MoneyTree Reports Drop in San Diego Venture Funding, Verve Wireless Hires New CEO, Fallbrook Aligns Transmission Deal, & More San Diego BizTech News

1/24/11Follow @bvbigelow

It was a short week for news with the Martin Luther King holiday, and it showed. Here’s a short and (we hope) sweet wrapup of San Diego’s tech sector.

—Venture capital investing in San Diego startups plunged during the fourth quarter that ended December 31st, with $193.1 million invested in 26 companies, according to the MoneyTree Report from the National Venture Capital Association, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Thomson Reuters. That was a 43 percent drop in dollars invested and a 25 percent decline in deals, compared with the fourth quarter of 2009, when $343.9 million in funding went to 32 local companies. Total funding in 2010 amounted $846.9 million in 115 local companies, compared with $943.9 million in 109 San Diego area companies.

—Nationwide, the MoneyTree Report found that venture firms invested $5 billion in 765 deals nationwide, a nearly 7 percent drop in dollars invested and an 11 percent decline in deal count compared with the same quarter of 2009, when $5.4 billion went into 864 deals.

Verve Wireless of Encinitas, CA, hired Tom MacIsaac as CEO, replacing founder Art Howe, who will remain as chairman of the mobile media technology company. MacIsaac, who is the former CEO of ExtendMedia, will remain in the Washington D.C. area, where Verve has established a new office. The arrangement raises a question as to how long Verve’s headquarters will remain in the San Diego area.

Transaction Wireless, a San Diego startup that provides virtual and mobile gift cards, named Doug Schneider as President and CEO. He is the former CEO at Genea.

—San Diego’s Fallbrook Technologies said it has established a partnership with Team Industries of Detroit Lakes, MN, to develop electric vehicle transmission prototypes. Fallbrook and Team Industries plan to develop the power train for a low-speed vehicle electric vehicle, the Tomberlin Anvil. Fallbrook has been developing a more energy-efficient, continuously variable transmission that does not use a conventional gear and clutch.

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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