San Diego VC Funding at $426.5M in Third Quarter; Plus Top 10 Deals

The San Diego artificial intelligence company Brain Corp. topped the chart for raising the most venture capital in San Diego during the third quarter that ended September 30, according to Venture Monitor data released Tuesday.

As Xconomy reported in July, Brain Corp. raised $114 million in a Series C funding round led by Softbank’s new $100 billion Vision Fund. In a statement at the time, Brain Corp said it has developed AI technology “to enable robots to perceive their environment, learn to control their motion, and navigate using visual cues and landmarks while avoiding people and obstacles.”

Altogether, venture firms invested a total of $426.5 million in 39 San Diego area companies during the third quarter, according to data from the Venture Monitor report from Seattle-based PitchBook and the National Venture Capital Association. That was a 6 percent uptick from the $401.3 million (a corrected figure from July) that venture firms invested in San Diego startups during the second quarter—and 30 percent higher than the $327 million that VCs sank into San Diego startups in the year-ago quarter.

(Nationwide results from the Venture Monitor report are here.)

It was the third consecutive quarter in which venture firms pumped at least $400 million into the San Diego area. If venture activity continues at the same pace, total funding for the year would end on a par with the $1.8 billion invested in San Diego in 2016. That was the recent high-water mark, according to Venture Monitor data.

While third-quarter funding increased, the deal count in the San Diego area declined by more than a third from the previous quarter, when the Venture Monitor counted 61 deals. The deal count was down from the same quarter in 2016, when there were 58 deals.

A separate MoneyTree survey released today by PricewaterhouseCoopers and CB Insights also shows that venture funding increased in San Diego during the quarter, although that report pegs the total at $361.7 million in 24 deals. Venture funding in the quarter was about 25 percent higher than the $289.1 million that VCs invested in the prior quarter and 18 percent higher than the $304 million invested in the third quarter of 2016.

The Venture Monitor and MoneyTree Report use different methodologies to count venture deals. The MoneyTree Report also showed a few differences in San Diego’s top 10 deals, including $25 million for PatientSafe Solutions, $11.5 million for SkySafe, and $11.5 million for HouseCall.

Based on the Venture Monitor data, our list of San Diego’s Top 10 venture deals during the third quarter is here:

Brain Corp.$114 millionArtificial Intelligence / RoboticsSan Diego
Amplyx$67 millionLife Sciences / OncologySan Diego
Effector Therapeutics$38.6 millionLife Sciences / OncologySan Diego
Sotera Wireless$31.8 millionHealthtechSan Diego
Hookit$16 millionSocial Media / Software as ServiceSolana Beach
Aspyrian Therapeutics$15.1 millionLife Sciences / OncologySan Diego
Colorscience$15 millionSkin Care / CosmeticsCarlsbad, CA
Citadel Defense$13.75 millionIT / Drone DefenseNational City, CA
Ocean Aero$12.9 millionAerospace RoboticsSan Diego
Tsunami VR$11.9 millionIT / Virtual RealityDel Mar, CA



Bruce V. Bigelow was the editor of Xconomy San Diego from 2008 to 2018. Read more about his life and work here. Follow @bvbigelow

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