Moore Starts a Mini VC Fund, TakeLessons Lands $6M, Chumby Partners with BestBuy, & More San Diego BizTech News

8/8/11Follow @bvbigelow

San Diego’s innovation community saw some new startups and new money emerge last week. We’ve got it all wrapped up for you, and our briefing begins now.

—Following a global-and-local Web 2.0 strategy, San Diego-based Eventful is now hosting roughly 5 million local events for roughly 20 million users, who can search the website by category, performer, or venue to find events in their local markets. Eventful helps users track concert tours, live shows, sports, political rallies and other activities.

—-U.S. venture investments in cleantech and alternative energy amounted to almost $1.1 billion during the second quarter ending June 30, according to a cleantech investing report released by the Ernst & Young accounting firm. That was up slightly from more than $1 billion that cleantech raised during the previous quarter, but 44 percent less than the $1.9 billion invested in cleantechs in the year-ago quarter. Just over half of the $1.1 billion total went to cleantech deals in California, but 14 of the 15 biggest deals were in Northern California.

Terry Moore, a longtime venture advocate in San Diego, is raising a venture capital mini-fund to help what he contends is an underserved startup community in San Diego and Southern California. Moore wants to raise between $10 million and $15 million for Moore Venture Partners, which recently participated in a $15 million C round for Daylight Solutions, a San Diego solid-state laser maker.

—San Francisco’s Crosslink Capital led a $6 million venture round in San Diego’s TakeLessons, a five-year-old startup that operates a Web platform that connects people to certified music instructors in more than 2,800 U.S. cities.

Malama Composites, a San Diego cleantech startup that uses green materials to make structural foam, has raised almost $696,000 of equity funding in a round that is targeting almost $1.2 million. Malama Composites intends to close its Series A Round in coming weeks.

—At an afternoon conference at the Salk Institute last week, former SKY MobileMedia CEO Naser Partovi, unveiled Wellaho, a Web-based service that provides a HIPAA-compliant social media network for the chronically ill. “You can’t just join Wellaho,” Partovi said. “It must be prescribed for you by your doctor.”

Sony Computer Entertainment, which is based in Foster City, CA, and has ties in San Diego, has acquired Sucker Punch Productions, adding its expertise in Sony Playstation Consoles. No financial terms were disclosed, but Sony says Sucker Punch will keep its headquarters in Bellevue, WA.

—As Chumby Industries continues to shift its focus from hardware to software platforms, the San Diego-based startup unveiled a partnership with Minnesota’s Best Buy, which announced that its Ingsignia Connected TV includes popular entertainment and social media applications from the Chumby content network. Chumby CEO Derrick Oien offered his take on the latest deal in his blog here.

—In a note last week, Hookit.com CEO Scott Tilton tells me the action sports social network I profiled in June has launched a new mobile app for both iOS and Android-based mobile devices. Tilton views mobile as a key market for Hookit, with mobile ideally suited for a social networking business that is focused on linking atheletes, enthusiasts, and fans with their favorite sports.

—San Diego-based Fallbrook Technologies says today it has advanced its continuously variable transmission technology for bicycles with an intelligent drivetrain designed specifically for the electrically powered bicycle (e-Bike) market. Last week, Fallbrook named a former Ford executive, Al Kammerer, as president, a newly created position.

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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