Small Deals Add Up: A Roundup of Under-the-Radar Deals in San Diego

8/19/10Follow @bvbigelow

July was a busy month for small deals, according to the latest data from CB Insights, the New York information and data services firm that tracks the private company deals that help fuel the innovation economy. CB Insights sweeps the sub $1 million deals for both technology and life sciences companies into this roundup. Many of these are debt or option financings, rather than venture equity investments, which makes me wonder if this could be part of the “new normal” for raising capital in these parts. Or perhaps this is just a kind of pay-as-you-go plan as startups do what needs to get done.

Perhaps folks out there have some thoughts on that. Here’s the rundown, drawn from CB Insights, and other sources as noted:

—San Diego’s Novalar Pharmaceuticals, the specialty dental pharmaceutical company, raised just over $1 million of a $2.5 million round of debt, rights to acquire securities, and other securities. The company’s chief product is an injectable drug, phentolamine mesylate, that helps dissipate the numb feeling of dental anesthetic. Novalar raised $30 million in a 2007 Series D round that included Domain Associates, Genevest, Montreux Equity Partners, New Enterprise Associates, Sears Capital Management and SR One, according to VentureWire.

Ortiva Wireless, a San Diego developer of software to deliver video clips over mobile networks, is offering $151,000 in warrants that can be converted into shares of preferred stock and other securities. The wireless company raised $15 million in a 2007 round that included Artiman Ventures, Avalon Ventures, Comcast Interactive Capital and Mission Ventures.

Althea Technologies, a San Diego a contract services organization for the life sciences industry, is offering $552,500 in warrants that can be converted to preferred stock and other securities. The company raised a $23 million Series C round from Telegraph Hill Partners in 2007, according to VentureWire, and Kingsbury Capital Partners previously invested in the company.

Chimeros, a San Diego biotech developing nano-scale cancer therapeutics, raised almost $145,000 of a planned $500,000 in debt. Chimeros raised $444,000 in debt financing in April, and about $611,000 in equity last October. The biotech, which moved to San Diego from Santa Barbara, CA, raised about half of an $8.5 million Series B round in 2008 from investors including Arcturus Capital, Gideon Hixon Fund, New Science Ventures, and Prospect Ventures, according to VentureWire.

Proximetry, a five-year-old San Diego startup that provides wireless network and performance management software, raised $792,042 of a planned $1.08 million round of equity funding. Proximetry’s AirSync technology enables network operators to visualize and optimize their multifrequency, multiprotocol, and multivendor networks.

H2O Audio, the San Diego company that makes waterproof cases for using consumer electronics in surfing, kayaking, and other water sports, raised $773,693 in a combined financing of almost $1.8 million in equity, debt, and options to acquire securities. In March, H2O Audio named Tom Kampfer, a former president and COO at Iomega, as the company’s new CEO. He replaced Kristian Rauhala, who founded the company in 2002.

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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