Before the economic downturn deepened last September, many venture capital firms maintained that their operations were unaffected by the overall economy. They’re not saying that anymore. VCs are reacting to hard times in different ways—and so are the startups and technology companies that make up the innovation economy. Some examples of how they are coping, along with other deals and drama, can be found in our roundup of last week’s biz-tech news.
—With negligible debt and about $11.3 billion in available cash at the end of September, Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM) is in a position to shop for bargains. The wireless technology giant agreed to pay $65 million to acquire mobile-graphics and multimedia technology from chipmaker AMD. (Qualcomm also is scheduled to report its fiscal first-quarter financial results this Wednesday.)
—Biofuels may be one of the next big things in the cleantech sector, and a consortium of academic and company researchers have organized SD-CAB, the San Diego Center for Algae-based Biofuels, to help advance development of the nascent industry in the region.
—San Diego’s biotech VCs say they are still doing deals, despite the economic downturn. But the message that three prominent VCs delivered to a breakfast meeting of Biocom, the life sciences industry association, is that different firms are adopting different ways to maximize their returns and minimize their risks.
—Axikin Pharmaceuticals, a San Diego life sciences startup that was spun out from Actimis Pharmaceuticals last June, got $3 million in a first round of venture funding. The investors were Sanderling Ventures, which has offices in San Diego and San Mateo, CA, and Mitsui & Co. Venture Partners in New York.
After enacting substantial cutbacks in November and December, Metabasis … Next Page »