Internet Deals Boost Venture Funding, ViaSat Delays Launch of Internet Satellite, Intuit Unveils Mobile Tax App, & More San Diego BizTech News

1/18/11Follow @bvbigelow

There was no break in San Diego’s tech news leading up to the Martin Luther King holiday. Even though Xconomy observed the holiday, we still managed to round up the news you’ll need to get your week started.

—The early returns on venture capital investing during the fourth quarter of 2010 came in from New York-based CB Insights, showing that VCs provided $6.5 billion in 735 deals during the last three months of 2010. That compares with $5.5 billion invested in 687 deals during the same quarter in 2009—but four big Internet deals accounted for nearly all of the billion-dollar difference. The four deals involved Groupon, Twitter, LivingSocial, and Whale Shark Media.

—I profiled Service-now.com, which has developed Web-based software that enables the chief information officers at big companies and other organizations to readily keep track of their assets, such as computers, software licenses, and other IT resources. At the same time, it generates the kind of information that business executives can use to understand, for example, how the cost of operating a sales force in the field compares with the cost of selling products through an online catalog.

—Carlsbad, CA-based ViaSat said it has rescheduled the launch of its high-capacity ViaSat-1 communications satellite to this summer, a two or three-month delay, after the spacecraft was damaged while being moved during the testing process. Once in orbit, ViaSat-1 is expected to provide multimedia Internet service for rural and sparsely populated suburban areas at an estimated 130 gigabytes per second, which would be the highest capacity satellite in the world.

Transaction Wireless, a San Diego startup that provides virtual and mobile gift cards for mobile devices, named Doug Schneider as president and CEO.

—San Diego’s St. Bernard Software, which provides web and e-mail security and data protection, and related content management security technology, changed its name to EdgeWave. The company said its stock symbol, which trades on the over-the-counter bulletin board as SBSW.BB, won’t change for the time being.

—SWIGZ.com Pro Racing of Aliso Viejo, CA, said its all-electric superbike raced against conventional twin-cylinder, gasoline-powered race bikes in two races at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA—and finished 2nd and 3rd.

—San Diego-based ESET, which develops anti-virus and Internet security software, named Andrew Lee as CEO of the company’s North America operations. Lee takes over as CEO from Anton Zajac, who continues as president. Darin Andersen also will continue as ESET’s chief operating officer in the San Diego office. Lee, who was ESET’s chief research officer from 2004 to 2008, served most recently as chief technology officer for K7 Computing.

—Mountain View, CA-based Intuit (NASDAQ: INTU), which operates a consumer tax software development center in San Diego, has developed a mobile application that enables individuals to prepare and file their annual tax returns from an iPhone or Android mobile device. SnapTax allows taxpayers with simple returns to snap a photo of their W-2 with their mobile phones and then automatically enters the information into their tax return.

—The Association for Computing Machinery decided to hold its annual KDD (Knowledge Discovery and Datamining) conference in San Diego from Aug. 21-24 at the downtown Manchester Grand Hyatt. “Several of our colleagues at the University of California, San Diego, and area analytics businesses were instrumental in our choice,” said Chid Apte, the conference chair, in a statement.

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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