San Diego Deals Roundup: Deal Current, PCN, BrightScope, & More

9/28/12Follow @bvbigelow

Some of San Diego’s tech companies have been raising modest amounts of capital, mostly from individual investors. Here’s a quick rundown.

—San Diego-based PCN, which was known as PCN Technology when I profiled the company a couple years ago, said it has raised $5.25 million from Pennsylvania-based EnerTech Capital and a variety of individual investors. I noticed the venture also named a new CEO about a year ago. Venkat Shastri was previously a vice president of engineering at Carlsbad, CA-based Palomar Technologies.

PCN specializes in technology that enables a business with existing (some might even say “old-fashioned”) twisted-pair wiring infrastructure known as Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) networks to create a TCP/IP network with Internet connectivity. PCN’s technology can be used with a wide variety of conductive wire, including energized AC power lines.

The company says existing investors and board members led the recent financing. That includes Irwin Pfister, PCN’s executive chairman, and directors Jerre Stead and Joe Kasputys. Conshohoken, PA-based EnerTech, which led an $8 million round for the company in 2008, also participated in the latest round. PCN says the capital will be used to expand human resources for customer project management, product marketing, strategic account management, and technical applications support.

—San Diego’s Deal Current Network said it has raised venture capital funding from Canal Partners of Scottsdale, AZ, and members of Southern California’s Tech Coast Angels. The size of the round was not disclosed, and Canal did not respond to an email query. In announcing the funding, Deal Current said Todd Belfer, a managing partner at Canal Partners, and Jon Belmonte, the former COO of the Active Network (NYSE: ACTV), and current principal of San Diego-based Cedar Ridge Ventures, are joining Deal Current’s board of directors.

In a recent post on the company’s blog, Deal Current says the fresh capital will help the white-label daily deal software company accelerate its growth by expanding sales and marketing and advancing its technology. The company provides online discounts for media companies in more than 100 cities, including American Consolidated Media, the Journal Broadcast Group, Buffalo News, and the Pittsburgh Post Gazette.

The company’s website says Deal Current was launched in 2008 by Jimmy Hendricks and Patrick Dillon.

BrightScope, a San Diego startup that analyzes the performance of 401k plans for its corporate sponsors, has raised half of a planned $3 million round of funding, according to a recent report in U-T San Diego.

BrightScope CEO Mike Alfred confirmed the report for me last week, saying the company has not officially announced its third round of angel funding, which is expected to close before the end of the year. Brightscope, founded in 2008, says on its website that it previously raised a total of $3 million in angel funding through two separate rounds. The company also named former ID Analytics CEO Bruce Hansen to its board.

The Web-based company maintains a comprehensive database of information on roughly 46,000 corporate 401k retirement plans. BrightScope says it helps the human resources departments that manage 401k plans by analyzing and rating the performance of investments held by the plan. BrightScope says its technology helps plan sponsors optimize the structure of their 401k plans and choose providers that provide the most value for the fees they charge.

—San Diego-based GroundMetrics, founded in 2010 as part of the QUASAR group of companies, said it used proceeds from $1.2 million in Series A funding raised earlier this year to conduct validation tests of its geophysical sensing technology on a major oil field in the Middle East. I talked with George Eiskamp, GroundMetrics’ CEO, in 2009 when the business was operating as Quasar Geophysical Technologies.

In a recent statement, GroundMetrics says it raised the capital from members of Southern California’s Tech Coast Angels to help commercialize a new class of sensing technology and that the funds would be used to provide advanced survey and monitoring services directly to energy, mining, and environmental companies.

GroundMetrics offers to conduct electromagnetic (EM) surveys worldwide, saying its eQube electric-field sensing technology enables the company to acquire data in extremely arid regions, despite sand, ice, exposed rock, and other challenging terrain.

—San Diego-based Ormet Circuits, which makes conductive pastes used in the manufacture of advanced electronic devices, has raised $1 million from investors, according to a recent regulatory filing. On its website, the company says its lead-free conductive pastes, based on a technology called Transient Liquid Phase Sintering (TLPS), are used in semiconductor packaging, printed circuit boards, photovoltaics, and other applications. The company says its technology is covered by 24 issued patents.

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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