Homegrown VCs a Vanishing Breed, Cardiologist Eric Topol Sees a Revolution in Wireless Health, Local Companies Raise Capital, & More San Diego BizTech News
It seems as though a number of San Diego tech companies saw the week before the Memorial Day weekend as a time to clear the decks, launch a few online products, and to raise some more capital. We also highlight the emergence of wireless healthcare and add some perspective to San Diego’s homegrown venture capital firms.
—I got my hands on some data that makes it clear that San Diego’s homegrown venture capital firms now represent a small fraction of local venture deals. Last year, 93 percent of the VCs doing business in San Diego were from out of town; they accounted for 87 percent of the 561 deals and 87 percent of the nearly $1.43 billion that was invested here, according to data from PricewaterhouseCoopers. Data from the National Venture Capital Association shows that just seven San Diego-based VCs have raised new funds since 2005: Avalon Ventures, BSD Venture Capital, Finstere Partners, Mesa Verde Venture Partners, Mission Ventures, Revolution Ventures, and TVC Capital.
—I had a chat with renowned cardiologist Eric Topol, who was named in March as chief medical officer for San Diego’s new West Wireless Health Institute, and who says we are on the cusp of revolutionary change in healthcare. Topol, who also is the chief academic officer at Scripps Health, says wireless technologies can now be used to remotely monitor patients with such ailments as Alzheimer’s, asthma, depression, diabetes, heart failure, hypertension, and sleep disorders.
—There’s a new cleantech startup in town: Viryd Technologies, a spinout from San Diego’s Fallbrook Technologies, is developing Fallbrook’s proprietary transmission technology exclusively for use in power-generating wind turbines. Viryd says it has raised more than $2.2 million so far in a $4 million round of equity financing.
—I had never heard of the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” until X Prize founder Peter Diamandis told me his foundation is thinking of creating an Ocean X Prize as a way of stimulating the development of new technologies to clean up the mass of drifting plastic in the mid Pacific Ocean. Diamandis, who is scheduled to make an appearance at the Salk Institute tomorrow evening, says it’s only it is only a matter of time before incentive prizes become as important to innovation as venture capital.
—Qualcomm says it is expanding Plaza Retail, its online apps store, to give online publishers and developers the ability to provide mobile applications and content for a variety of platforms. Beyond Qualcomm’s Brew, which maintained strict control of its applications, Retail Plaza will support apps written for Java, Flash, and BlackBerry operating systems. Retail Plaza also plans to support Android, Windows Mobile, Palm’s webOS, Symbian, and LiMo Linux.
—San Diego-based ID Analytics is launching a free online test that measures the vulnerability of individual consumers to identity theft. The service, called My ID Score, provides different advice depending on a score that ranges from 1 to 999, with high scores indicating that you are highly vulnerable. Individuals who earn a mid-range score of 500-700, the “yellow-orange” area of the scoring chart, are advised to obtain a copy of their credit report, and place a fraud alert on their credit file with the credit bureaus. People who score higher are advised to freeze their credit file.
—MeLLmo, a startup based in Del Mar, CA, has introduced a free business application that enables users to transform data from spreadsheets, tables, and other business software into interactive graphics that can be displayed on the iPhone. The tool lets users view, analyze, and share the information.
—San Diego-based Maxwell Technologies (NASDAQ: MXWL) raised $17.6 million by selling 2 million shares of its common stock through a secondary public offering. Maxwell, which makes energy storage devices called ultracapacitors, says it plans to use the proceeds for working capital and general corporate purposes.
—Pure Bioscience (NASDAQ: PURE) says it has raised up to $3 million by selling its stock and warrants to institutional investors in a direct offering. The El Cajon, CA, company, which makes silver-based cleaners and disinfectants, says the net proceeds will be used for working capital.
—Breach Security, a Carlsbad, CA, startup developing network security technology, has raised $2 million of a $2.2 million convertible debt offering, according to a SEC filing.