Every day, Global University Venturing rounds up the smaller investments from across the university innovation ecosystem in its deal net.
Sphere Fluidics, a UK-based automated cell analysis system spinout of University of Cambridge, increased its latest funding round to $4.9m following a $2.9m extension, according to Business Weekly. The round was led by Greenwood Way Capital, which committed $4.3m in total, while 24Haymarket, Oxford Technology and Innovations EIS Fund and assorted private investors also contributed. Sphere Fluidics had raised the initial tranche in February 2019. The spinout has now collected $17.8m in funding altogether.
Spindiag, a Germany-based molecular point-of-care diagnostic platform spun out of research institute Hahn-Schickard and also based on work at University of Freiburg, has obtained €4m ($4.7m) in series A funding from elderly care provider WBG Pflegeheime and one unnamed investor. Spindiag has developed a rapid test to diagnose multidrug-resistant infections. The test is aimed at hospitals, with a view of facilitating a triage of patients suffering from a bacterial infection that are resistant to multiple antibiotics. The series A round will support a market entry of the test in Europe next year. Spindiag previously attracted $1.86m in seed funding in 2017 from private investors.
Riverlane, a UK-based quantum computing software developer spun out of University of Cambridge, secured £3.25m ($4.3m) in seed funding on Friday led by Cambridge Innovation Capital, the patient capital fund affiliated with the university. Cambridge Enterprise, the institution’s commercialisation arm, also participated in the round. Riverlane is working on a simulation engine for microscopic systems, with applications in fields such as drug–protein interactions, biomolecule folding and materials science at a molecular level. The seed round will enable Riverlane to accelerate technology development.
Saga Diagnostics, a Sweden-based precision oncology genomics testing spinout of Lund University, has raised SEK40m ($4.2m) in a series A round led by life science fund manager Hadean Ventures, with participation from Fårö Capital, Gunnar Nilsson Cancer Foundation and unnamed, existing shareholders. Saga previously obtained $1.25m in seed financing in March 2018 co-led by LU Holding, the university’s commercialisation arm, Torna Kapital and Gunnar Nilsson Cancer Foundation, with commitments from assorted angel investors. The capital will enable Saga to accelerate commercialisation activities and drive further product development, as well as prepare for prospective clinical trials.
OriCiro Genomics, a Japan-based synthetic biology spinout of Rikkyo University, has closed a $3.6m seed round led by university venture fund University of Tokyo Edge Capital, according to SynbioBeta. The round closed in March 2019, but has seemingly remained undisclosed until now. OriCiro was founded in December 2018 and is based on research by Masayuki Su’etsugu, associate professor in the Department of Life Science. The company’s cell-free DNA amplification technology has applications in a wide range of fields, from DNA data storage to the synthesis of artificial genomes.
Clickmer Systems, a Germany-based developer of synthetic antibodies spun out of University of Bonn, raised €1.73m ($2m) in funding on Thursday from the German Ministry of Education and Research and entered the Life Science Inkubator Bonn. The funding will go towards technology development and will allow Clickmer to build out its product pipeline. The spinout advances work led by Prof Günter Mayer. It is not clear through which vehicle the government invested.
Reflection Sciences, a US-based professional development and training platform spun out of University of Minnesota, has received $1.3m in a seed round led by online learning provider Edmentum, with participation from the university’s Discovery Capital Fund and unnamed investors. Reflection Sciences’ platform is primarily aimed at improving the user’s executive function skills.
Simreka, a Netherlands-based simulation software developer, has collected a seven-figure euro sum (€1m = $1.17m) in a seed round led by public-private partnership High-Tech Gründerfonds and SAP.io Fund, the investment vehicle of software producer SAP. Simreka, a spinout of University of Utrecht, has created artificial intelligence-based software to accelerate research and development processes. The money will bolster sales and marketing efforts, as well as support further technology development.
Osmosis, a US-based health education platform that emerged out of Johns Hopkins University, has secured an undisclosed amount of series A funding led by Felicis Ventures, with participation from Greycroft, Coverys, FundRx, Figure 8, Social Starts, LearnStart and SEI Ventures, the seed-stage venture arm of private universities owner Strategic Education. Osmosis, founded by medical students at Johns Hopkins, took part in the institution’s Social Innovation Lab in 2013-2014, a program run by tech transfer office Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures aimed at social ventures and non-profit startups launched by faculty, staff and students. Osmosis collected $2.5m in seed funding in December 2018 led by Greycroft, with participation from FundRx, angel investor Greg Coleman and unnamed backers.
AiQ Index, a Japan-based data analytics spinout of University of Tokyo, has obtained an undisclosed amount of funding from the Mirai Creation Fund II, a corporate-backed vehicle managed by investment group Sparx. Based on research by Yutaka Matsuo, who oversees the Matsuo Laboratory at University of Tokyo, AiQ Index has developed a data analytics platform that relies on artificial intelligence and deep learning. The cash will go towards increased customer support and drive the development of the spinout’s investment data services.
Occulift, a Switzerland-based medtech spinout of University of Zurich, has received an undisclosed amount of capital from the UZH Life Sciences Fund, the university venture fund backed by University of Zurich and Novartis Venture Fund, the corporate venturing unit of pharmaceutical firm Novartis. Occulift is the fifth spinout to obtain funding through the initiative. Founded in 2018, the company is working on an adaptive cardiovascular occluder for all types of congenital and acquired heart defects. The adaptability of the occluder means it overcomes a major issue of current technology, which only offers a fixed shape and cannot be adjusted to a patient’s anatomy. The funding will enable Occulift to move forward with its development and design work.
– Disclaimer: 24Haymarket is also an investor in Mawsonia, which publishes Global University Venturing.