Every day, Global University Venturing rounds up the smaller investments from across the university innovation ecosystem in its deal net.
US-based water infrastructure monitoring platform developer Ziptility has obtained $250,000 from Indiana University (IU)’s Philanthropic Venture Fund. Founded in 2018 by IU alumni, Ziptility has developed a cloud-based platform that relies on geographical maps, data analytics and sensors to help water utility companies monitor the condition of their assets. The capital will fund a recruitment drive and help expand Ziptility’s sales operation outside Indiana.
Refraction, a US-based autonomous delivery robot developer spun out of University of Michigan, has emerged from stealth with an undisclosed sum from venture fund eLab Ventures and firm Trucks Venture Capital, TechCrunch reported yesterday. Refraction has designed a robotic vehicle with top speeds of 15 miles per hour that enables on-demand, last-mile delivery of consumer goods. Unlike competing technologies, Refraction’s robots operate on bike lanes rather than sidewalks, in theory enabling deliveries across larger service areas. The company was co-founded by Matthew Johnson-Roberson, associate professor of engineering, and Ram Vasudevan, assistant professor of mechanical engineering.
Pulsalys, the regional tech transfer office for the Lyon St-Etienne region, has launched France-based spinout called Gaoma Therapeutics to commercialise epilepsy medications. Founded in February 2019, Gaoma Therapeutics will aim to inhibit cerebral inflammatory processes responsible for epilepsy, which has a complex pathology and a variety of subtypes. The company is also working on anti-inflammatory compounds with the potential to treat Alzheimer’s and other indications.
Retrieva, a Japan-based big data analytics company spun out of technology group Preferred Infrastructure, has collected ¥750m ($6.9m) from SBI Investment, the investment subsidiary of financial services firm SBI, and University of Tokyo Edge Capital (Utec), a VC firm affiliated with the institution. Utec previously injected $2.22m into the company in 2017, the year after Retrieva was spun out by its parent company.