Every day, Global University Venturing rounds up the smaller investments from across the university innovation ecosystem in its deal net.
Newcells Biotech, a UK-based stem cell technology spinout of Newcastle University, has obtained £5.3m ($7.4m) of funding from the three Mercia-managed funds Northern Venture Capital Trust, Enterprise Investment Scheme and North East Venture Fund, as well as Northstar Ventures’ North East Innovation Fund. The round will allow Newcells to expand into the US, grow its commercial operations and introduce additional products. Northstar Ventures and NVM Private Equity previously injected $2.6m of capital in 2018.
BurnAlong, a US-based employer-focused health and wellness platform backed by Johns Hopkins University (JHU), has obtained $7m in funding led by Triventures, with participation from CR2 Ventures, TriSib, DM Wellness, Macks Managed Investments and angel investors. Michael Geva, managing partner of Triventures, will join BurnAlong’s board. JHU took part in a $1m round in 2018 after the company had participated in its accelerator M-1 Ventures.
ClinSpec Diagnostics, a UK-based early-stage cancer detection technology spinout of University of Strathclyde, has secured £1.1m ($1.5m) in an extension that brought its second funding round to $4.7m. The extension was provided by the university, Norcliffe Capital, Eos Advisory and the spinout’s founders. ClinSpec had raised an initial $3.2m tranche in September 2020.
Refraction AI, a US-based developer of semi-autonomous delivery robots that was spun out of University of Michigan, has raised $4.2m in a seed round led by Pillar VC. The round also included eLab Ventures, Trucks Venture Capital, Alumni Ventures Group, Invest Michigan, Osage Venture Partners, angel investor Chad Laurans and unnamed backers. The money will support research and development activities, market reach and increasing the customer base. The company previously obtained a total of $6.5m in funding, including $5m from eLab Ventures and Trucks Venture Capital, according to VentureBeat.
Pepticov, an Israel-based developer of a treatment for the Sars-Cov-2 virus, has been established by Pepticom, an automated peptide drug discovery spinout of Hebrew University of Jerusalem, with $2.6m in funding led by Chartered Group. Pepticov will exploit Pepticom’s artificial intelligence technology to design, discovery and develop peptide molecules that can treat the covid-causing virus.
BallWave, a Japan-based gas measurement technology provider, has secured more than ¥181m ($1.7m) in series C funding from automotive component manufacturer Toyoda Gosei, leasing service JA Mitsui Leasing and the Taiwanese government-owned Industrial Technology Investment Corporation. The company raised $5.6m in November 2018 from Tohoku University’s vehicle Tohoku University Venture Partners, RealTech Fund, Daiwa Corporate Investment, Mitsubishi UFJ Capital and SMBC Venture Capital.
Cross Sync, a Japan-based artificial intelligence-equipped medical software developer spun out of Yokohama City University, has raised ¥150m ($1.4m) from hospital communication tool developer Findex, Development Bank of Japan, Toyota Tsusho, a subsidiary of carmaker Toyota and optical product supplier Konica Minolta.
Blue Industries, a Japan-based developer of urinalysis products with cell-free DNA and RNA analysis technology spun out of University of Tsukuba, has raised ¥120m ($1.1m) from life sciences equipment and information provider Nippon Genetics and angel investors including Shōko Takahashi.
Arav, a Japan-based construction digitisation and automation technology developer spun out of University of Tokyo, has raised ¥63m ($578,000) in seed funding from the institution’s Innovation Platform (also known as UTokyo-IPC).
Springbok Analytics, a US-based developer of artificial intelligence technology to analyse muscle systems and help prevent injury or support recovery, has raised an undisclosed amount from TitletownTech Venture Fund, WisconsinInno reported yesterday. The University of Virginia spinout was founded in 2013 and its offering is aimed at users such as athletes and military personnel.
Rokote Laboratories Finland, a Finland-based developer of a nasal spray vaccine for covid, has been spun out of University of Helsinki and University of Eastern Finland. The company exploits gene transfer technology developed at the latter university by Prof Seppo Ylä-Herttuala that has already successfully completed clinical trials to treat cardiovascular diseases and cancer. Rokote’s vaccine is expected to be effective against the UK, South Africa and Brazil variants.
Immersive Promotion Design, a UK-based marketing consultancy focused on virtual reality and augmented reality businesses, has been spun out of Bath Spa University as the first company to emerge from its Centre for Cultural and Creative Industries. It advances research by Matthew Freeman, reader in multiplatform media, co-director of the Centre for Media Research and deputy director of the Centre for Cultural and Creative Industries.
– Additional reporting by Liwen-Edison Fu