undisclosed|
|Succession Link||Tech||San Diego||Chalice Financial||2/11/19||Undisclosed|
|Segway Orthopaedics||BioTech||Carlsbad||Trice Medical||2/7/19||Undisclosed|
|Adventure Sports Network||Media||San Diego||American Media||2/1/19||Undisclosed|
|Intellectual Technology||Tech||Carlsbad||Arlington Capital||1/28/19||Undisclosed|
|BioDuro||BioTech||San Diego||Advent International||1/27/19||Undisclosed|
|Manta Instruments||BioTech||La Jolla||Horiba Instruments||1/25/19||Undisclosed|
|DeskHub||Real Estate||Little Italy||Cross Campus||1/24/19||Undisclosed|
|Accumen||BioTech||San Diego||Arsenal Capital||1/17/19||Undisclosed|
With the government shutdown lingering into Q1, there’s been an even quieter period of IPOs than normal. The biggest of note was Gossamer Bio, the second biotech unicorn in Q1 going public by raising $276 million. To note, that’s launch to IPO in 13 months! During Q1, INmune Bio also went public as well as . Companies that have filed and waiting to list are other biotechs Cirius, Cibus, Poseida, and Turning Point as well as crypto-friendly Silvergate Bank. Still waiting for that elusive tech IPO this year; who could it be?!
Moving On Up
In just one short quarter, more companies have either moved their headquarters to San Diego or have opened/expanded their satellite offices here, including:
- Apple expanding its SD office to 1,200
- Kyriba moving HQ back from NY
- Self-driving startup Comma.ai relocating the whole company from SF to SD
- Pre-fab home design software Dvele raised $14 million and then moved to the Bird Rock area of SD
There’s a lot more left in the year and we are excited to see the San Diego ecosystem continue to mature. Leave a comment on what you are excited about for the rest of the year. Onward and upward!