Every now and then, a San Diego startup manages to create enough noise to drown out all that Silicon Valley buzz.
Homegrown GoFundMe recently agreed to sell a majority stake of its company to investors. The sale price remains unknown, but the deal put a $600 million value on the company, according to the Wall Street Journal. GoFundMe is a website that lets people to crowdfund everything from pricey medical procedures to dream honeymoons.
Another fairly recent San Diego success story is ecoATM, which builds and operates automated machines that pay customers for their used electronics. It was acquired for $350 million.
It’s not really a mystery why Silicon Valley sucks up all the oxygen: Year after year, the amount of investor money reaching Silicon Valley startups easily dwarfs what their San Diego peers manage to raise. Young companies in California’s tech center racked up more than $9.1 billion in venture capital in the second quarter alone, compared with $141.1 million raised locally, based on one industry report.
As Lisa Halverstadt noted last year, there’s a sort of Catch-22 at work that tends to benefit Silicon Valley and hurt places like San Diego – more funding breeds more success, and the cycle continues:
Regions with big success stories get more venture capital money and more venture capital firms.
“Venture capital is mostly interested in home runs,” said Jeb Spencer, who leads a San Diego-based venture firm focused on software startups. “They’re interested in billion-dollar exits. That leaves the majority of software companies without funding.”
Here are five of the most buzzworthy San Diego-based startups to keep an eye on, based on several factors, including investor funds raised, industry chatter and milestones.