San Diego Innovation Report



Venture Capital Funding — $3.47 Billion

and over 232 deals!

Venture Capital (VC) funding to companies in San Diego County totaled more than $3.4 Billion invested in 232 deals in 2019, according to deal data sourced from PitchBook and analyzed by Connect.

LifeSci companies received around 64% of the total VC funding in San Diego in 2019. Companies in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical sectors accounted for the largest share of venture investment in San Diego in 2019 with 43% of the VC funding totaling nearly $1.5 Billion. The sectors of biomedical products and services accounted for an additional 21% with over $750 Million.

The software sector also saw a huge increase in VC investment in 2019 with $803 Million invested — nearly double the $436 Million invested in 2018, and much larger than the $191 Million and $180 Million invested in 2017 and 2016, respectively.

Top 10 Companies Receiving VC Funding

Company Deal Size Industry
TuSimple $215M Software
Acutus Medical $193M Biomedical Products & Services
Poseida Therapeutics $142M Biotechnology & Pharmaceuticals
CommonGrounds $140M Other Sectors (Commercial Services)
Avidity Biosciences $100M Biotechnology & Pharmaceuticals
Rakuten Medical $100M Biotechnology & Pharmaceuticals
SmartDrive Systems $90M Software
Epirium $85M Biotechnology & Pharmaceuticals
Vividion Therapeutics $82M Biotechnology & Pharmaceuticals
Element Biosciences $80M Biomedical Products & Services

*Note: Investment value rounded to nearest million dollars.


VC Funding by Stage of Development

San Diego saw substantial increases in Seed and Expansion & Later Stage deals as compared to 2018.

Seed stage companies received $147M in 2019, compared to $103M in 2018, up 43%. Early stage companies received 10% less in 2019, $1.2B, down from $1.3B in 2018, even though early stage companies participated in 88 deals both years. Expansion and later stage investment also noticed a significant increase, up 52%, to $2.1B in 2019 from $1.4B in 2018 and $842M in 2017.

Company Development Stages Defined

Seed Stage: The initial stage. The company has a concept or product under development, but is probably not fully operational. Usually in existence less than 18 months.

Early Stage: The company has a product or service in testing or pilot production. In some cases, the product may be commercially available. May or may not be generating revenue. Usually in business less than 3 years.

Expansion Stage + Later Stage: Product or service is in production and commercially available. The company demonstrates significant revenue growth but may or may not be showing a profit. Usually in business for more than three years. May include spin-offs of operating divisions of established private companies.

Largest VC Deal by Stage of Investment

Seed Stage


biproxi —  Raised $13.2M Seed Funding

Provider of a commercial real estate sales and leasing marketplace intended to offer a transparent way to buy, sell and lease commercial real estate. The company’s online end to end platform uses proprietary technology to verify listings, buyers, sellers and tenants and provides users with detailed dashboards, allowing customers to seamlessly discover new listings, make offers and close deals.

Early Stage

CommonGrounds Workplace

CommonGrounds — Raised $140M Series A

Provider of a collaborative office workspace intended to offer an accelerating platform for small businesses to grow. The company’s workspaces features conference rooms, collaborative meeting spaces, personal desks, hang-out zones, cafeteria, quiet phone rooms and local craft beer on tap alongside custom built incubation hubs specifically designed for startups and their conceiving business ideas, enabling entrepreneurs to find and book co-working spaces for a given period available at flexible membership packages.

Expansion + Later Stage


TuSimple  Raised $215M Series D

Developer of a camera-based computer vision technology intended to optimize self-driving truck systems. The company’s technology uses an array of cameras to scan the surrounding environment with the help of high-precision visual positioning and multi-sensor integration system, enabling clients to increase safety, decrease transportation costs and reduce carbon emissions.


• • • • • • • • • • •

San Diego county saw an incredible amount of capital invested in the region in 2019. When the data is divided up by calendar quarter, we see that quarters two, three, and four of 2019 saw an average of over $1B invested each quarter. These values are an astonishing way to close out the decade, especially since our region would struggle to break $1B invested in a whole year, during the first half of the 2010’s.


VC Investment — Top Companies by Valuation

TuSimple & Rakuten are both currently considered Unicorns (over $1B valuation).

Top 10 Venture-Backed Companies

Ranked by Valuation


Pre-Money Valuation
(as of 2019)

Post-Money Valuation (as of 2019) Total Raised to Date (as of 2019) Year Founded Industry Employees
TuSimple $1B $1.2B $408M 2015 Software 500
Rakuten Medical $1.05B $1.15B $471M 2011 Biotechnology & Pharmaceuticals 85
Tealium $795M $850M $168M 2008 Software 450
Omniome $540M $600M $140M 2013 Biotechnology & Pharmaceuticals 40
Poseida Therapeutics $426M $586M $214M 2015 Biotechnology & Pharmaceuticals 75
Progenity $490M $515M $178M 2012 Biotechnology & Pharmaceuticals 482
Ansun Biopharma $400M $478M $190M 2003 Biotechnology & Pharmaceuticals 22
Acutus Medical $200M $323M $322M 2011 Biomedical Products & Services 150
Vividion Therapeutics $213M $295M $143M 2014 Biotechnology & Pharmaceuticals 70
Kinnate Therapeutics $197M $272M $97M 2018 Biotechnology & Pharmaceuticals Unknown



Angel & Other Non-VC Investment

San Diego companies raised more than $99 million in 70 deals in 2019 where the investors were not institutional venture capital firms.

Source: PitchBook; Connect


Public Offerings

The San Diego IPO market activity in 2019 achieved new heights in both the number of successful lPOs and the total money raised through these IPOs. In 2019, nearly $645 million was raised through nine IPOs.


Mergers & Acquisitions

San Diego mergers and acquisitions in 2019 accounted for over $5 billion in funds exchanged.

2019 San Diego Innovation Report

Previous San Diego Innovation Reports

2018   |   2017   |   2016   |   2015