Uniseed has upped its investment in probiotic drink maker Perkii after leading the Queensland spinout’s first $3m round in 2016.

Perkii, an Australia-based probiotic drinks spinout from University of Queensland (UQ), closed an A$3m ($2.2m) round yesterday led by multi-university venture fund Uniseed.

State government-owned Advance Queensland Business Development Fund and unnamed angel investors also supplied Perkii with funding.

Founded in 2016 as Queensland’s 100th spinout, Perkii supplies low-calorie probiotic drinks containing the ProGel micro-gel additive to more 2,000 retail stores in Australia and New Zealand.

ProGel helps extend shelf life and ensures live probiotics can withstand the stomach’s acidic environment to reach the lower digestive tract.

Perkii will put the funding towards continued local expansion and the start of production for markets in the US. ProGel was invented by an eponymous company also spun out from Queensland.

Uniseed also led an earlier A$4m ($3m) round for Perkii in 2016 backed by UniQuest, UQ’s commercialisation arm, as well as contributions from private investors affiliated to Brisbane Angels and Melbourne Angels Group.

The fund is backed by the universities of Queensland, Melbourne, Sydney and New South Wales as well as research institute Csiro.

Peter Devine, chief executive of Uniseed and chairman of Perkii, said: “Perkii and ProGel are a really exciting Australian research commercialisation success story. ProGel is a ground-breaking, research-led innovation that addresses a clear market need.”

– Image courtesy of Perkii