Every day, Global University Venturing rounds up the smaller investments from across the university innovation ecosystem in its deal net.
Fluree, a US-based data management platform, yesterday received $4.73m in a seed round led by 4490 Ventures, the venture capital firm co-founded by Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation. The round also featured investment firm Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund. Founded in 2016, Fluree relies on blockchain technology to securely manage and share decentralised sets of data. The seed funding will enable the company to accelerate market adoption of its existing product and to bolster research and development activities as Fluree moves towards an open source release later this year.
Hoopo Systems, an Israel-based local geolocation technology developer, raised $3.5m in seed funding on Monday from investors including TAU Ventures, the university venture fund of Tel Aviv University, according to Globes. Additional investors in the round included Japan-Israel Hi-Tech Ventures, a venture fund operated by asset manager Chartered Group, and Global IoT Technology Ventures. Hoopo, established in 2016, supplies accurate and cost-effective geolocation data for low-power internet-of-things devices. The company has now raised $5m in total funding, having secured capital from TAU Ventures and assorted angel investors in October 2018. The latest cash injection will go towards development and sales activities.
University of Saarland yesterday provided a total of €1.7m ($2m) through the federal government’s Exist-Forschungstransfer initiative to form two spinouts. Amorphous Metal Solutions, which is advancing research led by Prof Ralf Busch, has secured $820,000 and will develop, manufacture and distribute construction parts made from amorphous metal. Dielectric Elastomer Solution has obtained $1.2m to commercialise a novel drive system that has applications both in mobility and healthcare. The spinout will commercialise work led by Prof Stefan Seelecke.
iFlux, a Belgium-based spinout of University of Antwerp and research institute Vito that has developed a measuring technique to map the spread of pollution in soil and groundwater in real time, last month attracted €1.36m ($1.6m) in funding from multi-university venture fund Qbic II, University of Antwerp and Flemish government-owned investment fund VMH, as well as unnamed, existing backers. The funding will allow iFlux to expand into neighbouring countries and into the US. Historical funding details for the spinout, which was founded in 2017, could not be ascertained.
Qkine, a UK-based protein manufacturing spinout from University of Cambridge, obtained £550,000 ($720,000) in funding yesterday co-led by Cambridge Enterprise, the tech transfer arm of University of Cambridge, and assorted angel investors. Christine Martin, investment manager for life sciences at Cambridge Enterprise has joined the board of directors. Qkine uses proprietary technologies and protein engineering techniques to generate proteins for stem cell, organoid and regenerative medicine applications. The spinout previously closed a seed round of undisclosed size backed by Cambridge Enterprise and private investors in April 2018.
Aphea.Bio, a Belgium-based biopesticides spinout of VIB, KU Leuven and Ghent University, last month obtained the second tranche of its $8.7m series A round after successfully completing all agreed milestones. The company had received the series A commitment in 2017 from a consortium led by V-Bio Ventures, an investment fund affiliated with VIB, together with multi-university venture fund Qbic II, as well as the Gemma Frisius Fund and Vives Louvain Technology Fund, respective university venture funds of KU Leuven and Université catholique de Louvain. The round also included PMV, the Agri Investment Fund and agricultural product manufacturer Group De Ceuster. The sizes of the individual tranches have not been disclosed.