MaxLinear Scores Successful IPO, $321M V-Vehicle Loan Request Rejected, Genomatica Raises $15M in VC Funding, & More San Diego BizTech News

3/29/10Follow @bvbigelow

It’s been a while since San Diego’s high-tech community saw this much deal news in one week—and most of it was good news, too. We gathered it all in one place for you here.

Investor demand helped boost Carlsbad, CA-based MaxLinear’s shares (NYSE:MXL) by 33 percent on their first day of trading, with volume of nearly 6.9 million shares. MaxLinear, which makes wireless semiconductors for receiving and processing television and video signals over a broadband wireless connection, got about $50 million of the almost $90 million raised in the initial offering of 6.4 million shares, which was priced at $14 per share.

Connect, the San Diego nonprofit group for technology and entrepreneurship, found that 319 startups were launched in 2009, about 13 percent more than the 282 startups of 2008. The data point was just one part of a report on San Diego’s innovation economy that Connect released for the fourth quarter of 2009.

The Department of Energy turned down an application for $321 million in loans submitted by San Diego-based V-Vehicle, a venture-backed startup automaker that planned to build a factory in Northeastern Louisiana. The V-Vehicle Co. sought funding under the DOE’s Advanced Vehicle Technology Loan Program for what it called an “environmentally friendly” vehicle, which turned out to be a gasoline-powered four-passenger car.

IT executives from some of San Diego’s better-known employers, including Lockheed Martin, Cymer, and Websense, held a debut meeting of the San Diego-based Industry Council for Competitiveness and Globalization. The ICCG is working to find new ways to retain local IT jobs and to counter the effects of foreign outsourcing.

Genomatica, a San Diego company using biotechnology to take the petroleum out of the petrochemical industry, raised $15 million in a third round of venture funding that was led by TPG Biotech. Existing investors Mohr Davidow Ventures, Alloy Ventures, and Draper Fisher Jurvetson joined in the round, which will enable Genomatica to build a demonstration plant and expand its development of other “sustainable chemicals.”

—San Diego-based Avaak, which is developing wireless mesh video surveillance technology for consumers, raised $10 million in a second round of venture funding led by Qualcomm Ventures. Joining in the round were existing investors Trinity Ventures, InterWest Partners, and Leapfrog Ventures.

—San Diego-based KidZui, which has been developing a kid-friendly Internet browser, has raised $4 million in a secondary round of venture funding that was led by San Diego’s Mission Ventures. Previous investors, which included Emergence Capital Partners, First Round Capital, and Maveron, also participated.

The Active Network is about 18 months into an ambitious program to overhaul and replace its existing software-as-a-service infrastructure. Active CEO Dave Alberga estimates the four-year software development effort will cost between $80 million and $90 million.

Parand Tony Darugar, who created a free Web-based expense tracking service called Xpenser, announced new features for businesses at the DEMO Spring 2010 event in Palm Desert, CA. The new Xpenser premium service, which is offered through San Diego-based Tastr, will charge a fee for business customers and their corporate clients.

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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