Startup Automaker Aptera Gets Back in Gear, Streaming Video Companies Vie for Attention, MeLLmo Gets Better at Mobile Graphics, & More San Diego BizTech News

4/19/10Follow @bvbigelow

The noble cause of technology innovation is a great race. Just look at Aptera Motors, which appeared to be running out of cash last fall as it laid off much of its workforce. Now—after refueling with $10 million in VC funding—the Vista, CA, carmaker revealed plans to hire 500 people for its new assembly plant in Oceanside, CA. Get that and the rest of your race updates here.

—Vista, CA-based Aptera Motors staged a comeback media briefing that dispelled worries about the startup automaker’s cash crunch—at least for now. Aptera just raised $10 million in venture funding and plans to raise more, CEO Paul Wilbur says. He also unveiled the latest version of the Aptera 2e, an all-electric, two-passenger car, which was then shipped off to compete this summer in the $10 million Progressive Insurance Automotive X Prize.

—With the increasing popularity of Internet streaming video, we saw a flurry of announcements from a variety of companies during the annual National Association of Broadcasters’ conference in Las Vegas. Qualcomm, for example, announced plans to add Web-based content and social media tools to its satellite-based mobile TV service-–and to allow Flo TV customers to record TV shows on their mobile devices for later viewing. San Diego’s VMIX said it has broadened its relationship with Cambridge, MA-based Akamai Technologies (NASDAQ: AKAM) by standardizing its online video capabilities with Akamai’s HD Network.

—Upon seeing the previous news, Sorenson Media Jacob Moon reminded me by e-mail that the Carlsbad, CA-based company has shown 40 percent revenue growth for the past two quarters. He added that its Internet video technology, including its Sorenson 360 online video platform, already have been optimized for Apple’s iPad.

— In another corner of Las Vegas, MeLLmo of Del Mar, CA, announced the launch of Roambi ES3, an improved version of its enterprise server and its business-intelligence systems software which converts data into dazzling graphic displays for mobile devices. This is the product that generates MeLLmo’s revenue.

—With health IT and bioinformatics blossoming in San Diego, Denise talked with Paul A. Rejto, a physical and theoretical chemist who now works for Pfizer in San Diego as director of computational biology in oncology research. He said the Pfizer Oncology Research Unit is using computational biology to identify potential targets for cancer drugs and to identify which patients would respond best to specific cancer drugs.

VC firms invested $5.9 billion in 731 deals nationwide during the first quarter, according to the CB Insights Venture Capital Activity Report, a survey prepared by the New York firm previously known as ChubbyBrain. By coincidence, a search for recent fund-raising among San Diego-based technology companies found that TweetPhoto has raised $2.6 million in a Series A round. Sotera Wireless, a heart-monitoring startup previously known as Triage Wireless, also raised $10.7 million.

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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