LISNR Makes CNBC's Top 50 Disruptor List For the 3rd Year in a Row

Lisnr, a Serra Capital II portfolio company, was just named to CNBC's Top 50 Disruptor List on May 22. It is the third year in a row the Cincinnati-based company that send data over audio has made this list. In the sixth annual Disruptor 50 list, CNBC features private companies — from biotech and machine learning to transportation and retail and even exploring outer space — whose innovations are changing the world

In other news, Lisnr was mentioned in an article that posed the possibility of radio data transmission as an alternative to Wi-Fi, which Lisnr has been a driving force behind.

CureMatch Partners with SOTERIA

CureMatch, a Serra Capital III portfolio company, announced that they have partnered with SOTERIA Precision Medicine Advisory to support oncologists with personalized cancer treatment options. CureMatch is a digital health company focused on personalized medicine and combination therapy in oncology.

“SOTERIA is proud to work with CureMatch, the leader in predictive analytics for targeted combination cancer treatment,” stated Julia Civardi, Chief Executive Officer of SOTERIA. “This partnership empowers oncologists with specific treatment recommendations from a molecular basis, so patients receive truly personalized precision medicine.”

Spatial Uses AI to Create First “Social” Location Dataset

Spatial, a Serra Capital III portfolio company, has announced their entry into the retail real estate industry, creating data with individual's social media posts - for use in location and site selection. Spatial combines machine-assisted analysis and human-driven data like social media content to provide a cultural map of cities.’s full retail and restaurant product launch will be at the ICSC “RECon” in Las Vegas on May 20.

New Serra Offices Breaking Ground this week

Work on the luxury, five-story 520 Neil development on the north side of downtown Champaign is beginning this week, with Serra Ventures being the anchor tenant, using more than 4,000 square feet of the top-floor office space. The new development will also be home to retail space, luxury apartments as well as terrace space for functions. 

"We are deeply appreciative of the relationship we've had with the University of Illinois Research Park. And though we now have locations in Chicago and San Diego, we remain intimately involved in the Champaign-Urbana technology ecosystem and will continue investing in start-ups originating from this world-class university," said Tim Hoerr, CEO of Serra. "This new location will quite literally enable a new level of effectiveness and service to our portfolio companies and investors."


The FarmLead Revolution

FarmLead, a Serra Capital III portfolio company, was first started to help farmers make more money on the crops they grew. In agriculture, market realities challenge farmers on a daily basis. FarmLead is a digital marketplace that allows buyers and sellers to list, negotiate and finalize grain deals, and is helping farmers be one step ahead in self-marketing their own commodities.

To date, more than 80 million bushels of grains and oilseeds have been negotiated through FarmLead’s portal, with more than 5,700 users and more than 100 crop categories to choose from.


Label Insight Launches Product Imaging Service

Label Insight, a Serra Capital II portfolio company, is excited to announce that is has launched the first product imaging service linking data and images in a single solution. The biggest challenges for brands and retailers have been maintaining consistent, uniform, high-quality product images and satisfying the demand for transparency - specifically designed to meet the increasing consumer demand for better information and transparency.

Label has created Capture, a single solution designed to solve these challenges and create better integration.


Chicago Tech Funding Surpassed $124M Including Hazel Technologies

Chicago tech funding has been on the rise, with $124M invested in Chicago-based companies in March 2018 alone. Among those companies invested in, is Hazel Technologies - a Serra Capital III portfolio company. Hazel Technologies is developing new solutions to reduce waste in order to improve the efficiency of the fresh produce supply chain.


Label Insight Inks Deal with Topco

Label Insight, a Serra Capital II portfolio company, has just signed a major deal with Topco, a provider of innovative business solutions for its food industry member-owners and customers.  Label Insight began by building a platform to help brands and retailers better understand their own product data in order to pass that information along to consumers, giving them the power to make informed purchasing decisions. Label will deliver Topco with high order attribute data, high-quality product images and SmartLabel™ pages.

"We are excited to be working with Topco to deliver the industry's only image and data solution for its transparency programs," said Paul Schaut, CEO of Label Insight. "As the largest food retailer in the U.S., Topco is leading the way in providing their member-owners the tools to better understand the products their customers use and consume, and then communicate those insights and attributes to their customers."


Midwest Venture Capital is on the Rise; Serra Ventures Mentioned in ChicagoInno

In recent years, the Midwest region has seen continuous growth in Venture Capital formation. While VC seems to be dropping off in some of the more popular areas, Midwest VC is thriving. Numerous VC funds are continuing to be launched, many of which are micro-vc funds, like Serra Ventures. 


Clarify Medical Announces Issuance of Patent for Smartphone-Connected Phototherapy System

Clarify Medical, a Serra Capital III portfolio company, made an exciting announcement recently that they have been issued an official patent for their phototherapy system to be connected via smartphone. The Clarify Medical® Home Light Therapy System is a software-controlled home phototherapy system for the treatment of psoriasis, vitiligo, eczema, and other skin conditions. The patent covers technology which enables patients to treat at home with controlled dosing protocols prescribed by physicians.


Reconstruct leads the new ‘ABC’ of Construction Tech

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 Featured In Crain's Chicago

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 Partners with Cool Farm Alliance

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 Completes Pear Trials With Cornell University

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 Partners with Gryphon Sensors

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 Drives Mobility Via Social Media Data

Spatial, a Serra Capital III portfolio company, had a feature on 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 Raises Additional $1M; Completes $2.5M Round

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 expands to Georgia

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 and C-USA Announce Partnership

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.