Strathclyde Uni bankrolls funding rounds by scale-ups Krucial and Microplate Dx
Krucial, which says it harnesses space technology to connect Internet of Things (IoT) devices all over the planet, has secured further funding of more than $3.7 million (£3m), saying its investors “are backing us to take the next steps towards digitising the planet”. The round was led by existing backer the Scottish National Investment Bank (SNIB), joined by Dubai-based space and technology investor AzurX as well as the University of Strathclyde and Scottish Enterprise.
Krucial, formerly known as R3 IoT and a Strathclyde “spin-in”, says the latest fundraise takes the amount it has raised to date to more than $7.5m following seed investment in 2021 of $3.8m. The latest investment will be used to accelerate growth in core markets including energy, rail, aquaculture and agriculture in the UK and internationally.
The firm, founded by space experts Allan Cannon and Kevin Quillien, marries state-of-the-art satellite and cellular technology with IoT devices and cloud services to provide mission-critical data for industries with remote and hard-to-reach assets. Recently inked tie-ups include with Mowi, a major player in producing farm-raised salmon, to continuously and accurately monitor key environmental parameters to benefit fish welfare.
Krucial chief executive Allan Cannon said the funding, on which Scottish law firm Burness Paull advised, is a “clear vote of confidence in Krucial’s cutting-edge solution… [it] will unlock a host of new opportunities both in the UK and internationally in the $400 billion enterprise IoT market”. He added: “The opportunity in front of us is significant, and we intend on taking full advantage of the trust shown in us by our investors to continue delivering digital transformation for partners and customers globally.”
Simon Comer, director of sustainable investment at the SNIB, said: “Our funding will help maximise [Krucial’s] potential, not only in the UK – but enabling this Scottish-based business to increase its impact in the international marketplace.”
Meryl Levington of the University of Strathclyde, said: “The University is delighted to support the company’s growth and ambitions through our Strathclyde Inspire Investment Fund, and, through its links with our academic staff, to collaborate with the company on its research work.”
Also commenting was Kerry Sharp, director of entrepreneurship and investment at Scottish Enterprise, who said: “[We have] been pleased to provide a wide range of services to Krucial – and we look forward to continuing work with the company as it continues its international journey.”
She also welcomed Strathclyde spin-out Glasgow’s Microplate Dx closing a £2.5m seed funding round to develop its point-of-care diagnostic platform that it says can rapidly identify effective antibiotics to use or those to avoid in a patient’s treatment. The firm says the sum will help it to continue its clinical trials in 2024/25, with a view to launching commercially across European pharmacies and exploring entry into the US.
Investors in this funding round include existing backers Deepbridge Capital, and the University of Strathclyde plus new investors Scottish Enterprise, impact investor SIS Ventures, and Boston-based life sciences investor Thairm Bio. Kerry Sharp said Scottish Enterprise’s investment in Microplate Dx “will help commercialise the technology – and potentially expand its reach into new infectious disease areas of significant clinical need”.
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