San Diego Tech Roundup: Bitmo, Dvele, Cybersecurity Report & More

—Mobile app startup Bitmo announced it had raised more than $3 million in seed funding from investors including Everplus Capital, Longboard Capital Advisors, and several Southern California-based family fund offices.

Bitmo’s mobile app allows users to send and receive digital gift cards that can be switched between a number of stores. The company says it has about 130 national brands on the platform, including Nike, Nordstrom, and Old Navy. CEO Michael Smallwood launched the Carlsbad, CA-based company in 2017.

Dvele, which says it uses best practices in software automation, material selection and lean manufacturing techniques to make upscale, modern modular homes, has raised a $14 million Series A financing round. Dvele is also relocating its headquarters to San Diego from Santa Rosa, CA, in Northern California. Real-estate investment company Crescent Real Estate led the funding round. The funding will go to building out and commercializing the company’s website where customers will be able to order a home. It is hiring in San Diego.

“Dvele is creating the template for a software-defined home and construction site that will change the expectations for how a home is built and delivered,” said Kurt Goodjohn, Dvele founder and CEO, in a statement. “We believe our customers should be able to order a home with the same ease and high-end experience they expect in buying a luxury car brand or quality consumer electronics.”

—–According to results of a study commissioned by the Cyber Center of Excellence, a San Diego-based nonprofit organization, on the current state of the local cybersecurity industry, there are more than 150 cybersecurity firms that employ about 4,920 people in the region. That doesn’t include the Navy’s Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR), which employs an additional 3,530 people in cybersecurity. The combined 8,450 direct jobs are 11 percent more than in 2016, according to the report, which was conducted by the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation. Regional employment growth over that time was 3 percent.

According to the report, there are more than 58,000 technology specialists who call San Diego home. It says the industry generates $2.2 billion in GDP and impacts 19,660 jobs annually, which it compares to the equivalent to hosting five Super Bowls or 15 Comic-Cons each year.

EvoNexus, the startup incubator with offices in La Jolla, CA, and Irvine, CA, is working with EMD Performance Materials—the North America high-tech materials business of Germany’s Merck—to identify early-stage companies working on technology the company might find promising. The company makes electronic displays, fabrication and packaging for semiconductors, and additives for coatings.

EMD is looking for new materials and processes for semiconductor devices, advanced imaging and displays, electro-optical devices, electronic packaging, nontoxic inorganic pigments, nanotechnology-based sensors, and additives for coatings to modify the functionality of surfaces. It’s also looking for novel technologies across a variety of areas. EMD, based in Philadelphia, has about 500 employees.

EvoNexus has similar partnerships with Qualcomm, Cubic, and other big firms. Startups that are accepted into EvoNexus get to use its offices for free for up to two years. The organization takes a 4 to 5 percent equity stake in portfolio companies.

—Three events are coming up that may be of interest for people interested in the local tech ecosystem.

Scale San Diego is teaming up with US Ignite and the city of San Diego on a hackathon focused on developing transformative projects to solve urban challenges such as transportation, low-medium income neighborhoods, city planning and more. The hackathon is slated for April 12-14. Teams with innovative projects may be selected to work with mentors and subject-matter experts to develop the solutions more fully.

The Rady School of Management at UC San Diego is hosting its annual RadyX Technology Conference on April 12. The theme of this year’s event, put on by the Rady Tech Club, is “Trends in Tech.” Speakers from companies including Qualcomm, Amazon, and Illumina are slated to speak.

Innovate78, an initiative of a group of North County San Diego cities, is hosting its quarterly meetup on April 18. The gathering will be at the Synergy Centre, a coworking space in Escondido, and focus on the topic of how flexible work spaces affect entrepreneurship.

Sarah de Crescenzo is an Xconomy editor based in San Diego. You can reach her at sdecrescenzo@xconomy.com. Follow @sarahdc

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