SD Venture Funding Tops $1.9B in 2017; and Q4 Top 10 Deals

Venture capital activity ended the year with a strong finish in San Diego, as investors poured $498.4 million into 61 companies during the last three months of 2017, according to Venture Monitor data released Tuesday.

The strength of fourth-quarter deals, lifted by a $125 million financing in November for the molecular diagnostics company Progenity, brought total venture investments in San Diego to nearly $1.92 billion in 215 deals last year. The annual total was slightly ahead of venture activity in 2016, when VCs put slightly less than $1.9 billion into 231 startups in the greater San Diego region, according to Venture Monitor.

Data for San Diego came from the national Venture Monitor report, prepared by Seattle-based PitchBook and the National Venture Capital Association. (Our report on national VC activity is here.)

The breakout of venture activity in San Diego also includes a list of top 10 deals in the fourth quarter (see below) that collectively accounted for nearly $347.6 million, or roughly 70 percent of $498.4 million that VCs invested here during the fourth quarter. The next 51 deals, though, represent a long tail of San Diego startups that collectively received nearly $151 million in venture investments.

A separate MoneyTree survey released today by PricewaterhouseCoopers and CB Insights showed a significantly lower level of VC activity in San Diego, with 115 San Diego companies getting a total of $236.2 million in venture capital during the fourth quarter. (The Venture Monitor and MoneyTree Report use different methodologies to count venture deals.)

For the year that ended Dec. 31, the MoneyTree report found that VCs invested a total of $1.22 billion in 115 deals in the greater San Diego area. The funding level was only slightly down from the $1.29 billion that venture firms invested in 111 companies in 2016.

Progenity ranked as San Diego’s top deal in the fourth quarter. Founded in 2012, Progenity has developed tests that enable couples to screen themselves for such genetic diseases as cystic fibrosis, spinal muscular atrophy, and fragile X syndrome. The company also offers tests that enable parents to screen their unborn babies for Down syndrome and other chromosomal disorders.

Here are San Diego’s top 10 venture deals in the fourth quarter, according to Venture Monitor:

Progenity$125 millionBiomedical Diagnostics
SmartDrive$40 millionTelematic Software
12 Sigma Technologies$30 millionHealthcare Diagnostics
Achates Power$29.8 millionEnergy
Aquam$26 millionUtility Conduit Technology
Impact Biomedicines$22.5 millionCancer Biotech
Metacrine$22 millionEndocrine Biotech
Cibus$19.1 millionAgricultural Biotech
Biomatrica$18.1 millionBiotechnology
Kneron$15 millionSemiconductors


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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