Every day, Global University Venturing rounds up the smaller investments from across the university innovation ecosystem in its deal net.
BitBiome, a Japan-based microbiome analytics developer spun out of Waseda University, has obtained ¥700m ($6.6m) in series B funding from investors including University of Tokyo Edge Capital, the university venture fund of University of Tokyo. The deal was rounded off by venture firms including Universal Materials Incubator, Idaten Ventures and Vital Ventures. Founded in 2018, BitBiome has devised a single-cell genome analysis technology catered to processing microbes such as bacteria in pharmaceutical and agricultural settings without the need to cultivate cells as with traditional microbiome assays. The funding will go to research exploring microbial relationships with diseases, including through a clinical study into patient stool and saliva across more than 20 indications including cancer and neuropsychiatric disorders. BitBiome also plans to hire fresh talent and purchase R&D equipment including a next-generation genetic sequencer with a view to accelerating business development and securing its patent portfolio.
Artimus Robotics, a US-based actuator technology spinout of University of Colorado (CU) Boulder closed a seed round of undisclosed size last month featuring venture firms Heroic Ventures and Hunt Technology Ventures. Founded in 2018, Artimus Robotics produces actuator materials that act as the artificial muscles in soft robots, facilitating industrial and defence automation. The funding is expected to provide sufficient runway for Artimus’s operations until 2021. Matt Robinson, founder and managing partner at Heroic Ventures, has joined the Artimus board of directors. The spinout’s founding team includes Christoph Keplinger assistant professor at CU Boulder’s Paul M. Rady Department of Mechanical Engineering, together with PhD graduates Tim Morrissey and Eric Acome and students Nicholas Kellaris and Shane Mitchell.
Carnegie Robotics, a US-based advanced robotics sensor spinout of Carnegie Mellon University, has itself spun off Thoro.ai to commercialise applications in the cleaning and disinfection equipment industry, the Pittsburgh Business Times reported yesterday. The new business has a strategic partnership with cleaning equipment provider Nilfisk to implement sensors in the latter’s Liberty SC50 Scrubber product, enabling it to autonomously navigate in public spaces.