Tiny Bright Things (TBT) – a Microscopy company transforming the way researchers and manufacturers see and measure tiny objects – has announced it has raised $1.5 million in seed funding to drive their ‘Halo’ microscopy products to market.
The company is reimagining the way a microscopy scene is illuminated using proprietary Halo microscopy products to deliver “impossible” imaging and measurement down to the nanoscale. This will enable whole new fields of discovery and the supercharging of manufacturing with real-time process insights.
For example, in pharmaceutical and agrichem, knowing the size and shape of the particles and powders they are making or processing at the right time is critical for the product and the business where existing tools often fail. TBTs Halo products can offer insights within seconds to minutes, instead of hours to days – early enough to intervene and affect outcomes.
Uniseed Managed Funds has invested $1.2 million, with the University of Melbourne also participating. Uniseed’s Investment Manager, Paul Butler, will join the Tiny Bright Things board as a director.
This investment builds on TBT’s previous non-dilutive investment supported by the Australian Government through Accelerating Commercialisation (AC), an element of the Entrepreneurs Program, with support from the University of Melbourne for prototype development and customer testing.
TBT co-founder and VP Software Engineering Chris Bolton said: “Using a trick of the light, our Halo products enable seemingly impossible nanoimaging that’s lightning fast and easy to use. It is a literal quantum leap in microscopy. We are very pleased to be partnering with Uniseed as we bring this technology to market.”
The Melbourne-based company was co-founded in 2020 by long-time research collaborators Professor Ray Dagastine and Chris Bolton at the University of Melbourne. This investment will help grow the TBT team, support ongoing customer trials and drive pre-sales for delivery in early 2023.
Tiny Bright Things is looking to fill technical positions for an additional software developer and a product manager this year.
Uniseed’s CEO, Dr Peter Devine, said: “The potential to transform the microscopy sector through TBT’s Halo products is an exciting opportunity for Uniseed to invest in an early-stage deep technology invention from one of our Australian research partners.”
Professor James McCluskey, Deputy Vice Chancellor Research at the University of Melbourne, said: “Tiny Bright Things joins the University’s growing portfolio of startup companies and is a great example of how our increased investment enabling research impact through entrepreneurial pathways can really help researchers turn their discoveries and innovations into global success stories. The University’s investment in Tiny Bright Things, alongside Uniseed, will provide valuable support for the founders as they work to translate their research into commercial outcomes.
TBT was able to use the support from the Translating Research at Melbourne (TRAM) program at University of Melbourne early in their journey. TBT co-founder and CEO Ray Dagastine said: “TRAM was a great springboard for us, helping realise the commercial promise of the technology and the impact it can have.”
Uniseed is Australia’s longest running early-stage commercialisation fund that makes investments in research emanating from five of Australia’s leading research organisations – The University of Queensland, The University of Sydney, The University of New South Wales, The University of Melbourne and the CSIRO. Investment capital is also provided by UniSuper. The fund facilitates the commercialisation of its research partners’ most promising intellectual property and secures targeted investment in resulting products and technologies.
About Tiny Bright Things
Tiny Bright Things makes light microscopy tools to image and measure at any length scale, empowering users to see “impossible” things, enabling whole new fields of discovery and supercharging manufacturing. Ultimately our vision is to make tiny accessible to everyone so that we can all see better and do more. For more information about Tiny Bright Things Pty Ltd and how to become involved in beta testing or pre-orders, please visit https://tinybrightthings.com.
For business, partnership and employment enquiries, or to schedule a media interview, please contact Ray Dagastine, CEO, Tiny Bright Things
+61 4 0305 3880
First published on 3 November 2022.
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