Serra Capital Invests in Two New Companies in Q2

Serra Capital III has had a busy second quarter with a lot of exceptional deal flow, leading to two new investments - Tillable and WebCareHealth.

Tillable is a Chicago-based company that is changing the way U.S. farmland is rented, making it easier than ever for landowners and farmers to grow.

WebCareHealth is Serra’s first investment in an Iowa-based company. WebCareHealth is located in Des Moines, IA and provides a platform for remote monitoring services to hospitals and clinics to improve the management of chronic diseases.

Reconstruct Raises $7.7M in Series A Funding

Reconstruct, a Serra Capital III portfolio company, has announced that it has raised $7.7M in Series A financing. The round was led by Cultivation Capital with participation from Serra Ventures and Seyen Capital.

Reconstruct provides a construction and real estate AI & Digital twin software platform with capabilities including indoor/outdoor views for project stakeholders to track and resolve project issues in a virtual environment before they impact cost and schedule.

Source: http://www.finsmes.com/2019/05/reconstruct-raises-7-7m-in-series-a-funding.html

Innara's NTrainer System® Positively and Safely Reduces the Use of Feeding Tubes in NICU

Innara Health, a Serra Capital I portfolio company, announced new research featuring the Company’s NTrainer System®. It was found that the device’s “pulsing” pacifier therapy improves feeding development in premature infants, specifically reducing feeding tubes for infants, getting them eating on their own much faster. Further, this reduces their length of neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) hospitalization stay.

Innara Health is a leader in feeding health products and applications and is dedicated to advancing the global understanding and improvement of neonatal feeding.

Source: https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2019/02/28/1744728/0/en/Innara-Health-s-NTrainer-System-Positively-and-Safely-Reduces-the-Use-of-Feeding-Tubes-for-Infants-in-the-NICU.html

Nanomedical Diagnostics Changes Name to Cardea

Nanomedical Diagnostics, a Serra Capital II portfolio company, has announced that it has changed its name to Cardea, to encompass internet biology of things.

Michael Heltzen, the new Co-CEO of Cardea says, “The name Cardea - the Roman goddess of hinges and therefore gates - underlines the pivotal and unique aspect of our proprietary graphene biosensor platform. We allow the biological molecules of interest to be the critical part of the electrical system that makes up our biosensors. This way we connect biology to the digital networks in a way the world has never seen before. This direct integration of biology and computing power gives us a live signal from the complex actions and interactions of the biology we normally think of as disease, health, drugs, food and more.”

Cardea is the world’s leading manufacturer and developer of breakthrough digital graphene biosensors that among other things are being used to power the Internet of Biology. Cardea’s mission is to help transform the life science and healthcare industries with innovative new capabilities that enable Cardea partners to offer the world next-generation pharmaceutical development and monitoring, rapid onsite diagnostics, and cutting-edge life science applications.

Source: https://www.prweb.com/releases/nanomedical_diagnostics_announces_company_name_change_to_cardea_to_encompass_internet_of_biology_initiatives/prweb16034251.htm

Spatial Powers First Social Media Segmentation For Real Estate

Spatial, a Serra Capital III portfolio company, has announced the launch of its newest GeoSocial dataset that organizes billions of social media content into actionable segments that reveals the characteristics of communities down to the very block group.

Spatial.ai is the world's first human-driven location dataset - built by categorizing billions of conversations from social networks into actionable consumer segments. Companies like Ford, SiteZeus, Payless, and Intalytics, all use GeoSocial data to predict demand, select locations and uncover the human-driven data that has a bottom line impact on their business.


Metactive Medical Among "12 Kansas City Startups to Watch in 2019"

Metactive Medical, a Serra Capital III portfolio company, was recently featured by Startland as one of “12 Kansas City Startups to Watch in 2019.” Metactive was chosen as a top 12 company from a pool of 250 companies, and was judged on leadership, disruptiveness, traction and the likelihood of major news in 2019.

Metactive is developing novel, endovascular medical devices for the treatment of peripheral and neurovascular diseases. Metactive's first products enable precise and immediate occlusion and rapid sealing of cerebral aneurysms and other target vessel segments using an over-the-wire microcatheter platform.

Source: https://www.startlandnews.com/2019/01/kansas-city-startups-to-watch/


Hazel Technologies Shelf-Life Extender Results in Longer Lasting Apricots

Hazel Technologies, a Serra Capital III portfolio company, recently held a study on the effects of the company’s technology on the shelf life of apricots. The study found that Hazel’s shelf-life extender product significantly improved the longevity of the apricot’s freshness. 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.

“We are extremely pleased to report that UC Davis researchers saw significant increases in apricot firmness, even after release from 20 days in cold storage,” Adam Preslar, Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer of Hazel.

Source: https://www.andnowuknow.com/behind-greens/new-hazel-technologies-shelf-life-extender-results-longer-lasting-apricots-Adam-Preslar-Angelos-Deltsidis/jessica-donnel/61017

Serra and WhiteFox Featured in Crunchbase

WhiteFox Defense Technologies, a Serra Capital III portfolio company, was recently listed in an article on Crunchbase of nice venture deals to dive into from the past week. With drones posing a present and evolving danger to people and property, WhiteFox Defense Technologies, Inc. has developed a comprehensive, intuitive, portable drone interception device called the DroneFox.

To build a business around its “non-jamming signal substitution technology”, Whitefox has raised $12 million in an extended seed round, including Serra Ventures.

Source: https://news.crunchbase.com/news/last-week-in-venture-brandcast-bags-b-drone-defenses-and-raising-with-hat-in-hand/

Serra Capital III Invests in its 23rd Company Myagi

Serra Capital III is very pleased to announce that it has made its 23rd investment in Myagi, a robust learning management software that enables brands, retailers and frontline representatives to collaborate. Serra Ventures was the lead investor in the $2M round.

Steve Beck, Managing Partner stated, “Myagi has cracked the code on a highly consumable learning management system helping brands and retailers work seamlessly to meet the demands of the modern consumer experience. Churn is down and user engagement up. The dogs are eating the dog food, as they say, resulting in brands and retailers experiencing better sell through and customer loyalty.”

HerdDogg Partners with Panera to help raise animals with less antibiotics

HerdDogg, a Serra Capital III portfolio company, recently was featured in a special piece by Panera Bread, in order to bring awareness and provide learning about raising animals with less antibiotics, using data.

HerdDogg is a revolutionary Internet of Things technology for remote monitoring of animal herd genetics, health and key environmental data. Both HerdDogg and Panera uncover, that through more humane ranching of animals, they are able to provide better tasting food.

Source: https://www.food-interrupted.com/meat

Label Insight Bringing Healthier Options to the Forefront of Grocery Stores

Thanks to Label Insight, a Serra Capital II portfolio company, US supermarket chain Raley’s is changing the setup of its breakfast/cereal aisles, to give prime placement to cereals with less sugar.

Label Insight is the company with a platform to help brands and retailers better understand their own product data in order to pass that information along to consumers. Label has created a partnership with Raley’s to develop a sugar filter equation to guide the product placement on shelves. The California-headquartered company is responding to Nielsen research, which suggests that 22% of US households are restricting sugar intake, while 52% are actively trying to avoid artificial sweeteners.


Source: https://www.foodbev.com/news/us-supermarket-gives-low-sugar-cereals-prime-placement-on-shelf/

Paystand Makes CNBC's 100 Startups to Watch List

Paystand, a Serra Capital II portfolio company, has recently been named for the second year in a row, to CNBC’s “100 Startups to Watch” list. The Upstart 100 is CNBC's exclusive list of promising young start-ups, featuring a diverse group of companies that are building brands and breaking industry barriers on the path to becoming tomorrow's household names.

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.

Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2018/10/09/cnbc-unveils-its-list-of-100-promising-startups-to-watch-in-2018.html

NEW SERRA OFFICE “GATEWAY” TO DOWNTOWN

520 Neil, the new office space for Serra Ventures’ is scheduled to open in June of 2018. Being called the “Gateway to Downtown” Champaign, the five story building will have Serra as its anchor tenant on the top floor, with luxury apartment, retail and restaurant space on lower floors. 

"Part of the Neil Street Corridor plan suggests trying to establish the feel of entering downtown at Neil and Columbia rather than Neil and Washington," Bruce Knight, the city's planning and development director said. "This building starts to define that gateway into downtown and is very consistent with that Neil Street Corridor study."

"This new location will quite literally enable a new level of effectiveness and service to our portfolio companies and investors," said Tim Hoerr, CEO of Serra Ventures, when the project was announced.

Source: http://www.news-gazette.com/news/2018-10-06/gateway-downtown-520-neil-construction-progressing.html

PGA Tour Broadens Partnership with Opendorse

Opendorse, a Serra Capital III portfolio company, announced that its partnership with the PGA tour has expanded since it originally was established in 2017. The parternship will help the Tour’s marketing partners activate relationships on social media alongside the top golfers.

Brian Oliver, executive vice president of corporate partnerships at the PGA Tour said: “Opendorse has been a tremendous asset in helping the Tour and the game’s top players work together on social.”

Source: https://ministryofsport.com.au/pga-tour-broadens-partnership-with-opendorse-to-help-partners-with-social-media-reach/

Construction Sites Get a Lift from Emerging Technology from Reconstruct

Reconstruct, a Serra Capital III portfolio company, was featured in the Wall Street Journal on September 4. The piece took an in depth look at how Reconstruct's cutting edge technology is redefining the construction industry through digital models of construction sites.

Reconstruct is a SaaS platform for the construction industry. Reconstruct provides a 3D timeline that tracks visual progress, labor productivity, and predictive analytics that empower executives and their project teams to take actions to stay on time and on budget.

Source: https://partners.wsj.com/oracle/construction-sites-get-a-lift-from-emerging-technology/

Nanomedical Diagnostics Partners with Rogue Valley Microdevices to Create Breakthrough

Nanomedical Diagnostics "NanoMed", a Serra Capital II portfolio company, has announced its parternship with Rogue Valley Microdevices to create a breakthrough product. By working together, these two companies have found a way to make a product that will study molecules during pharmaceutical experiments. 

NanoMed 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. 

Source: https://ktvl.com/news/local/rogue-valley-microdevices-partnership-with-nanomedical-diagnostics-creates-breakthrough

Inprentus Receives Contract For a Diffraction Grating for the Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics

Inprentus, a Serra Capital II portfolio company, has been awarded a contract by the Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences. The contract will provide a mechanically ruled, blazed x-ray diffraction grating to the Shanghai Synchrotron Radiation Facility (SSRF). This will be the second in a series of orders received to supply the expansion of the new flagship synchrotron facility in China, the Shanghai Synchrotron Radiation Facility.

Inprentus manufactures blazed diffraction gratings for x-ray and extreme ultraviolet light (EUV).

Source: http://virtual-strategy.com/2018/08/06/inprentus-receives-contract-for-a-diffraction-grating-for-the-shanghai/

Serra Ventures publishes second installment of white paper on entrepreneurial paradoxes

Serra Ventures has recently published the second part in a new white paper series on the topic of paradoxes that exist in entrepreneurship. The paper is a brief survey of 10 paradoxes. It’s an exploration of how paradox makes this particular “road less traveled” difficult to navigate but exhilarating, challenging and fulfilling at the same time. The nature of paradox demands the best from us. Our best creative thinking. Our best effort. And paradox dispels the notion of “one right answer” and “the best way to do things.”

Entrepreneurship: A Road of Paradox - Part II

Metactive Medical Presents Results from Nonclinical Research Study

Metactive Medical, a Serra Capital III portfolio company, presented new nonclinical results from Metactive’s peripheral vascular research program at the Society of Interventional Radiology (SIR) Annual Scientific Meeting on July 23. The study was conducted on the treatment of peripheral arteries, and showed the effectiveness of Metactive's solution over other treatments. 

Metactive Medical is a medical device company developing innovative products for the treatment of neurovascular and peripheral vascular diseases.

Source: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20180723005192/en/Metactive-Presents-Results-Nonclinical-Research-Study-Treating

HerdDogg Secures $2.3M in Seed

HerdDogg, a Serra Capital III portfolio company, announced on July 20 that it had secured $2.3M in Seed Financing. The round was led by Serra Ventures. In addition, Rob Schultz, Managing Partner with Serra, joined the board of directors of HerdDogg. The company intends to use the funds to accelerate development and commercialization of its field-tested and proven system to monitor herd health to boost livestock profitability and sustainability.

HerdDogg is a revolutionary Internet of Things technology for remote monitoring of animal herd genetics, health and key environmental data. 

Source: http://www.finsmes.com/2018/07/remote-livestock-health-monitoring-herddogg-secures-2-3m-in-seed.html