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 in San Diego. The fourth quarter was no different from this trend – more money, fewer deals.
To date, 25 companies have raised $708 million in funding in San Diego in the fourth quarter, compared to Q4 2017 when 61 companies raised $500 million.
During Q4 2018, 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 fundraised 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|
|Once Upon a Farm||FoodTech||10/9/18||$20M|
|Personalized Stem Cells||Biotechnology||11/26/18||$805K|
Fall 2018 acquisitions have had strong outcomes, including $3.15 billion for DJO Global. 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.
|Verimatrix||Inside Secure||$143 million|
|Aegis Therapeutics||Neurelis||Undisclosed Amount|
|Jecure Therapeutics||Genentech||Undisclosed Amount|
|Kleinfelder||Wind Point Partners||Undisclosed Amount|
|DJO Global||Colfax||$3.12 billion|
|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)
While there have been no public market debuts, a number of new filings have taken place in the fourth quarter:
- Synthorex files for $100M IPO
- Cibus files for $100M IPO
- Silvergate Bank files for $50M IPO
- Guardian Health Sciences files for $10M IPO
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 will now have an annual $2+ million fund to invest in early-stage entrepreneurs in addition to the checks each angel writes. 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.