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Q4 San Diego Funding Wrap Up – 12/29/18

by Neal Bloom

By Neal Bloom

San Diego’s tech ecosystem continues to be boosted by large funding deals. Overwhelmingly, 2018 has been a great year for funding dollar amount in San Diego. The fourth quarter was no different from this trend – more money, fewer deals.
In Q4, 38 companies raised $1.1 billion in funding in San Diego, compared to Q4 2017 when 61 companies raised $500 million.

Some notable fundings for technology companies included Seismic Software, a sales enablement SaaS, raising $100 million with a billion dollar valuation from T. Rowe Price, Lightspeed Ventures, and returners General Atlantic, JMI Equity, and Jackson Square Ventures. Additionally Airspace Technologies, a San Diego logistics tech company, raised $20 million in a Series B after just raising a Series A in August. VC firms Qualcomm Ventures, Defy, Schematic, and LA-based Cross Culture participated in the latest round. Other notable tech deals included Zebit’s venture debt of $75 million, showing strong growth, and Once Upon A Farm’s $20 million fundraise for its baby food and eCommerce platform.

With the continued large biotech rounds, ViaCyte, after raising $10 million in Q3 2018, raised another $80 million in Q4. A few other large bio rounds included $90 million for Genomatica and $120 million for Mirum Pharma for the seasoned founding team. Below is a detailed look at Q4 funding for San Diego tech and biotech.

Company Categories Funding Date Funding Amount
GigaIO Technology 10/1/18 $4.5M
VelosBio, Inc. Biotechnology 10/1/18 $58M
Iteros Technology 10/1/18 $500K
Tourmaline Labs Technology 10/2/18 $2M
Genomatica Biotechnology 10/3/18 $90M
MK Decision Technology 10/3/18 $940K
Once Upon a Farm FoodTech 10/9/18 $20M
Zebit Technology 10/12/18 $75M
Avidity Biosciences Biotechnology 10/17/18 $16M
Smartech Topical Biotechnology 10/18/18 $488K
TP Therapeutics Biotechnology 10/19/18 $80M
Workiz Technology 10/22/18 $2.3M
Qpex Biopharma Biotechnology 10/22/18 $33M
Decoy Biosystems Biotechnology 10/23/18 $6M
Empirico Biotechnology 11/1/18 $12.5M
Burl Concepts Biotechnology 11/5/18 $3.1M
Mirum Pharmaceuticals Biotechnology 11/7/18 $120M
Oncternal Therapeutics Biotechnology 11/7/18 $17M
Neurelis Biotechnology 11/8/18 $40.5M
Precision IBD Biotechnology 11/14/18 $10M
Airspace Technologies Technology 11/15/18 $20M
Paratus Diagnostics Biotechnology 11/16/18 $5.2M
Personalized Stem Cells Biotechnology 11/26/18 $805K
ViaCyte Biotechnology 11/29/18 $80M
Zense-Life Biotechnology 12/3/18 $2.7M
Viracta Therapeutics Biotechnology 12/4/18 $10M
Sensemetrics Technology 12/11/18 $10M
Medsphere Systems Technology 12/13/18 $32M
Sendlane Technology 12/14/18 $2M
Aristea Therapeutics Biotechnology 12/18/18 $15M
Erasca Biotechnology 12/18/18 $42M
Seismic Software Technology 12/19/18 $100M
Foresee Medical Technology 12/20/18 $6M
Rakuten Aspyrian Biotechnology 12/21/18 $134M
Flux Power Technology 12/26/18 $3.7M
Measurabl Technology 12/31/18 $18.7M
Shield AI Technology 12/31/18 $10M
Aira Technology 12/28/18 $17.2M



Fall 2018 acquisitions have had strong outcomes, including $3.15 billion for DJO Global and chipmaker Luxtera being acquired for $660 million. The acquisitions help bolster the San Diego ecosystem through new company and capital creation, as long as the capital and talent stay local. Take a look below.


Company Acquirer Amount
Luxtera Cisco $660M
MDG Freeman Undisclosed Amount
Verimatrix Inside Secure $143M
Aegis Therapeutics Neurelis Undisclosed Amount
TerraNavigator Ameresco Undisclosed Amount
Jecure Therapeutics Genentech Undisclosed Amount
Kleinfelder Wind Point Partners Undisclosed Amount
DJO Global Colfax $3.12B
XiTRON Technologies Vitrek Undisclosed Amount
VirBELA eXp World Holdings Undisclosed Amount
Biomatrica Exact Sciences Undisclosed Amount
TDO Software Sonendo Undisclosed Amount
Integrated Marketing Systems Dodge Data Undisclosed Amount
Sunray Hotspot International Undisclosed Amount
Everyone Counts Votem Undisclosed Amount


Initial Public Offerings (IPOs)

The 4th quarter saw a few public market debuts as well as a number of new filings:

  • Equillium raised $65M in its market debut
  • Eton Pharmaceuticals raised $21.6M in its market debut
  • Synthorex raised $131M in its market debut
  • Gossamer Bio filed for $264.5M IPO
  • Cibus filed for $100M IPO
  • Silvergate Bank filed for $50M IPO
  • Guardian Health Sciences filed for $10M IPO

New Funds

San Diego has long lacked homegrown funds compared to other ecosystems, but things are changing. Qualcomm Ventures has launched a new $100 million fund focused on Artificial Intelligence technologies; and Tech Coast Angels – San Diego chapter has raised a debut annual fund of $2.2 million from its members for 2019 to invest in early-stage entrepreneurs in addition to the checks each angel writes. Additionally, Blueprint Equity has raised $54 million on a plan to raise $75 million for an early stage fund based in San Diego. On top of all, JMI Equity, backer of local Lytx, Classy, and Seismic, announced Fund IX with $1.2 billion in private equity investing.

Bring on 2019!

2018 has been a gift and we look forward to continued prosperity for our region’s companies. My wish for 2019 is to see an uptick in the number of deals so that we have more companies in the funnel with a good chance at more outcomes. I believe we have that opportunity with these new local funds.

From the Fresh Brewed Tech team, we wish you all the best wrapping up 2018 and look forward to all the exciting things lined up for 2019.

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