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San Diego First-Quarter VC Funding Hits $270M & Top 10 Deals

Xconomy San Diego — 

Venture funding for software staged a comeback in San Diego during the first quarter, with investments classified as software deals accounting for nearly $110 million, or 40 percent of the $270 million that venture firms invested in the San Diego area, according to the latest MoneyTree Report.

Of 19 venture deals in San Diego counted during the first three months of 2015, the MoneyTree survey classified eight as software deals. Venture funding for eight biotechnology companies accounted for $149.3 million, or 55 percent of total dollars in the quarter, and our list of San Diego’s top 10 deals is below.

Two Internet-related deals might have helped to boost the software deal count. But MoneyTree classified an $8.3 million investment in Dealstruck, the Web-based alternative lending company, as “financial services.” Likewise, MoneyTree counted $700,000 in venture funding for StockTwits as a “media and entertainment” deal.

The MoneyTree Report is prepared by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA), based on data provided by Thomson Reuters.

In recent years, life sciences deals typically account for most of the venture dollars flowing into San Diego. In contrast, most venture funding nationwide is invested in the software industry.

As we reported last week, MoneyTree data for the first quarter shows that VCs invested about $5.6 billion in 434 software companies throughout the United States. That accounted for almost 42 percent of the $13.4 billion that VCs invested across 17 U.S. industries, and over 42 percent of the 1,020 deals during the first three months of 2015.

In San Diego, the $270 million in first-quarter funding was the highest level of VC investment since the second quarter of 2012, when VCs invested almost $344 in 32 companies.

The biggest software deal of the quarter was a late-stage, $50 million expansion round for SmartDrive Systems, which uses dashboard-mounted video cameras and predictive analytics to provide driver training other services for trucking and delivery fleet operators. The company says its technology and personalized performance program helps fleets improve driving skills and lower their operating costs. Oak Investment Partners, New Enterprise Associates, and WABCO, a global transportation technology company based in Brussels, Belgium, funded the round.

The biggest life sciences deal of the quarter was a $76 million late-stage round for aTyr Pharma, a San Diego biopharmaceutical that specializes in physiocrine-based drugs for treating rare immune diseases.

According to the MoneyTree Report, the top 10 deals of the quarter were:

aTyr PharmaBiotechnologyLate Stage$76.3 million
SmartDrive SystemsSoftwareLate Stage$50 million
Cidara TherapeuticsBiotechnolgoyEarly Stage$42 million
TealiumSoftwareExpansion$30.7 million
SeismicSoftwareExpansion$20 million
Thesan PharmaceuticalBiotechnologyEarly Stage$16 million
DealstruckFinancial ServicesEarly Stage$8.3 million
Elcelyx TherapeuticsBiotechnologyEarly Stage$4.6 million
Obalon TherapeuticsBiotechnologyEarly Stage$4.1 million
MetacrineBiotechnologyEarly Stage$3.3 million

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2 responses to “San Diego First-Quarter VC Funding Hits $270M & Top 10 Deals”

  1. Jeff Pesek says:

    Interesting stuff…do you know of what other companies were funded here in Q1 2015 not included in the PWCMT data?

  2. Bruce V. BigelowBVBigelow says:

    Jeff the nine other funded companies in MoneyTree list for San Diego Q1 fundings are CalciMedica, GoFormz, Harvest.Ai, Kitu Systems, SynergEyes,
    Technocom, StockTwits, Measurabl, and Reneo Pharmaceuticals. It’s always possible that some deals did not get picked up by MoneyTree survey, but they provide more detail on local deals.