Awarepoint Nabs $13.3M, Kratos Fuses With Digital Fusion, Pocket Communications Financing Signals Challenge for Leap Wireless, & More San Diego Deals News

12/1/08Follow @bvbigelow

As people gathered from near and far to celebrate Thanksgiving, a couple of startups with San Diego connections had more than one reason to give thanks, with deals closing on a variety of fronts, including one close to home—at home, really—for Xconomy.

—Cardinal Partners of Princeton, NJ, (not to be confused with Cardinal Equity Partners of Indianapolis or Cardinal Venture Capital of Menlo Park) led a $13.3 million venture round for Awarepoint, a San Diego startup developing wireless sensors for use in hospitals and elsewhere. Cardinal was joined in the deal by Venrock and previous investor Avalon Ventures of San Diego. Awarepoint has developed software and hardware that provides real-time remote monitoring of supplies, equipment, and personnel.

—San Diego’s Kratos Defense & Security Solutions agreed to buy Digital Fusion, a Huntsville, AL, information technology company that specializes in computerized simulation, engineering, space systems, optics and other defense-related work. Kratos said it would issue 25.4 million new shares of its common stock to close the deal, which is valued between $34 million and $38 million.

—The San Diego connection was not immediately apparent when Battery Ventures of Waltham, MA, and Menlo Park, CA, said it had led a $100 million venture round for San Antonio’s Pocket Communications. But the deal, which was joined by Pocket CEO Paul Posner and Charles River Ventures, which also has offices in Waltham and Menlo Park, poses fresh competitive implications for San Diego’s Leap Wireless and its flat-rate Cricket unlimited-calling plan. Pocket’s Posner says he can undercut his rivals on pricing and still make a profit.

—And on the home front, Xconomy closed the first tranche of its second financing round less than two months after launching its third Web site, here in San Diego, for news about technology innovation and the “exponential economy.” New England’s CommonAngels led the deal, as it did with Xconomy’s first round in August 2007. The new round was joined by LaunchCapital, a new investor and a number of individual investors.

Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at bbigelow@xconomy.com or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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