Codelucida, a University of Arizona startup that is commercializing error-correction technology for data storage and communications, has reported that it has raised approximately $700,000 in a round of angel investment funding. The effort, led by Tucson's Desert Angels, also pulled together participation from the Tech Coast Angels in Southern California, the Arizona Tech Investors in Phoenix and other private angel investors.
Codelucida's technology was jointly developed during the doctoral studies of co-founder and CEO Shiva Planjery, along with his co-founders and doctoral advisers, Bane Vasic, UA professor of electrical and computer engineering, and David Declercq, professor at the University of Cergy-Pontoise, France.
"We are excited to secure this new round of investment led by our local Desert Angels," Planjery said. "The funding will provide us sufficient runway to bring this pivotal technology to market and allow us to address the market needs quicker to build key strategic partnerships."
Tech Launch Arizona, the office of the UA that commercializes the inventions stemming from University research, has been a partner throughout the process of bringing the invention from the UA to the marketplace, collaborating with the inventor team to protect the intellectual property and license it to the new company.
Once Codelucida was ready, it then participated in the Arizona Center for Innovation's Mentored Launch program and located its offices at the UA Tech Park at Rita Road. Through customized hands-on engagement, AzCI helped Planjery to develop an investable company with a startup team and business model, providing assistance in preparing investor materials and pitch training, and helped Codelucida to navigate the entire process from the first presentation through funding close.
"Codelucida is the example on how a technology startup has had the best possible start by utilizing all the resources of our (UA) community," says Anita Bell, senior manager of AzCI. "When Shiva started this venture, he came to AzCI as a postdoc with a UA patent. He took advantage of the AzCI offerings and now, almost three years later, he is the confident CEO of a thriving startup — a real rising star."
Planjery first came across AzCI when he attended an SBIR grant-writing workshop that the incubator had organized.
"I had just defended my dissertation with little knowledge about SBIR grants," he says. "Attending that workshop turned out to be a crucial starting point for us to eventually win one. Looking back, I don't think we would have reached this point had we not stepped into AzCI, as the mentorship and resources they provided were vital to our growth. We are very grateful for the support from both AzCI and TLA."
The angel funding just secured follows Codelucida's winning a $150,000 Phase 1 SBIR grant, which then led to a $750,000 Phase 2 grant, both through the National Science Foundation.
Inclusive of AzCI, the UA Tech Park at Rita Road — along with the UA Tech Park at The Bridges, which is currently in development — is an element of Tech Parks Arizona, which falls under Tech Launch Arizona's purview. Tech Launch Arizona integrates technology commercialization, industry collaboration, and the assets and activities of the Tech Parks with campus activities at the UA.
For details, see the company's press release.