Friday, April 4, 2014
Swarm Aims To Rejuvenate San Diego's Software Industry
It hasn't been a great few months for San Diego's software and technology industry, as the city has seen three, big software companies move their operations, and thousands of jobs, to Texas. However, in a bid to rejuvenate and re-energize the industry, a new effort--Swarm--has just launched to bring together local software entrepreneurs, venture capital, and angel investors, in an attempt to bring new life to the region. According to Swarm, although San Diego has seen growth in investments in local software companies, it has been falling behind such cities as Austin and Phoenix, which have been growing much faster. Swarm said that San Diego is falling behind, as established software companies are being acquired and moved out of town, and investments in software in software have only been growing at single digit rates--and that it hopes to help change that.
The new group comes as San Diego has seen a one-two-three punch of three, major software companies--Websense, Active Network, Omnitracs--moving part or all of their operations to Texas. All three were recently acquired by private equity investor Vista Equity Partners, which has been moving thousands of jobs out of San Diego to Texas, after acquiring those companies.
Swarm--which was created by Jeb Spencer, founder and managing partner of investor TVC Capital--is planning to gather local angel investors and venture investors in May to help catalyze the region's software industry. Others involved in the effort include investor Brant Cooper, and Cooley's Eric Otterson. The group says its name refers to "swarm theory", the idea that colonies are capable of solving very complex problems unthinkable for individuals to solve on their own.