SaaS Deals Get Top Valuations, Del Mar DataTrac Sold, Qualcomm Introducing a Pet Tracker, & More San Diego BizTech News

8/22/11Follow @bvbigelow

The climate for software deal-making improved during the second quarter, especially for cloud-based companies offering Software-as-a-Service. We’ve got the rundown on that, as well as a new software deal to be counted in the next quarter.

—San Diego’s Software Equity Group counted 397 buyouts and mergers in the software sector with a cumulative value of more than $21.3 billion during the second quarter that ended June 30. The investment banking and advisory firm says global spending on information and communications technologies is fueling higher valuations for public software companies, although much of that growth has been driven by big deals for Software as a Service.

—Pleasanton, CA-based mortgage software developer Ellie Mae (NYSE Amex: ELLI), which only went public in April, said it has agreed to acquire San Diego’s Del Mar DataTrac for $25.2 million over the next three years.

—After investing in Assistly, bitly, Klout and TweetDeck, hedge fund manager Howard Lindzon decided to start StockTwits in San Diego. The company’s TweetDeck-like platform enables investors to share their investing ideas, stock tips, comments, charts, and other information in 140-character tweets. Lindzon told me in an interview, “If I’m running an institutional trade desk, and following real-time streaming of news, then Twitter is going to rule the world.”

—First a consortium that includes Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Microsoft (NASDAQ: MFST spent $4.5 billion to buy Nortel Networks and its wireless patents. Then Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) bid $12.5 billion to acquire Motorola Mobility (NYSE: MMI and its wireless patents. Now here are rumors that San Diego-based Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM) has been considering a buyout of InterDigital, a Pennsylvania wireless technologies specialist that recently opened a R&D outpost in San Diego. The problem with this rumor, though, is that Qualcomm already has a substantial number of wireless patent holdings.

—It’s kind of a LoJack for missing pets. Snaptracs, a year-old Qualcomm subsidiary, is introducing a consumer product next month—a lightweight tracking device called Tagg that attaches to a pet’s collar and helps pet owners track down their lost pets. The $200 system includes a GPS location device, and alerts pet owners when their dog or cat strays beyond its “Tagg Zone,” a geo-boundary that pet owners set up.

—San Diego CEOs on the move: Desmond Wheatley, Envision Solar’s president and chief operating officer, has succeeded founder (and Xconomist) Robert Noble as CEO, and Noble is now executive chairman. San Diego-based Decision Sciences named Stanton D. Sloan as its new CEO. Sloane is the former CEO of SRA International, the Fairfax, VA-based IT company acquired by Providence Equity Partners earlier this year for nearly $1.9 bil

—San Diego-based Astute Networks signed a distribution agreement with Tech Data (NASDAQ: TECD) to help extend the adoption of ViSX G3, technology that Astute developed to accelerate server and desktop virtualization.

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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