Imaging Startup Phi Optics Closes Seed Funding Round

Category : Investments
Posted on: November 8, 2013

CHAMPAIGN, Ill.– Phi Optics, Inc., a company that develops imaging solutions for life sciences and bio-pharma researchers, has secured $250,000 in seed funding from venture capital funds. The seed series was led by Champaign-based Serra Ventures and includes New Jersey-based Newport Holdings LP and Champaign-based Illinois Ventures LLC.

The funding will support development of optical microscopes designed for faster and more sensitive imaging of live cells and tissues using Phi Optics patented technology, Quantitative Phase Imaging (QPI).

Phi Optics also has received a Phase 1 SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) award from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The SBIR funds were used toward a feasibility study for translating QPI technology from university lab to commercial product. Phi Optics also has developed strategic partnerships with Agilent Technologies and Carl Zeiss Microscopy.

“Phi Optics products empower bio-pharma and life sciences academia researchers to explore deeper, discover more, and ultimately cure better,” said Dr. Gabriel Popescu, Co-Founder and CEO of Phi Optics, Inc.

About Phi Optics: Phi Optics designs and manufactures devices based on Quantitative Phase Imaging (QPI), a label free and quantitative imaging technology with nanoscale sensitivity. QPI-enabled devices have applications in life sciences, diagnostic pathology, and nanotechnology markets. Founded by Drs. Gabriel Popescu and Catalin Chiritescu, Phi Optics is commercializing technology initially developed in Prof. Popescu’s laboratory at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The company is a graduate of the NSF Innovation Corps program (March 2012 cohort) and is located in the EnterpriseWorks incubator in the University of Illinois Research Park. For more information visit the Phi Optics website.

About University of Illinois Research Park: The Research Park at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign provides an environment where technology-based businesses can work with faculty and students to take advantage of opportunities for collaborative research. Located on campus, the Research Park is home to more than 90 companies, employing 1,400 people in high-technology careers. Major corporate operations in the Research Park include: ADM, Abbott Laboratories, Anheuser Busch InBev, Caterpillar, Citrix, Deere & Company, Dow, Littelfuse, Neustar, Raytheon, Riverbed, Sony, State Farm, and Yahoo. The Research Park is also home to 30+ startup companies that are commercializing technology. For more information, visit the Research Park website.