San Diego Top Startups, 2022
San Diego was known as Silicon Beach three decades before Los Angeles started using the name. These 12 San Diego early-stage companies that grabbed our attention prove the location’s value as a tech hub for startups.
San Diego, California, goes by many names—”America’s Finest City,” “Birthplace of California,” and “City in Motion.” All these remain true, but City in Motion is perhaps the most relevant today.
This surge is due to two factors. One is the availability of tech talent from the military bases in the area and the University of California, San Diego. The other is more than 220 accelerator programs, incubators, and investors are focusing on San Diego tech startups and other companies.
As a bonus, San Diego is famous for its beaches and has the best weather in the US. It is no surprise that people have been moving to San Diego nonstop despite the high cost of living.
The evolution of San Diego as Silicon Beach began with the founding of Qualcomm by former Linkabit employees in 1985. Other notable companies have since followed suit, including Google, Amazon, Walmart Labs, and Apple.
Listen to the Podcast Episode about San Diego’s Top Startups
As of this writing, Crunchbase identifies 807 companies founded in San Diego from 2017 to 2022, 531 tech-related. Get to know 12 San Diego companies included in that list as we introduce to you Startup Hustle’s Top San Diego Startups to watch.
Top San Diego Startups to Watch in 2022
Some estimates put the reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of using one electric car for one year at 1.5 million grams. That’s equivalent to the CO2 emissions from four return flights from London to Barcelona, 1,140 kilometers each time.
ChargeNet Stations hopes to help transition to electric vehicles (EVs) by making their use in the US easier. It is a software platform for integrating a payment system with EV fast chargers, energy storage, and solar power. The aim is to build the most comprehensive EV charging network in the US.
The company developed the ChargeOptTM hardware-agnostic SaaS platform. It enables sponsored charging for drivers in quick-service restaurant (QSR) parking lots.
ChargeNet Stations allows QSRs to convert their parking lots to profit centers. As a result, they’re enabling under-served communities to make the most of these assets through mobility electrification.
The platform’s goal is to fill the gaps in the EV charging infrastructure to serve the 2.32 million EVs currently plying US roads. ChargeNet Stations has direct domain experience developing fast, solar-powered EV charging stations running on its innovative software. Consequently, customers can get an almost 100-mile charge in 15 minutes for about $10.
ChargeNet Stations is under the leadership of founder and CEO Tosh Dutt and COO Venus Jenkins. It currently has stations in 70 Taco Bell locations and plans to onboard other QSR chains soon. The company has received $6.8 million in two funding rounds since its founding in 2019. The latest was a Seed round raised in January 2022.
CEO & Founder, ChargeNet Stations
Do you suffer from forgetfulness? You’re not alone. One in nine American adults over 45 suffers from memory issues associated with cognitive decline. However, don’t worry too much if you keep forgetting where you put your keys. In most cases, it could be due to one or more of seven types of normal memory problems.
Nevertheless, if you want to be on the safe side, you could forget less and remember more by creating your personal AI. Personal AI is an AI-building technology designed to help expand your capacity to retain more information. Essentially, the software is an extension of your mind.
If that sounds uncomfortably like Transcendence, it isn’t like that at all. Personal AI saves, organizes, and automatically manages your memories according to your preferences. You also train your individual AI to preserve specific thought data in a memory stack on the blockchain. Moreover, you decide what goes in and what comes out.
Personal.ai records every detail of a conversation or anything you’ve heard using Synch Speech. Consequently, you can recall these detailed memories to help you in decision-making, social and business interactions, or creative projects. The app can also offer you suggestions based on your past activities.
Suman Kanuganti and Sharon Zhang are co-founders of Personal.ai and currently serve as CEO and CTO, respectively. Under their watch, the company raised $5.9 million in three funding rounds from 11 investors since its founding in 2020. The latest funding was a Seed round in January 2021.
CEO & Co-founder, Personal.ai
Amazon is a massive marketplace with 1.5 million active sellers, and its retail e-commerce market share hit 56.7% in 2021. More than half of sales are from third-party sellers (3P) on the platform. As a result, the competition for buyer attention is fierce, and profit margins are razor-thin in some instances.
The unfunny thing is the biggest competitor of 3P sellers is Amazon itself, which has the resources to be very competitive indeed. Eva can help even the odds using artificial intelligence (AI).
Eva is a prescriptive analytics automation platform. It provides advanced Amazon analytics, demand-based repricing strategies, and simplified inventory management for private label sellers, brands, and resellers.
The company also offers expert consulting and digital marketing services to help you reduce operational costs to maximize profits. Anything you need to optimize and level up your e-commerce business on Amazon, you can find on Eva.
The superpowered AI platform operates under the leadership of CEO Hai Mag and CXO Barry Guze, co-founders of the company. Eva received $1.5 million in one Pre-Seed round in June 2021.
CEO & Co-founder, Eva.guru
Mosaic.tech provides a finance platform with predictive reporting capabilities to inform financial strategy and planning. It analyzes data from disparate systems such as ERPs, HRISs, and CRMs to provide CFOs with tools for strategic planning. These tools can help them make more accurate predictions and forecasts faster.
Founded in 2019, Mosaic is a product built by experienced finance professionals, namely Bijan Moallemi, Joe Garafalo, and Brian Campbell. They met at Palantir Technologies and needed but could not find off-the-shelf solutions to their issues. As a result, they teamed up to form Mosaic.
Moallemi said in an interview, “If you think about the way that CFOs do their work, 80% of their time is mostly manual, right? It’s pulling down data from disparate systems, it’s doing ad hoc Excel formulas, it’s often one-off analyses. Only 20% of their time is more strategic, making an impact on the business.”
The goal of Mosaic.tech is to change how CFOs operate. The platform gives greater visibility into the critical dynamics of a business. As a result, San Diego companies can understand their cash burn better, forecast spending, and discover exciting insights.
Mosaic.tech combines machine learning and big data to give all businesses powerful predictive reporting capabilities, leveling the playing field. It also has one-click integrations and real-time analytics that offer clear insights and straightforward recommendations.
All the founders are active at Mosaic.tech. Bijan Moallemi serves as CEO, while Joe Garafalo and Brian Campbell serve as COO and CPO, respectively. Under their leadership, Mosaic has received $45.9 million in five funding rounds from nine investors since its founding. The latest funding was a Series B round raised in March 2022.
The company offers an advanced security and compliance automation platform. Drata streamlines compliance for frameworks and regulations such as SOC 2, HIPAA, PCI-DSS, GDPR, ISO 27001, CCPA, and more. It aims to help companies earn and keep the trust of their users, partners, and prospects using automated control monitoring and evidence collection. As a result, it lowers costs and lessens time spent on annual audit preparation.
Founded in July 2020, Drata grew to thousands of customers in less than 18 months. Cloud-based companies looking to improve security and compliance efforts have driven its growth since adherence has become increasingly necessary.
Founders Adam Markowitz (CEO), Troy Markowitz (CRO), and Daniel Marashlian (CTO) all lead this security and compliance automation company. Drata has received $128.2 million in three funding rounds from 12 investors since it launched. The latest funding was a Series B round in November 2021.
Blooma is an AI-powered digital underwriting platform for loan origination and portfolio monitoring for commercial real estate (CRE) operators. It delivers a faster and more intelligent CRE lending experience without going through a full write-up. The platform also helps lenders evaluate new opportunities, reduce costs, and perform a comprehensive analysis of transactions.
Founded in 2018, the company uses optical character recognition (OCR) to scan and automate deal evaluation. As a result, it allows investors and lenders to make informed decisions quickly. The software considers sales and income valuations to provide accurate market and expense data. It also accommodates existing processes with great flexibility.
Blooma pulls in multiple data points from loans to automate borrower analysis, loan monitoring, stress testing, and auditing. It uses real-time market data via API to identify risk. As a result, it lower costs for loan servicing and portfolio management.
Under founder and CEO Shayne Skaff and COO Tal Almog, Blooma has analyzed over $12 billion in deals. Their customers include C3 Bank, CB Richard Ellis, and Bank of Southern California. Since its founding, the company has received $20.8 million in three funding rounds from eight investors. The latest funding was a Series A round in June 2021.
Creative Force is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) company with a “user-first” approach. It provides a real-time tracking and workflow system for photo studios to support e-commerce and editorial content creation at scale.
The goal of Creative Force is to help photo studios become scalable by working more efficiently. The software addresses all aspects of production, ranging from sample check-in to final asset delivery to the web. It provides insights from real-time data and automates repetitive activities, such as file naming, enabling creatives to focus on core tasks. In addition, its Workfront connector enables the software to synchronize all aspects of the workflow to improve productivity.
Founded in 2019, Creative Force is under the leadership of co-founders and CEO Thomas Kragelund and CPO Tejs Rasmussen. It received approximately $2.7 million (DKK 19 M) in one Debt Financing round with one investor in June 2021.
The world of e-commerce is tough on small businesses. However, you can optimize the customer experience and acquire a competitive edge with the right data.
Daasity helps e-commerce brands make data-driven decisions. It is an e-commerce commerce analytics and data company that pulls in customer data from various sources such as Shopify and Amazon. It provides insights from historical trends to improve marketing and customer service strategies.
The company offers pre-built dashboards that enable merchants to visualize their data in digestible form. These dashboards also generate critical insights for customer segmentation, omnichannel measurement, and marketing efficacy. Additionally, they provide information about inventory management, cohort analysis, and more.
Daasity’s platform has more than 50 integrations and 130 pre-built reports. They have worked with more than 1,600 brands, including Caraway Home, Manscaped, and Vuori, since 2017.
Founded by CEO Dan LeBlanc and Chief Analytic Officer Sean Corson, Daasity has excited much interest. It has received $20.7 million in four funding rounds from 11 investors since it began. The latest funding was a Series A round in January 2022.
Nearly 30 million Americans have a form of an eating disorder. It is the most common mental illness among adolescent girls. Approximately one person in the world dies every hour from an eating disorder. Equip Health addresses this problem through its virtual treatment program to help families deal with it at home.
Equip Health focuses on the evidence-based care methodology to treat eating disorders called Family-Based Treatment (FBT). It builds on the idea that the closest people are in the best position to help and achieve lasting recovery. The company provides a 5-person care team to support and empower parents and healthcare providers in this goal. The care team includes the following:
- Peer mentor
- Family mentor
The team coordinates with the primary care physician to ensure continuity of treatment. In turn, the family works with the team whenever and as often as necessary to identify areas where the eating disorder sufferer needs support. This may include mentorship, meal planning, therapy, and so on. Equip currently works with families with children as young as 6.
Founded by CEO Kristina Saffran and COO Erin Parks, the protocols implemented at Equip Health have been effective in helping families. It has been so effective that it received an impressive $74.7 million in three funding rounds from 11 investors since its started. The latest funding was a Series B round in February 2022.
More people consume tea than any other beverage in the world apart from water. The global tea market reached $207.1 billion in 2020 and continues to rise. Tea drinkers might want to try kombucha, a fizzy tea variation whose popularity is growing because of its health benefits.
While unsubstantiated, studies indicate that fermenting black or green tea with yeast and sugar creates probiotics that help digestion. Kombucha also has a healthy dose of Vitamin B. However, kombucha poses some health risks if not adequately prepared.
JuneShine takes the guesswork out of hard kombucha by preparing it with organic ingredients under carefully controlled conditions. Its hard kombucha contains 6% alcohol and is available in ten flavors in draft and cans. Launched in 2018, JuneShine produces certified organic, gluten-free, and kosher products.
Founder and CEO Greg Serrao wanted to brew honest alcohol for a healthier planet. After preparing a Blood Orange Mint kombucha batch in his garage, he invited a few friends over. Today, JuneShine products are available for wholesale in 28 states and retail sale online in 45 states. These products include hard kombucha and classic canned cocktails.
JuneShine has received $24 million in three funding rounds from 21 investors since its founding. That’s a lot of kombuchas. The latest funding was a Series B round in November 2021.
Play-to-earn (P2E) games are all the rage among teenagers and some adults. P2E games are blockchain-based and allow players to make money by completing in-game missions or trading goods. In most cases, players earn non-fungible tokens (NFTs) or native tokens that they can collect, trade, and sell.
LifeForce Games does it a little differently. It offers a metaverse-as-a-service network and develops P2E games connected through a metaverse. Gaming studios and individuals can instantly build engaging content on the platform upon launch. However, it develops P2E games that do not require players to own and use crypto.
The company’s focus is to provide players with a fun gaming experience and realize the potential of blockchain-based gaming. LifeForce Games is working on innovations to accelerate open and interoperable metaverse development. As a result, it will enable NFTs to work across platforms and games.
The network team consists of veterans of the blockchain gaming sector. These include people from Amazon, Daybreak, EA, Sony Online Entertainment, and Sony Playstation.
Under the leadership of CEO and founder Catherine Carroll and CTO Ryan Porter, LifeForce Games is gaining traction. It received $5 million in one Seed round from five investors in March 2022.
Availing of health services can be complicated in the US. In most cases, patients are not aware of their options when choosing a healthcare provider.
Turquoise Health helps them make those choices by providing healthcare price transparency. It is a health tech company and provider-payer contract negotiation platform that reduces the expense and complexity of healthcare.
The goal of Turquoise Health is to create cost certainty for patients. It offers a “transparency scorecard” that shows people a menu of services and their price comparisons at local hospitals. Consequently, Turquoise Health helps consumers find the best deal in one place.
It works with 25 hospitals, payers, and research institutions to prepare their rates for the transparent market. The software suite helps organizations create price certainty for patients and eases claims adjudication.
Turquoise Health operates under the leadership of founders Chris Severn and Adam Geitgey as CEO and CTO, respectively. It has received $25.3 million in three funding rounds from eight investors since its founding in 2020. The latest funding was a Series A round in May 2022.
San Diego Startups Turns Sand into Silicon
San Diego’s many family-friendly attractions and perfect weather make it the ideal place to establish top startups. It continues to earn the term Silicon Beach with the influx of tech startups to its shores.
These San Diego companies are not yet at the level of those in Silicon Valley. But, they’re on their way! Full Scale has your back if you need help scaling your software team quickly and affordably.
If you would like to read more about top startups in other cities, check out our list here!
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