Chipmaker Sequoia Communications Out of Business, DivX Settles Yahoo Lawsuit, Connect Proposes Venture Initiative, & Other San Diego BizTech News

8/24/09Follow @bvbigelow

San Diego wind turbine maker Helix Wind made some more acquisitions, and out-of-business chipmaker Sequoia Communications arranged to sell its equipment in an online auction tomorrow. So it was a good news, bad news week for technology here.

—San Diego’s Sequoia Communications, which gained attention in the wireless chip industry when it introduced a multimode transceiver, has ceased operations. The nine-year-old chipmaker, which raised about $64 million from at least eight venture investors, was unable to secure additional capital.

—San Diego-based Helix Wind (OTC: HLXW), which is developing vertical-axis wind turbines, has agreed to buy the assets of two Oregon wind turbine companies in a bankruptcy case. The non-binding contracts for Abundant Renewable Energy and Renewable Engineering, which have the same owners, could be worth as much as $6.5 million. Helix has been moving to expand its product line of small-scale turbines.

—San Diego video codec developer DivX (NASDAQ: DIVX) and Yahoo (NASDAQ: YHOO) settled a lawsuit that DivX filed after Yahoo backed out of an Internet advertising agreement.

—San Diego-based Platformic, which makes Web development and content management technology, introduced a new mobile blogging tool, which the company says is ideal for journalists and professional bloggers.

—In a two-part “state of venture” quiz that Xconomy’s Bob Buderi put together with help from the Boston office of the Cooley Godward Kronish law firm, contestants learned that company valuations have been rising in the past quarter. The quiz, which is based on nationwide data, also shows that more than half of the Q2 deals were “flat” or “down” rounds. Check out the quiz here. The answers are here.

—Amid the nationwide downturn in venture capital investment activity, I’ve written a fair amount about the evaporation of San Diego’s hometown VCs. Now Connect, the San Diego non-profit group that serves as a catalyst for technology innovation, has proposed a series of initiatives to help fill the gap—including the formation of a seed fund. Connect CEO Duane Roth has said the initiatives will require more than $10 million, which Connect has begun to raise from both private and public sources.

—Xconomy has made it easier for you to get our electronic missives on your mobile phone by going to http://m.xconomy.com for the new mobile-friendly version of our site. But it’s only one of many new developments at Xconomy. And as always, you can sign up for Xconomy’s e-mail newsletters, including specialized newsletters, and our RSS feeds here.

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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    IF you like Helix check out it’s stock today. It’s really trading huge volume.