San Diego startups pulled in a hefty amount of venture capital in the third quarter, thanks to the region’s cluster of biotech/life sciences companies that continue to thrive during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sixty-three young local companies raised $933 million in the quarter, according to the PitchBook-National Venture Capital Association Venture Monitor report. While that’s below the $1 billion corralled by 73 startups during the same quarter last year, it’s still better than some industry observers expected given the state of the economy.
Biotech and life sciences startups made up 68 percent of the companies that received funding and 80 percent of the dollars taken in, said Tim Holl, an audit partner with Ernst & Young in San Diego.
“Certainly our life sciences industry is very robust right now, “ said Holl. Five years ago, if a life sciences company raised $50 million in a funding round, it was considered a big deal.
“Now we’ve had 17 deals over $50 million just this year,” said Holl.
Startups working on software, semiconductors and other non-healthcare technologies are having a tougher time raising money during the pandemic.
Still, a few local tech companies lured in investment, including productivity software unicorn Seismic, which raised $92 million; and consumer technology firm Ostendo Technologies, which raised $19 million. It recently launched new display technology for augmented reality glasses.
“On the tech side, I would have liked to see a