By Neal Bloom
Q3 is in the books folks. Close out that Salesforce report and ship it. These past three months saw a good mix of fundings, acquisitions, new companies moving to town, and a new venture fund announcement. While the macro-tech headlines were focused on the effects of AB5 on W2 vs. 1099 workers and WeWork’s (not happening for now) IPO, San Diego had its own headlines, like local tech events such as ComicCon, TwitchCon, Womens Venture Summit, and Venture Summit, and of course, what new scooter company plopped in downtown today.
With a total funding of $573 million in Q3, tech accounted for a majority of that, a rarity. Some of San Diego’s companies are getting hard to differentiate between tech and biotech, which is a great thing. You are also seeing some consumer brands start to raise institutional money in San Diego, which is great for a traditionally big B2B town. Topping the list of funds raised include TuSimple with $120 million, continuing to haul in cash for this autonomous trucking startup, and hot on its tail, another trucking software company, SmartDrive, with $90 million.
|Company||Categories||HQ||Last Funding||Amount||Series||Notable Investors|
|Ensysce Biosciences||Biotech||San Diego||9/26/19||$14,500,000||Series B||Texas Wide Open for Business|
|GroGuru||AgTech||San Diego||9/24/19||$2,900,000||Seed||Longley Capital, Right Side Capital, TCA|
|BlueNalu||FoodTech||San Diego||9/22/19||$20,000,000||Series A||CPT Cap, Stray Dog Cap, Agronomics|
|Boundless Bio||Biotech||La Jolla||9/19/19||$46,400,000||Series A||ARCH, Vertex, ARE, City Hill Ventures|
|TuSimple||TruckTech||San Diego||9/17/19||$120,000,000||Series D||UPS, CDH, Mando|
|Deckard Technologies, Inc.||Tech||La Jolla||9/16/19||$500,000||Seed||Michael Loeb, Neil Senturia|
|CommonGrounds Workspace||CoWorking||Carlsbad||9/13/19||$40,000,000||Series A||Pacifica Enterprises, Mohammed Al-Abbar|
|SmartDrive Systems||TruckTech||San Diego||9/12/19||$90,000,000||Late Stage||TPG, Founders Fund, Michelin|
|ZeaKal||AgTech||San Diego||9/10/19||$5,000,000||Series C||Finistere, Middleland|
|SGI DNA||Genetics||La Jolla||9/9/19||$25,000,000||Series A||BroadOak, Oxford Finance, Northpond Ventures|
|Immunicom||Biotech||San Diego||9/9/19||$1,850,000||Series B||None stated|
|In Diagnostics||Biotech||Carlsbad||9/5/19||$3,000,000||Seed||None stated|
|Aquacycl||Cleantech||San Diego||8/22/19||$4,000,000||Seed||TCA, NextWave, Roddenberry Foundation|
|Shield AI||Drones||San Diego||8/20/19||$25,000,000||Series B||SVB, A16z, HomeBrew, Riot.vc, Breyer Capital|
|Blooma||Fintech||San Diego||8/20/19||$2,750,000||Seed||Serra Ventures, Floodgate, Crescent Ridge|
|Edge||Blockchain||San Diego||8/19/19||$400,000||Seed||BitMEX, Fenbushi|
|Intersect Labs||Tech||San Diego||8/19/19||$150,000||Seed||Y Combinator|
|Vuori||Fashion||Encinitas||8/15/19||$45,000,000||Venture||Norwest Venture Partners|
|GroundMetrics||Tech||San Diego||8/12/19||$7,488,571||Venture||None stated|
|Visionful||Tech||San Diego||8/6/19||$150,000||Pre-Seed||500 Startups|
|Gallant Pet||Biotech||Vista||8/5/19||$7,000,000||Series A||None stated|
|CourseKey||EdTech||San Diego||7/30/19||$5,000,000||Series A||Steve Altman, Paul Jacobs, Bisk Ventures, Builders VC, Entangled Ventures|
|PHILTER Labs||Electronics||Encinitas||7/26/19||$3,000,000||Venture||Explorer Equity Group|
|Stratify Genomics||Biotech||San Diego||7/25/19||$2,200,000||Seed||None stated|
|Kopari Beauty||Beauty||San Diego||7/16/19||$20,000,000||Series A||Unilever Ventures, Hillary Duff, Mila Kunis, Karlie Kloss, Ashton Kutcher|
|Cradle Genomics||Biotech||San Diego||7/16/19||$17,100,000||Series A||Illumina Ventures, Section32, ARE, Axon Ventures|
|Trefoil Therapeutics||Biotech||San Diego||7/16/19||$28,000,000||Series A||Bios Partners, Correlation VC|
|Mercato||Tech||San Diego||7/1/19||$4,000,000||Seed||Greycroft, Correlation, Marcy Simon, Neil Senturia, Monica Woo, Michael Loeb|
Carlsbad-based Zingle was acquired for $42 million and Oceanside-based HireAHelper’s acquisition by Porch was finally announced publicly. With acquisitions like these, we always hope talent and capital continue to stay local and is funneled back into the ecosystem to keep the flywheel moving forward. Congrats teams!
|Organization Name||Categories||HQ||Acquired By||Amount||Exit Date|
|Spy Optics||Active Lifestyle||Carlsbad||Bolle Brands||Unknown||9/16/19|
|BP Logix, Inc||Tech||Vista||Finrock Growth||Unknown||9/11/19|
|Financial Database Services||Tech||San Diego||Broadridge||Unknown||9/3/19|
|Fortitude Technology||Tech||San Diego||AIS||Unknown||9/1/19|
|Fairway Technologies||Tech||La Jolla||Accenture||Unknown||8/27/19|
|Affinity Sports||Tech||San Diego||Stack Sports||Unknown||8/22/19|
|Internet Marketing Inc||Marketing Agency||San Diego||REQ||Unknown||8/20/19|
|ticktBox Enterprises||TicketTech||San Diego||ScreenEngine/ASI||Unknown||8/15/19|
New Companies/SD Offices
In new company presence alerts, Biproxi moved to East Village upon its fundraise and ClickUp is opening a new San Diego office. Also Launch Factory Venture Studio picked their winners and launched their first company, OmniSync. Also building on the budding game studio scene in North County, Warner Bros. is opening a studio in downtown Carlsbad and with Apple buying Intel’s modem business, they now have a presence in Scripps Ranch and are building a tech campus in UTC.
New Funds & Startup Resources
In new San Diego capital news, local angel investors Tyson McDowell and Aaron Contorer hung up a shingle with newcomer Greatscale Ventures. Sony Electronics is also raising an innovation fund of $185 million. On the Private Equity-side, HCAP Partners closed a $150 million fund. Meanwhile, Tech Coast Angels’ ACE19 Annual Fund officially closed and was fully invested, ahead of plan. Tech Coast Angels also closed it’s 2nd Annual Fund, ACE20 within 30 days to deploy over the next 15 months, and has already funded its first deal. I am personally excited to be a part of these two funds alongside an increasing amount of local entrepreneurs who are also putting money back into the community through investing. Check out the full 2018 investment numbers in this Annual Report.
For startups, more resources have been coming online, like Qualcomm teaming up with San Diego Sports Innovators incubator. Also the County of San Diego and USD also launched a new accelerator for small businesses in underserved communities called Innovate-Up.
We are going into Q4 so strong and I can’t wait to further help our companies grow and flourish in San Diego!