While venture capital has a significant macroeconomic impact, lesser understood is its microeconomic impact on cities - particularly midtier cities like Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. Read further from Serra's latest white paper on five specific ways in which cities are benefiting from venture capital at the micro level.
Reconstruct, a Serra Capital III portfolio company, has closed a $2.4M seed round of funding, led by Serra Ventures. The company has also brought on Silicon Valley veteran Zak MacRunnels as the new CEO.
Reconstruct is a software-as-a-service construction technology company that integrates three things simultaneously: reality capturing, building information modeling (BIM) and project scheduling. They have several major customers, including Gilbane, Turner, and Clayco.
Tomislav Žigo, the Vice President of Virtual, Design, and Construction at Clayco Corporation, says “The real-time insight into progress and productivity rates, risk management, visual intelligence and schedule verification that Reconstruct provides in a comprehensive way, enables our largest commercial construction projects to capitalize on the immense value of data analysis automation. Reconstruct leads the new ‘ABC’ of Construction Tech: AI, BIM, Computer Vision taken to new heights.”
Label Insight, a Serra Capital II portfolio company, was recently featured in Crain's Chicago Business. Label Insight is a cloud-based product data engine committed to helping brands and retailers unlock the value of their product data.
The article outlines the story of Label and how they came to be where they are now, and how this company is revolutionizing the food industry. Label raised $21M in funding in December, and now has 115 employees, has a database of over 450,000 products, and has several large customers including Target, more than 25 packaged-foods and consumer-products companies. including PepsiCo, Conagra, and Unilever; and consumer market researchers Nielsen and Catalina.
Agrible, a Serra Capital II portfolio company, has announced its partnership with Cool Farm Alliance, in order to enhance its services on a global scale. This move will assist Agrible in bringing its Sustainable Sourcing platform to more growers around the world.
Agrible’s mission is to analyze and provide agronomic information using science and technology to transform results into globally useful knowledge.
Hazel Technologies, a Serra Capital III portfolio company, has announced the successful completion of research trials with Cornell University to validate a new post-harvest quality technology for fresh pears. Hazel Technologies is developing new solutions to reduce waste in order to improve the efficiency of the fresh produce supply chain. The Hazel® Product Line is a suite of packaging inserts that extend the shelf life of ethylene sensitive produce.
The study found that pears treated with Hazel® Pear product had three-times longer shelf life and 95 percent internal color retention following three weeks of treatment.
WhiteFox Defense Technologies, a Serra Capital III portfolio company, has announced its partnership with Gryphon Sensors and its Skylight® Counter-UAS System. Gryphon Sensors is a world leader in intelligent drone detection and safe unmanned aircraft system (UAS) airspace integration. WhiteFox has developed a comprehensive, intuitive, portable drone interception device—the DroneFox.
The partnership will integrate WhiteFox’s non-jamming, non-kinetic mitigation and analysis capabilities with Gryphon's Skylight system. The resulting RF-based sensor-driven system provides an industry leading unclassified and exportable counter-UAS system.
Spatial, a Serra Capital III portfolio company, had a feature on xconomy.com on February 2. The piece focused on how Artificial Intelligence meets ethnography through Spatial, the company that combines machine-assisted analysis and human-driven data like social media content to provide a cultural map of cities. Spatial's cultural overlays make maps more useful for many industries including automobile navigation, real estate, apartment search, vacation rental and many more.
The article also mentioned Serra Ventures as an investor.
Inprentus, a Serra Capital II portfolio company, has announced that it has raised an additional $1M in funding. The round was led by Kansas-based firm, Flyover Capital, with participation from Serra. This raise completes a $2.5M Series A round, and Inprentus intends to use the funds to pursue new business in both its current synchrotron market as well as respond to requests from new markets.
Inprentus designs, manufactures and sells X-ray and EUV diffraction gratings for synchrotron radiation facilities that are used for a variety of scientific and commercial applications by many Fortune 500 companies, academic institutions and government laboratories around the world.
HomeBay, a Serra Capital III portfolio company, has now expanded to Georgia. The company currently serves the Florida and California markets. HomeBay offers consumers a new way to buy and sell homes without commissions, saving home buyers and sellers an average of $16,000 per transaction.
Opendorse, a Serra Capital III portfolio company, announced on January 16 it has partnered with Conference USA (C-USA). This groundbreaking partnership makes C-USA the first conference to invest in building the brands of its players and partner universities on social media.
Opendorse is the leading athlete marketing platform that helps the biggest brands in sports share content on social media. “We’re passionate about helping the college space grow, as that is where our roots are, and are very pleased to welcome Conference USA into the fold”, said opendorse CEO Blake Lawrence.
Personify, a Serra Capital I and II company, was named to ChicagoInno's "10 Chicago Tech Companies to Watch at CES 2018." The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is a four-day event hosted by the Consumer Technology Association, which serves as a platform for companies to showcase their products. Personify creates immersive video technology that allows users to alter live video.
Sanjay Patel, CEO of Personify says "We had a tremendous week meeting with and demoing our latest to many fantastic companies. We're excited to further deepen partnerships which were strengthen by our time at CES, and building on the CES momentum going forward in 2018!"
Lisnr, a Serra Capital II company, was recently named to VentureBeat's "10 Startups Outside Silicon Valley to Watch in 2018" list. Criteria for the list included influx of venture capital, new promising hires, and agreements or partnerships with a large new customers.
Lisnr develops ultrasonic audio technology that uses inaudible Smart Tones to transmit information.
Label Insight, a Serra Capital II portfolio company, had an exciting month of December as it first announced a partnership with 1WorldSync, and also announced the raise of $21 million in new investments.
1WorldSync is the leading provider of product content solutions, and the partnership will help create the industry's most comprehensive solution for product data distribution and transparency.
Label Insight uses data science to bring transparency to food product labels to help people with allergies and dietary restrictions know exactly what they’re putting in their body. Label Insight has now raised more than $35 million to date. The company says it will use the funding to hire more data scientists and continue product development.
CureMatch, a Serra Capital III portfolio company, has recently had a study published in the International Computational Intelligence Book. Co-Founders Igor F. Tsigelny, Ph.D. and Razelle Kurzrock, M.D. along with colleagues from UC San Diego and University of Bergen have authored a personalized cancer medicine study examining activation of protein complexes utilizing an innovative 4D approach.
CureMatch is a digital health company focused on personalized medicine and combination therapy in oncology. Combination therapy has been used effectively in the treatment of other diseases, such as HIV/AIDS, and is considered by many to be the future of cancer treatment. CureMatch’s decision support system guides oncologists in the selection of combinations of cancer drugs that are personalized for individual patients, based on the molecular profile of the patient’s own tumor.
Dr. Igor Tsigelny says, "Until now, only static information of mutations has been used to predict functional changes of proteins. We propose to move to the next level and add flexibility criteria for a 4D approach."
Spatial, a Serra Capital III portfolio company, was recently featured on Disruptor Daily in an article titled "Spatial.ia: Personalizing Automotive Rides Through the Use of Fast Moving Social Data." The article further interviewed CEO and Founder of Spatial, Lyden Foust, on the history of the company, how it solves current problems and the future of Spatial.
Spatial combines machine-assisted analysis and human-driven data like social media content to provide a cultural map of cities. Spatial's cultural overlays make maps more useful for many industries including automobile navigation, real estate, apartment search, vacation rental and many more.
Clarify Medical, a Serra Capital III portfolio company, recently announced the launch of its commercial product, the Home Light Therapy System. This FDA-cleared, home-based treatment technology for psoriasis and vitiligo is now rolling out for national distribution.
Clarify brings handheld, guided therapy to millions of patients, while staying wirelessly connected to physicians and dermatologists. Clarify Medical improves care by bringing convenient, low-cost therapy into a patient’s home.
Paystand, a Serra Capital II portfolio company, announced in November a $6M Series A funding round. BlueRun Ventures led the round, with participation from Serra Ventures.
Paystand is a next generation payment & eCommerce checkout system that enables any organization to receive money in their website, social network, or web application without transaction costs. They are the first multi-payment gateway that accepts credit cards (Visa/MasterCard/Amex/Discover), eCheck (ACH/Dwolla), and eCash (Bitcoins) with 0% transaction fees.
The money raised will be utilized by scaling its accounts receivable systems and launch a new free accounts payable product line.
Lisnr, a Serra Capital II portfolio company, has made some exciting announcements in the month of November. LISNR announced it has secured a strategic investment from Synchrony Financial, a premier consumer financial services company. Additionally, LISNR shared that it has been selected as a CES 2018 Innovation Awards Honoree in the Software and Mobile Apps category for the second year in a row. The CES Innovation Awards is an annual competition honoring outstanding design and engineering in consumer technology products.
LISNR is the leading global provider of data-over-audio technology, a high frequency, inaudible Smart Tone technology; a new communication protocol that sends data over audio.
Inprentus, a Serra Capital II portfolio company, has announced that it has partnered with NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. Inprentus manufactures blazed diffraction gratings for x-ray and extreme ultraviolet light (EUV).
Through its Heliophysics Technology and Instrument Development for Science, or H-TIDeS, program, Inprentus will provide mechanically ruled, high line density, ultra-low micro roughness, blazed gratings to observe extreme ultraviolet (EUV) radiation environments such as the solar corona. Inprentus will provide four iterations of diffraction gratings for evaluation.
Opendorse, a Serra Capital III portfolio company, has received an investment from Bears player Prince Amukamara, who is participating in the company's $3.5M Series A financing round. More than a third of the financing is coming from Amukamara and former Husker football players.
Opendorse connects marketers with athletes to secure sponsored social media activations from the world's most influential athletes. The company was co-founded back in 2013 by Amukamara’s ex-teammates — Blake Lawrence and Adi Kunalic.