First-Quarter Venture Funding Slumps in San Diego, and Top 10 Deals

Thirty-seven venture-backed companies in the San Diego area collected almost $350 million in new funding during the first three months of 2017, according to data released this week as part of the latest Venture Monitor report from the National Venture Capital Association and Seattle-based PitchBook.

That was down 39 percent from the $574.5 million that VCs invested in San Diego startups in the same quarter in 2016, and off nearly 17 percent from the $420.3 million invested in the prior quarter, according to PitchBook data.

Nationally, VC investments continued to decelerate in the first quarter, with some $16.5 billion invested in 1,797 deals nationwide, according to the report. That marked a nearly 12 percent decline in dollars and a 24 percent drop in deals from the first quarter of 2016.

San Diego life sciences companies got most of the $350 million in venture funding that was invested in the first quarter. San Diego’s top 10 deals, listed below, all involved life sciences companies that together claimed nearly $252 million, or 72 percent of first-quarter venture funding in the region.

San Diego’s deal count also was down. The 37 companies that got funded in the first quarter were roughly half the 75 deals that PitchBook counted in the same quarter last year, and off almost 29 percent from the 52 deals in the prior quarter.

As a point of comparison, or perhaps a tale of two cities, Xconomy Seattle editor Ben Romano reported that venture firms invested $300 million in Seattle startups during the first quarter—a 33 percent surge over the same quarter in 2016.

Seattle’s deal count also climbed to 68, with biotech and medical device companies claiming four of the region’s 10 biggest deals.

Here are San Diego’s top 10 first-quarter deals, based on PitchBook data from the Venture Monitor report.

Vividion Therapeutics $50 million BioPharma
F1 Oncology $44 million Anti-cancer
Biological Dynamics $28.9 million Anti-cancer
Dauntless Pharmaceuticals $25 million BioPharma
Jecure Therapeutics $20 million BioPharma
Neurelis $20 million BioPharma
Oncternal Therapeutics $18.4 million Anti-cancer
Genoa Pharmaceuticals $16.6 million BioPharma
Avidity Biosciences $16 million BioPharma
Echo Laboratories $12.9 million Healthtech


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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