Every day, Global University Venturing rounds up the smaller investments from across the university innovation ecosystem in its deal net.

Helicoid Industries, a US-based composite material developer exploiting University of California, Riverside research, has officially launched with plans to raise $5m in its inaugural funding round. Founded in March 2019, the company hopes to devise composites for applications including wind farm productivity and automotive fuel efficiency, formed of a highly-resilient synthetic material called Helicoid that replicates a self-defence structure intrinsic to the mantis shrimp. The planned funding would help Helicoid hire management and sales personnel, and support the closing out of prototype production ahead of a commercialisation drive currently anticipated before the end of 2019. Helicoid spawned from research conducted by UC Riverside’s David Kisailus, a professor of chemical and environmental engineering and professor of materials science and engineering.

Offchain Labs, a US-based blockchain application enhancement tool developer spun out of Princeton University, has collected $3.7m in a seed round led by Pantera Capital that featured Compound VC, BlockNation and undisclosed additional investors, Return On Information – New Jersey has reported. Founded in 2018, Offchain Labs has begun alpha testing a software tool that  frees up processing capacity within third-party blockchain applications by executing certain pieces of code and transactions through alternative channels. The company is in the midst of a recruitment drive and expects to have completed a production-ready version of its product by the end of 2019. Its founding team includes Edward Felten, the Robert E. Kahn professor of computer science and public affairs who is also director of Princeton’s Center for Information Technology Policy.

NuQuantum, a UK-based quantum technology spinout of University of Cambridge focused initially on quantum security, expects to close a pre-seed round of undisclosed size involving unnamed investors at the end of this month, according to BusinessWeekly. Founded in 2018, NuQuantum is working on single-photon quantum components that exploit the spinout’s understanding of materials and semiconductors to enable applications including quantum security. The pre-seed funding will aid NuQuantum in completing R&D development and could be followed by another round sized at £2m ($2.4m) to help scale the business. NuQuantum is led by chief executive Carmen Palacios-Berraquero, a postdoctoral associate in the university’s Cavendish lab specialised in the quantum optics of two-dimensional materials.