The Active Network Files for IPO, EcoATM Banks $14M, Qualcomm Issues Augmented Reality Awards, & More San Diego BizTech News

2/22/11Follow @bvbigelow

Capital isn’t exactly flowing freely, but it’s flowing better now than it was two years ago, if last week’s San Diego tech deals are any guide. We’ve got that wrapped up for you here, along with the rest of the biztech report.

—San Diego-based EcoATM, a startup developing automated kiosks for recycling cell phones and other electronics, raised $14.4 million in a Series A round of financing led by Coinstar (NASDAQ: CSTR) and Claremont Creek Ventures. The financing, which includes a venture loan from Silicon Valley Bank, should enable the company to begin manufacturing its kiosks. EcoATM also got a Small Business Innovation Research Grant and was granted its first patent.

San Diego’s Active Network filed for an IPO, proposing to raise $150 million. The Active Network, founded in 1998 to provide online registrations for marathons and triathlons, now provides online registration and marketing services for more than 47,000 organizations, including recreation leagues, educational institutions, corporations, government agencies, and non-profit groups.

—San Diego’s Slacker has raised an additional $3 million in financing, bringing the startup’s total to at least $26 million since the streaming radio service was founded in 2006.

—In a Q&A with The San Diego Union Tribune, Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens outlined details of his proposed domestic energy, which is intended to get America off the foreign oil habit. Pickens, who logged 38 town hall meetings last year, says he doesn’t want the government to pay for any infrastructure, but he’d like to see truckers get some help on the difference in cost as an incentive to switch from diesel to natural gas. “Once we move those 8 million [18-wheel trucks] to natural gas, we cut OPEC in half,” he says.

Two Lithuanian software developers who created an interactive, augmented reality game called Paparazzi won the $125,000 top prize in Qualcomm’s inaugural 2010 Augmented Reality Developer Challenge. Qualcomm also named two other teams.

—I profiled San Diego’s Blue Sky Network, which was founded around technology that uses the Iridium satellite network to track and communicate with aircraft. Founding CEO Jon Gilbert told me the company has been expanding its product line, which now includes a dual-mode device, called HawkEye, that can operate with either the Iridium satellite network or GSM-based wireless networks.

Resource Nation, a Solana Beach, CA, company that enables businesses to connect with pre-screened venders, acquired Business.com from Dex One Corp. for an undisclosed amount. Funding from JMI Equity, the private equity firm based in San Diego and Baltimore, MD, helped to make the transaction possible. Resource Nation says in a press release that the combined companies will enable customers to reach a larger number of B2B purchasers, and at multiple stages in the purchasing process.

—After more than a decade of losses, San Diego’s Maxwell Technologies (NASDAQ: MXWL) reported $771,000 in fourth-quarter operating income. Maxwell, which specializes in energy storage devices known as ultracapacitors, still reported a loss for the quarter, but CEO David Schramm told analysts during a conference call that ultracapacitor sales increased 56 percent, from $43.8 million in 2009 to $68.5 million in 2010, driven by orders from wind power companies.

—The Angel Capital Entrepreneurial (ACE) Fund 1 created last year by Southern California’s Tech Coast Angels made its first investment, providing $80,000 in funding to Vokle, an Internet startup in the Los Angeles area.

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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