Entropic Raises $99M, SDSU’s VizLab Pioneers Web-Based Disaster Maps, Avalon Raises $161M for 9th Fund, & More San Diego BizTech News

10/4/10Follow @bvbigelow

The Connect Innovation Report that was released last week shows that San Diego’s innovation economy is a mix of contrary signals. We also saw a number of tech sector deals, and we’ve got it all wrapped up for you here.

—San Diego’s Entropic Communications (NASDAQ: ENTR, which makes semiconductors for home entertainment networks, raised $99.1 million after fees and other costs in a public offering of 10.75 million shares last week. The company filed for the offering on Tuesday, and priced its shares at $9.70 each on Thursday. Underwriters have the option of buying an additional 1.6 million shares. Entropic recently raised its revenue outlook for the third quarter of 2010, as major cable and satellite TV providers expand their rollout of multi-room DVR set-tops that use the company’s chips.

—The VizLab, officially known as the Immersive Visualization Center at San Diego State University, is working to make it easier to incorporate “crowdsourcing” in the Web-based, geographic information system-referenced maps it creates about natural disasters. Eric Frost, an associate professor of geological sciences who co-directs the VizLab, tells me a smartphone app available at the CrisisCommons wiki network enables ordinary folks to send pictures that include the date, time, location, and text information.

—The Connect Innovation Report shows that 64 technology startups were founded in San Diego during the second quarter of 2010, almost a 37 percent decline from the 101 startups formed during the second quarter of 2009. Mergers and Acquisitions were up from the previous quarter, and federal patent filings were up 22 percent over the previous quarter, the most issued in more than two years. But venture capital funding dropped, with the total VC investment of $171 million representing a 33 percent drop from the $257 million that flowed into San Diego during the second quarter of 2009. VC funding was down nearly 70 percent from 2007 pre-recession levels.

—San Diego-based Avalon Ventures has raised $161 million for its ninth venture fund, exceeding its minimum fund-raising goal of $150 million. Avalon is one of the few local VC firms that’s still actively investing in new startups.

Verve Wireless, which just moved into a new headquarters in Encinitas, CA, has raised $7 million in venture funding led by BlueRun Ventures of Menlo Park, CA. Verve’s technology lets newspapers and other media companies publish their content and serve ads across a variety of mobile devices.

—Leading medical and wireless industry technologists are gathering in San Diego this week for the first annual Wireless Health 2010 conference, which begins Tuesday at the Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines. Scheduled speakers include Qualcomm founder Irwin Jacobs, Dean Kamen of DEKA Research, Dr. Chris Toumazou of Imperial College London, Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong of Abraxis Health, and Col. Ron Poropatich of the U.S. Army’s Telemedicine and Technology Research Group.

—Thailand’s Cal-Comp Electronics said it is acquiring Spectragraphics, a San Diego holding company that operates Total Electronics and SMS Technologies, which are both electronics manufacturing service companies. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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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