Serra Capital III Invests In Its 10th Company

Serra Capital III announced on December 5 that it had made its 10th investment in Cincinnati based company Spatial. Spatial has raised $2.1 Million in seed funding, with Serra Ventures leading the round. They were joined by Connetic Ventures, M25 Group, Fulcrum, Caerus Investment Partners and several angel investors.

Spatial is a social intelligence company that allows its users to navigate a city like a local. Spatial’s artificial intelligence software aggregates unstructured social data across hundreds of cities in real time.

Rob Schultz, Managing Partner with Serra, enthused "Serra Ventures is thrilled to partner with the Spatial team. Billions of people interact with maps across multiple devices everyday. Bringing social context to maps using Spatial’s patent pending technology will improve map usability in many industries including travel, real estate and automotive."

Source: http://www.webwire.com/ViewPressRel.asp?aId=206646

LISNR CEO RODNEY WILLIAMS FEATURED IN FORBES

Rodney Williams, CEO of Serra Capital II's LISNR, was featured in a piece by Forbes on December 1. Rodney leads LISNR, one of the most disruptive companies in mobile connectivity and the Internet of Things.

The article highlights how Williams arrived at his big idea, and his journey of deciding to leave a fortune 500 company to build his own company in the Midwest from the ground up. 

Source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/rodneywilliams/2016/12/01/how-i-arrived-at-my-big-idea/#758dfe8b1268

Nielsen and Label Insight Announce Strategic Alliance to Bring Label Transparency to Consumer Packaged Goods Companies and Retailers

Label Insight, a Serra Capital II portfolio company, announced on December 1 its partnership with Nielsen to bring better label transparency to consumers. This is a one-of-a-kind alliance, enabling CPG companies and retailers to make faster and more informed data-decisions to grow sales by understanding product trends and creating better personalization for the wellness consumer.

Nielsen is a global performance management company that provides a comprehensive understanding of what consumers watch and buy. Label Insight is a cloud-based data refinery for product data that powers transparency between CPG brands, retailers and consumers.

Source: http://ir.nielsen.com/investor-relations/shareholder-information/press-releases/Press-Release-Details/2016/Nielsen-and-Label-Insight-Announce-Strategic-Alliance-to-Bring-Label-Transparency-to-Consumer-Packaged-Goods-Companies-and-Retailers/default.aspx

Paystand Introduces First Ever Blockchain Certification of Payments

Paystand, a Serra Capital II portfolio company, is leveraging the blockchain in a completely new way for enterprise payments. PayStand customers can now certify and notarize payments (from request to receipt) on the blockchain, ensuring the history of payments is secure, independently verifiable, and free of tampering.

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.

Jeremy Almond, CEO of PayStand, enthused "Since the founding of the company, PayStand has been a huge believer that blockchain has the ability to radically transform financial services. Our newest blockchain certification product demonstrates our continued commitment to help enterprises leverage the cutting-edge and digital native technology to improve their payment, invoice, and billing process."

Source: http://moderndiplomacy.eu/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=1931:paystand-introduces-first-ever-blockchain-certification-of-payments&Itemid=181

LISNR Honored by Consumer Electronics Show

LISNR, a Serra Capital II portfolio company, was recently honored at the Consumer Electronics Show as a top software product in 2017. LISNR is an inaudible secure ultrasonic protocol that sends data over audio. The company produces inaudible sound waves called Smart Tones™ to transmit data. 

Each year, the CES Innovation Awards give consumer technology manufacturers and developers an opportunity to have their newest products judged by a preeminent panel of independent industrial designers, independent engineers and members of the trade press. LISNR was named to the Innovation Awards list as an honoree in the Software and Mobile Apps category. 

Source: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20161114005240/en/LISNR-Honored-Consumer-Electronics-Show-Top-Software

Albert.io Featured in Chicago Tribune

Albert.io, a Serra Capital II portfolio, was recently featured in the Chicago Tribune on October 10. Albert has won over students and teachers alike through their personalized, interactive study guides that give real time feedback. It is a true study platform for high level math and science courses. Their aim is to provide helpful study guides not just for the ambitious high school student, but for future engineers, physicists, and mathematicians.  

The piece featured Albert's Science Content Manager Athena Tellis on her experiences working at the company and as a start-up employee. A former teacher, Tellis began working for Albert with the desire to wow kids with science. 

Source: http://www.chicagotribune.com/bluesky/originals/ct-inside-job-albertio-bsi-20161010-story.html

Nanomedical Diagnostics Announces Peer Reviewed Publication

Nanomedical Diagnostics, a Serra Capital II portfolio company, made a major announcement on October 11. Nano, the biotech company driving the use of label-free graphene biosensor assays in life science research and diagnostics, announced a publication titled “Large Scale Commercial Fabrication of High Quality Graphene-Based Assays for Biomolecule Detection” in the journal Sensors & Actuators B: Chemical. 

The publication describes the company’s translation of Nobel Prize-winning nanoscience into standard electronics assembly processes to manufacture AGILE R100, a new benchtop assay built on break-through field effect biosensing technology. 

Source: http://www.prweb.com/releases/Nanomedical_Diagnostics/AGILE_R100_Publication/prweb13753527.htm

Agrible featured in Champaign News-Gazette

Eric Snodgrass, co-founder of Serra II company Agrible, sat down for a Q & A session with the Champaign News-Gazette on September 25. In addition to his connection with Agrible, Eric is the director of undergrad studies for the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Illinois, and the recipient of the LAS Teaching Excellence Award and the Campus Teaching Excellence Award. 

The article further explains how his past experiences led him to co-found Agrible, and how the company applies to his every day life. Agrible supplies actionable predictive analytics tools to growers all across the United States and provides global ag data and support in over 80 countries. Agrible predicts how weather will impact crops, agricultural operations, and economic decisions.

Source: http://www.news-gazette.com/living/2016-09-25/getting-personal-eric-snodgrass.html

Albert.io Partners with Spell for Success

Albert.io, a Serra Capital II portfolio company, announced they would be partnering with Spell for Success, an online study tool that provides students with thousands of the most-frequently used words in spelling bees. 

Albert.io  is a leading online platform that creates questions for various subjects like AP exams and the SATs. The Spell for Success team will reveal the result of this collaboration with Albert.io on their website in January 2017.

Source: http://www.udel.edu/udaily/2016/september/horn-spell-for-success/

Skylit Medical Changes Name to Clarify Medical, Appoints New CEO

Skylit Medical, a Serra Capital III portfolio company, announced on September 15 that they had changed their name to Clarify Medical, and also appointed new CEO James Sweeney. 

Clarify Medical is a private company making a hand-held UVB light device that can be used to treat skin conditions like psoriasis, eczema and vitiligo. The mobility of the device allows patients to treat their conditions at home instead of visiting doctors or clinics, while allowing physicians to treat skin conditions without dedicating office space or labor hours for phototherapy.

Source: http://sdbj.com/news/2016/sep/15/skylit-medical-changes-name-clarify-medical-appoin/

Nanomedical Diagnostics Highlights Launch of Graphene Biosensor at Graphene World Summit

Nanomedical Diagnostics, a Serra Capital portfolio company, is set to present at the Graphene World Summit on September 19 and 20. Nanomedical Diagnostics is a biotech company based in San Diego, CA, and is the first company to combine expertise in biology, nanotechnology, surface chemistry, engineering, and manufacturing to create practical and scaleable graphene biological field effect transistor (BioFET) products. 

Dr. Brett Goldsmith, Founder and CTO of Nano, will present a session titled “Graphene: Uniting Biology and Electronics," which will showcase the company's commercialized graphene-based AGILE R100 biosensor.  Dr. Goldsmith shares "Graphene has made it possible to link biology directly with electronics for the first time, bringing an entire world of new capabilities to drug discovery and life science research.”

Source: http://www.prweb.com/releases/Nanomedical_Diagnostics/AGILE_R100_and_Graphene/prweb13686944.htm

Consortiex Raising $3M Round

ConsortiEX, a Serra Capital III portfolio company, has launched a $3.1 million equity funding round. Consortiex provides healthcare IT systems and services to manage the ordering, distribution, and tracking of sterile injectable compounds (IV and syringe based pharmaceuticals) for hospitals and affiliated networks from “Pedigree to Patient."

The company has raised $2.6 million from 19 investors since the offering was launched May 18, including funding from Serra Ventures. 

Source: https://www.biztimes.com/2016/09/09/consortiex-raising-3-million-round/

Label Insight Reports Customers Willing to Pay More for Honest Brands

Label Insight, a Serra Capital II portfolio company, was featured on NBC News on September 8. Label Insight's platform helps 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. The article highlighted recent findings confirming that consumers are "tired of the fine print," and would be more brand loyal and even pay extra for product transparency. 

Driving Long-Term Trust and Loyalty Through Transparency surveyed 2,021 consumers of varying ages across the country in July of 2016. They found that 94 percent of consumers would be more loyal to brands that practice transparency, while 56 percent claim that brand transparency would make them "loyal for life." The study also found that 39% of consumers would be willing to switch to a new brand if it offered full transparency.

Source: http://www.nbcnews.com/business/consumer/consumers-prefer-honest-brands-are-willing-pay-extra-them-n644916

LISNR receives $500,000 from Cincinnati JumpStart’s NEXT Fund

Lisnr, a Serra Capital II portfolio company, has received $500,000 from JumpStart’s NEXT Fund. Lisnr is a downtown-based firm that transmits data using audio tones that can’t be heard by humans.  The money was part of a $10 million investment round it completed last year. 

JumpStart, the Cleveland-based venture capital firm, has invested in two Cincinnati companies, including Lisnr. JumpStart also has a $10 million fund that invests in women- and minority-owned firms throughout Ohio. 

Source: http://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/news/2016/09/07/cleveland-venture-capital-investing-millions-in.html

Serra Ventures Invests in OPER; Featured in St. Louis Business Journal

Serra Ventures has invested in St. Louis-based OPER in the month of August, and the story was featured in the St. Louis Business Journal on August 23. OPER  is the largest and fastest growing mobile payment and rewards platform in St. Louis. Customers can order, pay, earn and redeem rewards instantly with OPER, while earning 5% back every time ordered, or they can pay and redeem wherever. With over 150 local restaurants, OPER is the fastest growing mobile payment and rewards platform. 

Serra has initially committed $250,000 in OPER with an intention of investing another $500,000 over the remainder of the year. 

Source: http://www.bizjournals.com/stlouis/blog/biznext/2016/08/st-louis-based-mobile-payments-startup-raises-750.html

Rithmio EDGE Tracks Weight Lifting Progress

Rithmio, a Serra Capital II portfolio company, has launched its latest app Rithmio EDGE, which is designed to help weight lifters track their progress in ways like never before. The app pairs with an Android Wear smartwatch to automatically track weightlifting routines, promising to help “athletes better understand their progress.”

Source: https://www.yahoo.com/tech/pumping-iron-track-progress-rithmio-140509666.html

SIDEARM SPORTS TO BRING LOCATION-BASED MOBILE MESSAGING TO COLLEGE SPORTS FANS VIA LISNR

LISNR, a Serra Capital II portfolio company, has joined up with Sidearm Sports to bring location-based mobile messaging over audio to college sports fans. SIDEARM Sports is the industry-leader of digital technology for over 900 college athletic websites. LISNR is the creator of Smart Tones™, a new communication protocol for sending data over audio.

Jeff Rubin, President and CEO of Sidearm Sports enthuses, “What LISNR does is a game-changer for collegiate sports fans, and we’re building this technology into the school apps we are launching for a fan’s favorite university team or alma mater."

Source: http://learfieldsports.com/2016/08/lisnr-sidearm-sports-to-bring-location-based-mobile-messaging-to-college-sports-fans/

Label Insight Continues Strong Growth Trajectory with Three Key Executive Hires

Label Insight, a Serra Capital II portfolio company, has added three new key members to its team in the month of July. The company welcomes Mike Fridholm, Deepak Talwar, and Jesse Frankel join the Chicago-based data company as SVP of Sales, VP of Operations, and VP of Customer Success. Label Insight added Paul Schaut and Patrick Moorhead to their executive leadership team in June. The company will continue to make hires throughout 2016, as they gain more momentum. 

Label Insight the leading provider of SaaS data solutions that power transparency between CPG brands, retailers and consumers, and is poised for explosive growth. 

Source: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/label-insight-continues-strong-growth-trajectory-with-three-key-executive-hires-300298457.html

ChicagoInno Sits Down With Rob Schultz of Serra Ventures About the Future of Ag Investing

Rob Schultz, Managing Partner with Serra Ventures, was recently interviewed by ChicagoInno on the future of investment in the Agriculture Industry. Last year was a record-breaking, standout year for ag tech — $4.6 billion was invested in the industry in 2015, almost doubling the $2.36 billion invested in 2014, according to AgFunder’s 2015 AgTech Investing Report.

Source: http://chicagoinno.streetwise.co/2016/07/22/future-of-agtech-il-investors-discuss-agriculture-innovation/