XconomyBruce V. Bigelow – Xconomy https://www.xconomy.com Business, Life Sciences, and Technology News Wed, 17 Jan 2018 19:45:52 +0000 hourly 1 LendingPoint Adds Point-of-Sale Financing with LoanHero Buyout https://www.xconomy.com/san-diego/2018/01/11/lendingpoint-adds-point-of-sale-financing-with-loanhero-buyout/ Thu, 11 Jan 2018 23:40:53 +0000 Bruce V. Bigelow https://www.xconomy.com/?p=359141

LendingPoint, an online provider of direct loans to consumers, has acquired LoanHero, the San Diego fintech with technology that enables merchants to extend instant financing to consumers at the point of sale.

Financial terms of the buyout were not disclosed in an announcement Thursday.

The acquisition enables LendingPoint, which focuses on near-prime consumers (with FICO credit scores from 580 to 700), to extend its financial software and services to consumers making a major purchase, whether it’s online or a face-to-face sale.

In response to questions from Xconomy, LendingPoint co-founder and CEO Tom Burnside wrote in an e-mail, “We started... Read more »




SD Venture Funding Tops $1.9B in 2017; and Q4 Top 10 Deals https://www.xconomy.com/san-diego/2018/01/10/sd-venture-funding-tops-1-9b-in-2017-and-q4-top-10-deals/ Wed, 10 Jan 2018 06:12:33 +0000 Bruce V. Bigelow https://www.xconomy.com/?p=358949 San Diego Bay, Downtown San Diego

Venture capital activity ended the year with a strong finish in San Diego, as investors poured $498.4 million into 61 companies during the last three months of 2017, according to Venture Monitor data released Tuesday.

The strength of fourth-quarter deals, lifted by a $125 million financing in November for the molecular diagnostics company Progenity, brought total venture investments in San Diego to nearly $1.92 billion in 215 deals last year. The annual total was slightly ahead of venture activity in 2016, when VCs put slightly less than $1.9 billion into 231 startups in the greater San Diego region, according to Venture... Read more »

Venture Activity Comes to (Unicorn) Point in 2017, and Top 10 Deals https://www.xconomy.com/national/2018/01/09/venture-activity-comes-to-unicorn-point-in-2017-and-top-10-deals/ Tue, 09 Jan 2018 05:01:34 +0000 Bruce V. Bigelow https://www.xconomy.com/?p=358872

[Updated 1/10/18 1:30 pm. See below.] In China, 2017 was the year of the rooster. But in the United States, it was the year of the unicorn—at least according to the Venture Monitor report released today by Seattle-based PitchBook and the National Venture Capital Association.

A record number of unicorn financings—venture-backed companies valued at $1 billion or more—helped drive U.S. venture funding to a total of $84.2 billion in 8,035 companies (through 8,076 deals) in 2017, according to Venture Monitor data. As the authors put it, that’s a level of VC funding unseen since the early 2000s—harkening to the... Read more »

Genalyte Takes Aim at Lab Testing Giants with Cloud-Based Service https://www.xconomy.com/san-diego/2018/01/03/genalyte-takes-aim-at-lab-testing-giants-with-cloud-based-service/ Wed, 03 Jan 2018 18:16:52 +0000 Bruce V. Bigelow https://www.xconomy.com/?p=358556

Genalyte, a biomedical diagnostics company that has maintained a low profile in San Diego while raising almost $92 million, is getting ready to debut technology that targets a market long dominated by centralized lab services providers.

Kevin Lo, an Internet veteran who recently joined Genalyte as president, said in a telephone interview the company is creating a next-generation lab services business that doesn’t require blood samples to be sent to centralized labs for testing. Instead, Lo said Genalyte founder and CEO Cary Gunn has led development of a cloud-connected device, equipped with automated, lab-on-a-chip technology capable of returning test results in... Read more »

Security Evangelist Tony Anscombe on the Tech Backlash of 2017 https://www.xconomy.com/san-diego/2017/12/29/security-evangelist-tony-anscombe-on-the-tech-backlash-of-2017/ Fri, 29 Dec 2017 08:40:25 +0000 Bruce V. Bigelow https://www.xconomy.com/?p=358390 ESET global security evangelist Tony Anscombe

It’s time to ring out the old year. Or perhaps in the case of 2017, with its litany of data security breaches, social media manipulations, and allegations of sexual harassment, to just wring out the old.

As the year drew to a close, Xconomy asked a variety of tech industry observers for their perspective on the incidents that emerged from the dark side of tech in 2017, and whether public opinion about the tech industry is changing. Tony Anscombe is a global security evangelist for Eset, an IT security company based in Bratislava, Slovakia, (its North American headquarters is in San... Read more »

Cybersecurity Expert Ash Mozano on the Tech Backlash of 2017 https://www.xconomy.com/san-diego/2017/12/26/cybersecurity-expert-ash-mozano-on-the-tech-backlash-of-2017/ Tue, 26 Dec 2017 11:40:01 +0000 Bruce V. Bigelow https://www.xconomy.com/?p=358135 Circadence CTO Ash Mozano (Circadence photo used with permission)

There may be nothing more subjective than trying to gauge public attitudes about technology. Yet a series of highly publicized events in 2017—from the massive exposure of personal data in the Equifax breach to the use of Twitter and Facebook to manipulate voters in the U.S. Presidential election—has prompted some to question the utopian promise of innovation, especially when it comes to social media and cybersecurity.

In a bid to put things in perspective at year’s end, Xconomy reached out to Ash Mozano, chief technology officer at Circadence, a Boulder, CO-based specialist in cybersecurity training and technology. At Circadence, Mozano leads... Read more »

San Diego Life Sciences 2022: Photos and Takeaways https://www.xconomy.com/san-diego/2017/12/19/san-diego-life-sciences-2022-photos-and-takeaways/ Tue, 19 Dec 2017 05:01:58 +0000 Bruce V. Bigelow https://www.xconomy.com/?p=357686 Photo by Teresa LoJacono

Making predictions can be a tricky business. Nevertheless, Xconomy recently brought together some of San Diego’s most prominent life sciences leaders to offer their vision for what the regional biotech cluster will be like in five years.

They broadly agreed that San Diego has proven itself as a great seedbed for life sciences startups. The list of recent buyouts includes Life Technologies ($13.6 billion), CareFusion ($14.4 billion), Receptos ($7 billion), Seragon Pharmaceuticals ($725 million), Aragon Pharmaceuticals ($1 billion), and Auspex Pharmaceuticals ($3.2 billion). Yet one central question arising from their discussion went largely unanswered: Are there specific steps this region can... Read more »

Metacrine Raises $22M to Advance New Drugs for Chronic Liver Disease https://www.xconomy.com/san-diego/2017/12/07/metacrine-raises-22m-to-advance-new-drugs-for-chronic-liver-disease/ Thu, 07 Dec 2017 10:00:30 +0000 Bruce V. Bigelow https://www.xconomy.com/?p=357083

Metacrine, a biotech developing new drugs for treating chronic liver diseases and related metabolic diseases and disorders, said today it has raised $22 million in a Series B financing led by New Enterprise Associates, a new investor.

Proceeds will be used to advance Metacrine’s lead drug candidate, MET409, into first-in-human studies during the first half of 2018. Initial studies should be completed by the end of the year, the San Diego-based company said.

Scientific understanding of the role that bile acids play as signaling molecules have resulted in a number of new drug targets in recent years for treating chronic... Read more »

Dynavax Co-founder Takes Long View on Vaccine Development https://www.xconomy.com/san-diego/2017/12/05/dynavaxs-founding-scientist-takes-long-view-on-vaccine-development/ Tue, 05 Dec 2017 06:00:55 +0000 Bruce V. Bigelow https://www.xconomy.com/?p=356838 Dennis A. Carson (BVBigelow photo)

The reaction on Wall Street was a little anticlimactic after the FDA approved a new hepatitis B vaccine last month for Berkeley, CA-based Dynavax Technologies (NASDAQ: DVAX).

Many investors sold stock on the news. In the days following the company’s Nov. 9 announcement, the price of Dynavax shares slipped about 8 percent, from $20.05 a share to $18.45 on Nov. 16.

For Dennis Carson, however, the FDA announcement represented the culmination of a scientific odyssey that took 21 years. To him, vaccines represent a paradigm in preventive health—even though vaccines take longer to develop and typically don’t bring... Read more »

Connect Marks 30th Year of Most Innovative New Product Awards https://www.xconomy.com/san-diego/2017/12/01/connect-marks-30th-year-of-most-innovative-new-product-awards/ Fri, 01 Dec 2017 07:00:27 +0000 Bruce V. Bigelow https://www.xconomy.com/?p=356637

In its yearly celebration of entrepreneurship and invention, San Diego’s Connect gave its Most Innovative New Product Award to 10 local companies at a dinner gala Thursday evening.

Speaking in an interview before the late-night ceremony, Connect CEO Greg McKee said the awards highlighted the diversity of innovation in San Diego—from an oxygen mask that signals if a patient develops trouble breathing (TereoPneuna) to artificial intelligence technology developed for self-driving vehicles (Brain Corp.).

While A.I. has been advancing at a breathtaking pace, McKee said a recent, massive explosion of data is threatening to overwhelm existing technologies—and that’s likely to drive a... Read more »

Intel Deepens Move into Sports Tech with ScoreStream Investment https://www.xconomy.com/san-diego/2017/11/20/intel-deepens-move-into-sports-tech-with-sportstream-investment/ Mon, 20 Nov 2017 05:01:13 +0000 Bruce V. Bigelow https://www.xconomy.com/?p=356157 ScoreStream image of an Alabama high school football team used with permission

ScoreStream, a five-year-old startup that created a social media platform for crowd-sourcing local sports scores, has raised $3.7 million in a Series A round that includes Intel Capital as an investor.

According to a recent ScoreStream statement, San Diego’s Avalon Ventures, a longtime ScoreStream investor, led the round, and was joined by Sinclair Broadcasting, Verizon Ventures, and R/GA Ventures, the investment arm of the advertising agency R/GA. Including the latest round, ScoreStream has raised a total of $6.8 million since it was founded in 2012.

CEO Derrick Oien said Friday that ScoreStream recently completed a Verizon R/GA digital “Media Tech... Read more »

Xconomy Peers into Biotech Future with Vividion’s Diego Miralles https://www.xconomy.com/san-diego/2017/11/16/xconomy-peers-into-biotech-future-with-vividions-diego-miralles/ Thu, 16 Nov 2017 16:25:28 +0000 Bruce V. Bigelow https://www.xconomy.com/?p=355993

What’s new in San Diego life sciences?

Diego Miralles, who was named just three months ago as the CEO of San Diego-based Vividion Therapeutics, has a lot to say on that topic. Miralles, an immunologist who previously served as the CEO at Adaptive Therapeutics and before that led innovation and West Coast R&D for Johnson & Johnson, describes Vividion as “a company for the ages.”

As Miralles put it, “We want to be the Genentech of small molecule drugs.”

With his global experience in life sciences innovation and his attention focused on the near horizon in drug development, Miralles was the... Read more »

Raken Aims for Growth in Mobile App for Construction Site Reporting https://www.xconomy.com/san-diego/2017/11/15/raken-aims-for-growth-in-mobile-app-for-construction-site-reporting/ Wed, 15 Nov 2017 05:01:54 +0000 Bruce V. Bigelow https://www.xconomy.com/?p=355891 Raken CTO/CPO Sergey Sundukovskiy (left) and CEO Kyle Slager

When it comes to disrupting an industry, Raken founder and CEO Kyle Slager says it would be hard to find a sector that is more resistant to spending money on new technologies than the construction business. As Slager puts it, even bankers and insurers spend more on technology as a percentage of revenue than building contractors.

But Slager says that’s starting to change as construction companies realize that technology isn’t just an expense; it can represent an investment in money-saving efficiencies. In a recent interview with Xconomy, he said, “We’re seeing this tidal wave that just wasn’t there before.”

After... Read more »

Aquam Raises $26M to Expand Tech, Services for Aging Infrastructure https://www.xconomy.com/san-diego/2017/11/10/aquam-raises-26m-to-expand-tech-services-for-aging-infrastructure/ Fri, 10 Nov 2017 05:01:01 +0000 Bruce V. Bigelow https://www.xconomy.com/?p=355701

Aquam, a San Diego company with technology for cleaning out and re-lining aging utility pipelines, has raised $26 million in a growth capital round led by NewWorld Capital Group, a New York private equity firm that makes investments in sustainable energy and natural-resources related deals.

As municipalities and utilities confront intractable infrastructure problems that range from the drinking water crisis in Flint, MI, to a 2010 natural gas pipeline explosion in San Bruno, CA, Aquam says its proprietary technology and services can extend the life of pipelines, and make them more resilient. The privately held company said the funding would... Read more »

Bose Develops Prototype “Sleepbuds” After Buying San Diego Startup https://www.xconomy.com/san-diego/2017/11/08/bose-developing-prototype-sleepbuds-after-buying-san-diego-startup/ Wed, 08 Nov 2017 23:33:20 +0000 Bruce V. Bigelow https://www.xconomy.com/?p=355619 Hush CEO Daniel Lee (BVBigelow photo)

Bose, the privately held maker of headphones, loudspeakers, and other electronics for audiophiles, has acquired Hush, a San Diego startup founded by three undergraduate engineering students to develop “smart” noise-masking earbuds designed to help users sleep.

The Framingham, MA, audio giant has incorporated the Hush technology in a prototype product that Bose is testing in a new product category that might best be described as “health and wellness audio.”

In a recent e-mail newsletter, Hush founding CEO Daniel “Ewok” Lee announced the acquisition, writing, “Some huge news to share – we’ve been acquired by Bose Corporation!”

Lee did not reveal... Read more »

OncoSec Medical Names Former Advaxis Exec O’Conner as CEO https://www.xconomy.com/san-diego/2017/11/08/oncosec-medical-names-former-advaxis-exec-oconner-as-ceo/ Wed, 08 Nov 2017 20:26:59 +0000 Bruce V. Bigelow https://www.xconomy.com/?p=355594 OncoSec Medical (NASDAQ: ONCS) has named former Advaxis (NASDAQ: ADXS) CEO Daniel J. O’Conner to take over as chief executive at the San Diego-based company, which has been developing technology to enhance the delivery and uptake of its anti-tumor drug therapies.

O’Conner resigned in July from Advaxis, a cancer immunotherapy biotech in Princeton, NJ, and joined OncoSec’s board in September. OncoSec co-founder and CEO Punit Dhillon will continue as president and board member, according to a statement Tuesday. OncoSec said O’Conner’s appointment was effective immediately.

Progenity Raises $125M to Expand Diagnostics for Women’s Health https://www.xconomy.com/san-diego/2017/11/07/progenity-raises-125m-to-expand-diagnostics-for-womens-health/ Tue, 07 Nov 2017 23:41:23 +0000 Bruce V. Bigelow https://www.xconomy.com/?p=355555 Vials of blood

Progenity, a San Diego molecular diagnostics company focused on women’s health, reproductive medicine, and oncology, has raised $125 million in a Series B financing led by New York’s Athyrium Capital Management, an earlier investor. The financing marks one of the biggest life sciences deal involving a San Diego company this year.

Proceeds from the financing, which comprises both equity and debt, will be used to develop molecular diagnostics, precision therapeutics, and related microbiome analytics and consumer information on health nutrition, according to a company statement Tuesday. The company says it has developed a portfolio of diagnostic tests for pre-eclampsia, genetic carrier... Read more »

At First Summit, 7CTOs Takes Baby Step to San Diego Tech Buildup https://www.xconomy.com/san-diego/2017/11/07/at-first-summit-7ctos-takes-baby-step-to-san-diego-tech-buildup/ Tue, 07 Nov 2017 18:17:55 +0000 Bruce V. Bigelow https://www.xconomy.com/?p=355517 7CTOs Co-founders Michael Saul (left) and Etienne de Bruin (BVBigelow photo)

A lot of ink has been spilled on the subject of building tech startups and creating entrepreneurial communities for tech innovation.

But to Etienne de Bruin, a disproportionate amount of attention has focused on the tech founder as CEO, and what it takes for a CEO to build a tech business. Search for “CEO books” on Amazon, and the search results from the world’s largest Internet-based retailer return just over 8,000 titles. A search for “CTO books,” on the other hand, yields about 540 titles.

As a software engineer and self-described “tech guy,” de Bruin says he is more interested in... Read more »

Broadcom-Qualcomm M&A: Layers of Complexity Cloud Biggest Tech Deal https://www.xconomy.com/san-diego/2017/11/06/broadcom-qualcomm-ma-layers-of-complexity-cloud-biggest-tech-deal/ Mon, 06 Nov 2017 19:56:09 +0000 Bruce V. Bigelow https://www.xconomy.com/?p=355437 Qualcomm headquarters in San Diego (Qualcomm photo used with permission)

One thing to bear in mind with today’s news that Broadcom Ltd. (NASDAQ: AVGO) has made an unsolicited offer of about $105 billion to acquire San Diego-based Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM) is that this deal, if it happens, is going to take time.

Aside from the complications involved with combining the global operations of two Fortune 500 chip-making giants (Qualcomm has a market valuation of almost $92 billion; Broadcom’s is over $111 billion), there are layers upon layers of complexity to the deal:

—Qualcomm, under pressure from European regulators, has yet to consummate its year-old offer to acquire the Dutch... Read more »

New Biotech Viscient Partners with Organovo on Fatty Liver Disease https://www.xconomy.com/san-diego/2017/11/06/new-biotech-viscient-partners-with-organovo-on-fatty-liver-disease/ Mon, 06 Nov 2017 10:05:34 +0000 Bruce V. Bigelow https://www.xconomy.com/?p=355386

It struck me as a little perplexing when Organovo (NASDAQ: ONVO) announced in April that CEO Keith Murphy was departing to pursue “entrepreneurial opportunities.”

The San Diego company, founded a decade ago on 3D bio-printing technology developed by the University of Missouri’s Gabor Forgacs, appeared to be gaining momentum on multiple fronts. Organovo had built a thriving business under Murphy as a contract research organization, enabling big pharmaceutical companies to screen on pea-sized samples of 3D-printed liver cells. In a related initiative, Organovo began moving to develop larger “patches” of 3D-printed human liver tissue for potential use in transplantation in... Read more »