Post-IPO Active Network Shows Profit, SmartDrive Raises $10M, Human Engines Goes Commercial, & More San Diego BizTech News

Software-as-a-service is driving strong growth at two San Diego Web companies, and several other tech companies raised cash last week. We’ve got the highlight reel, and our play-by-play analysis begins now.

—After its May 25 IPO, San Diego’s Active Network (NYSE: ACTV) reported its first quarterly financial results, showing a $5.5 million profit on $99 million in revenue for the second quarter ended June 30. Active Network CEO Dave Alberga says the Web-based registration services and media company is now targeting an estimated $10 billion market that was impossible to address before the rise of software-as-a-service.

—Another San Diego software-as-a-service company, ServiceNow, opened a new office in San Jose, saying it was a “long overdue debut” for the fast-growing company in Silicon Valley. ServiceNow plans to hire 50 people in San Jose by the end of the year, and its global workforce will hit more than 500 by the end of September.

—San Diego’s SmartDrive Systems raised $10.1 million from investors. Targeting fleet operators, SmartDrive provides a SmartRecorder device mounted above the dashboard to record driving behavior and determine what happened in accidents.

—San Diego’s KidZui announced the debut of, a search engine for kids. KidZui also extended its $4 million Series C round with an additional $2 million led by San Diego-based Mission Ventures. CEO Cliff Boro told me the company plans to use the cash for general corporate purposes.

—Qualcomm reached the halfway point in its Qualcomm Wireless Fitness Challenge. After four weeks, the 32 participants have burned a total of 1.9 million calories and lost a total of 48.5 pounds. Qualcomm hopes to eventually roll out a wireless health program to other companies.

—Google Ventures provided the lead funding in a $500,000 seed round for Nettle, a 10-month-old San Diego startup that is still in stealth mode with technology described only as “a new social/local/mobile application for the global entertainment market. Brian Dear and Dan O’Neill founded the Internet startup.

Xconomy released its 2011 Guide to Venture Incubators. Each of the 64 listings in the guide includes information on how entrepreneurs can apply, what the programs look like, what companies have graduated, and how much of your company you’ll have to give up to participate.

—Wade noted in his column, World Wide Wade, that the number of venture incubators in the Xconomy Guide has tripled over the past two years. He suggests the proliferation of incubators could exacerbate the problem that incubators were invented to solve in the first place—the difficulty of getting a new company off the ground—by making it harder for individual startups to get noticed.

—San Diego’s Human Engines launched its first commercial product, a system for Android-based mobile devices that organizes the daily flood of e-mail, calendar notices, alerts, text messages, and social media messages. Former Qualcomm managers Baback Elmieh and Rachid El Guerrab founded Human Engines three years ago, and Elmieh told the startup was immediately cash-flow positive and revenue-generating.

Hookit CEO Scott Tilton tells me in a note that the San Diego social networking company has expanded its “Spots and Sessions” mobile service to include the location of local businesses, such as bike, surf, and skateboard shops. It’s a move that will help tie’s network of more than 700,000 action sports enthusiasts with discounts and promotions—and provide Hookit with new online advertising revenue.

Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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