Every day, Global University Venturing rounds up the smaller investments from across the university innovation ecosystem in its deal net.

Sense Biodetection, a UK-based molecular diagnostics technology developer, has raised $15m in a series B extension that brought the round’s total to $65m. Koch Disruptive Technologies (KDT), the investment arm of industrial and chemicals group Koch Industries, led the extension having already led the initial $50m tranche in April 2021, when patient capital fund Cambridge Innovation Capital (CIC), Mercia Asset Management, Earlybird’s Health Tech Fund and Jonathan Milner also invested. Sandbox VR, the US-based operator of a chain of virtual reality gaming centres backed by Stanford University, has secured $37m in funding from investors including e-commerce group Alibaba, according to VentureBeat. The round was led by Andreessen Horowitz, included fellow venture capital firm Craft Ventures and increased the company’s overall funding to $105m. Alibaba and Andreessen Horowitz joined Stanford University, Floodgate, CRCM Ventures and TriplePoint Capital to supply $68m in series A funding in January 2019 and returned for an $11m bridge round nine months later. Beacon Biosignals, a US-based neurotechnology developer based on research at Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has raised $27m in an oversubscribed series A round led by General Catalyst, with participation from Casdin Capital, angel investors and unnamed existing backers. Founded in 2019, Beacon Biosignals will use the fresh funding to pursue additional partnerships and build on existing ones with corporates including Novartis. The company has now raised $30m altogether, it said. Variantyx, a US-based precision medicine developer spun out of Tel Aviv University, has raised $26m in a series C round backed by Robert Bosch Venture Capital, the investment arm of industrial technology producer Robert Bosch. Variantyx has now raised $53m altogether, $20m coming in a March 2021 series B round led by GHS Fund and backed by IBM Ventures on behalf of computing technology provider IBM in addition to Pitango Venture Capital, New Era Capital Partners and 20/20 HealthCare Partners. Novlead Biotech, a China-based developer of nitric oxide-focused medical devices spun out of University of Michigan, has secured RMB120m ($18.8m) in a series B round led by Lilly Asia Ventures, an investment vehicle for pharmaceutical firm Eli Lilly, according to DealStreetAsia. The round also included 3E BioVentures and Northern Light Venture Capital, the latter having reportedly taken part in a series A round for the company in early 2021 in the seven-figure dollar range. QuEra Computing, a US-based quantum computing technology developer, has emerged with $17m in funding to commercialise research pioneered at Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Investors in spinout include e-commerce firm Rakuten,…

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Thierry Heles

Thierry Heles is the editor of Global University Venturing, host of the Beyond the Breakthrough interview podcast and responsible for the monthly GUV Gazette (sign up here for free).