- 40 startups offer solutions focused on decarbonisation and the circular economy, process sustainability and energy efficiency, identified under Call INNOV-ID;
- 3 startups resulting from Portugal Ventures’ core business activity, in the Engineering & Industry and Tourism sectors;
- These 43 operations correspond to a total investment of EUR 6.6 million.
Porto, 8 April 2021 – Portugal Ventures is proud to announce that it is adding 43 new startups to its portfolio. These investments boost Portugal Ventures’ positioning as a leading authority in funding entrepreneurship, aligning the capital needs of Portuguese businesses with the government’s priority strategies to stimulate the national economy.
Launched in May 2020, Call INNOV-ID, which has received 117 applications, has enabled investment in 40 companies in the pre-seed stage that offer promising science and tech-based solutions with an impact on decarbonisation and the circular economy, the streamlining and sustainability of processes, and energy efficiency.
These investments correspond to a total amount of €4 million.
At the end of 2020, an additional 3 investments in the seed phase with market traction were already in the pipeline: 2 projects resulting from the 3rd edition of Call Tourism (closed in January 2021) – Hostels Hub andMerytu – and 1 project in the Engineering & Industry sector in a follow-on investment – Cleanwatts.
These investments correspond to a total amount of €2.6 million.
Portugal Ventures has invested in Hostels Hub, a project that was already being followed by Portugal Ventures’ Tourism team over the past six months. The investment will accelerate the growth of Hostels Hub in the Iberian Peninsula, which already has six accommodation units in Lisbon, Peniche and Ericeira.
It has also invested in Merytu, which has designed an innovative human resources app for the hotel and catering sector that connects professionals and businesses, enabling professional growth based on merit and performance. The startup has already partnered with Santander, Tranquilidade and Magnifinance.
In the Engineering & Industry sector, Portugal Ventures has invested in Cleanwatts, a cleantech startup which designs digital platforms that simplify, broaden and accelerate energy decarbonisation. With this funding, the company will invest in a sales strategy to offer solutions worldwide and ensure the early entry into market of a groundbreaking solution for energy communities, protecting the associated IP.
Portugal Ventures thus enters 2021 managing a portfolio of over 130 startups, 43 of which in the Digital sector, 49 in Engineering & Industry, 20 offering solutions in Life Sciences, and 26 in the Tourism industry.
For Rui Ferreira, Vice-President of Portugal Ventures, “the addition of these 43 new startups to our portfolio is the result of our investment efforts in 2020 aimed at supporting businesses, amidst a pandemic, with significant international growth potential, many of which based on R&D solutions and have a genuine impact on the key sectors of the Portuguese economy, such as healthcare, biotechnology, information technologies, tourism and energy. These investments also significantly reinforce Portugal Ventures’ role in stimulating the Portuguese entrepreneurship ecosystem”.
New investments under CALL INNOV-ID
- Ablute has developed an eco-toilet with a built-in urinalysis device and that cleans itself using very little water after each use. Designed for installation in both private and public spaces, the company’s target market is corporate customers offering public toilet facilities (e.g. shopping centres, hospitals). The device collects and tests urine samples and instantly transmits the results to the user or sends them to the physician for diagnosis.
- About Aqua Food produces organic Spiruline and promotes red swamp crayfish caught in the inland waters of Portugal. It sells the freshwater crustacean and Premium Spiruline for human consumption and for use in the food, pharmaceutical and cosmetics industries.
- Aqva More, developed by Aroundinspire, is a device that helps save water during the heating process. It is placed between the water heater and the tap. The device saves the cold water that is wasted before the water heats up, increases water pressure and uses very little energy, thus helping to ensure water efficiency in residential, commercial and service buildings. Users can monitor their water use and savings by installing the respective app. In October 2020, Aqva More was awarded the AQUA+ Prize “Technologies for monitoring and controlling water use: TECH AQUA+ network”, organised by ADENE (Portuguese Energy Agency), in collaboration with Planetiers.
- Bandora is a virtual facilities manager dedicated to the operation and maintenance of smart buildings. Bandora connects to any existing IoT system and uses artificial intelligence to support facilities managers in their decision making, providing continuous and real-time optimisation of the operation of service buildings and equipment, such as air conditioning and lighting. It helps ensure optimal comfort for a building’s occupants, while being energy efficient. Bandora also detects abnormal energy consumption to help reduce unexpected and costly downtime and avoid energy waste.
- Beeyard provides beekeepers with a suite of tools for the management and remote monitoring of beehives to help improve productivity and help reduce colony loss. The solution was awarded the EIC 2020 Seal of Excellence by the European Commission.
- BestHealth4U develops the innovative medical adhesive Bio2Skin, a glueless bioadhesive made of biomaterials. The adhesive uses the natural properties of the skin, achieving adhesion through water molecules, thus making it easier to apply and remove, safely and pain-free, with devices that need to be in contact with the skin. Bio2Skin has been awarded several Portuguese and international accolades, as well as the EIC Accelerator Seal of Approval by the European Commission. The company is currently developing a new product, Adhesiv.Ai, which uses artificial intelligence for remote monitoring of chronic wounds, without the need to remove the adhesive.
- Bioworld is dedicated to creating a biodegradable biopolymer using wastewater from the agri-food industry (non-toxic, organic waste) and other inorganic waste. The novel material will be used to produce new biodegradable packaging, marketed as a circular solution and an alternative to existing packaging.
- Ccrave is a content and e-commerce platform that promotes the circular economy. The online store regularly publishes educational content under three categories – fashion, decorating, and lifestyle – to inspire and encourage people to lead a circular life. The company aims to accelerate the commercial success of brands that share these principles, promoting the sale of products created using waste or produced with zero waste.
- Clever-Volume is an automated and scalable solution powered by a system of robotic sensors connected to dedicated software that measures and classifies waste remotely and in real time, enabling financial and efficiency gains. With its solution installed in a seaport in Spain, Clever-Volume aims at addressing the needs of the global waste management market. This solution was awarded the Seal of Excellence by the European Commission.
- CORe Protein, Sustainable Azorean Protein project, is a product made from protein whey isolate and natural flavours from “ugly fruit”. This 100% natural, sustainable protein supplement with personalised nutrition benefits is designed for “health freaks” and athletes worldwide. The company also transforms a by-product of this supplement, lactose, into ethanol for sale as a disinfectant and for use in the production of alcoholic beverages or biofuel, thus contributing towards the circular economy by reusing industrial by-products.
- Corium Biotech focuses on the laboratory bio-production of exotic leather. This novel material differs from the existing alternatives on the market by using innovative production technology and helping to tackle the current problems faced in the leather industry concerning environmental pollution and animal welfare.
- Cosmos Pic is a customisable multifunctional platform that covers the entire cycle of satellite imagery analysis, focused on preventing wildfires and aimed at halting climate change.
- Eptune Engineering, a spin-off from the University of Porto, is developing a habitat and a platform for the maintenance of wind turbine blades under harsh weather conditions using space technology. The system helps to effectively control humidity and temperature within the enclosed habitat, where operators can perform repairs and maintenance, thereby drastically reducing seasonal maintenance and wind turbine downtime. The first prototype habitat is being funded by the ESA BIC Portugal programme.
- FastCompChem, which aims at revolutionising the development process of new medicines by using novel quantum mechanical methods, offers a solution based on deep learning analysis of x-rays for the screening of COVID-19 infection. The solution can be used both in hospital environments and in public health and epidemiological monitoring apps using portable technology.
- Flowco, an eco-product design centre, creates sustainable solutions for architecture and interior design. It produces GOMA XL, the first fully flexible and multicoloured sports flooring made from recycled footwear with guaranteed impact absorption and improved acoustic and thermal insulation.
- IhCare – Innovation Hospital Care – focuses on reducing intra-hospital infection by developing sanitation devices and technology for the early detection of transmission patterns, powered by artificial intelligence.Showercare® includes a patented antibacterial and antiviral textile for patients’ beds and a device that ensures patients can take a shower with running, hot and sterile water without having to get out of bed. The solution also includes management software for continuous remote monitoring.
- Insignals Neurotech, a spin-off from the University of Porto, explores microengineering technologies that enhance therapeutic approaches for neurological disorders. The first product it introduced to the market was iHandU, a wearable device that objectively evaluates wrist rigidity, to support the effectiveness of deep brain stimulation therapy in patients with Parkinson’s disease. In 2020, Insignals Neurotech was named “one to watch” among science-based companies by British scientific journal Nature.
- Klugit Energy, a Bosch spin-off, has developed a plug & play smart socket for water heaters which uses AI to learn the hot water needs of each family and helps save costs by preventing energy waste/heat loss. It also allows users to prioritise “clean” energy availability periods to heat water, making it an important ally in reducing carbon emissions.
- Landratech has developed a patented process for the agri-food industry to make acorns edible (a highly nutritious and gluten-free food). Its digital platform acts as a bridge between producers and consumers, connecting the entire value chain and offering a game changing solution for the sustainable management of native forests around the world.
- Neroes enhances the mental fitness of elite athletes using advanced digital neurotechnologies. It is the only non-invasive, precision, quantitative mental training platform. It increases decision-making capabilities by more than 4% and is touted as the next-gen solution for sports training to boost the performance and mental health of athletes. The solution won the prize for best scientific innovation at the international Physioma conference, for improving emotional control and reducing anxiety. Neroes was also named one of the world’s most promising startups at Web Summit.
- Neural Solar has developed an innovative and unique device to make solar panels “smart”, enabling customers to monitor the lifespan of their panels and detect and identify faults and failings. By using this device, power producers can reduce operating costs and increase the capacity of energy produced. The modular devices communicate wirelessly between themselves and without the need to invest in additional infrastructure. The technology enables the monitoring of large remote areas, both on land and at sea, to control pollution and to collect environmental and biological data.
- NU-RISE offers an innovative radiation therapy solution to monitor the amount of radiation patients receive. By reading the levels of radiation around the tumour and the healthy tissues and organs at risk, NU-RISE enables the real-time integration of the data with smart systems for monitoring and adjusting treatments, thereby ensuring safe and quality treatment for patients. With this solution, treatments can be readjusted whenever there is a deviation or error, thus protecting patients from unnecessary radiation and preventing serious side effects or the need for additional treatments.
- Rubynanomed, the first spin-off from the International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory (INL), created the RUBYchipTM, the first easy-to-use device for non-invasive monitoring of cancer progression. The system isolates circulating tumour cells directly from unprocessed whole blood samples through a liquid biopsy. RUBYchipTM provides oncologists with a new tool for efficient monitoring of the metastatic disease, leading to better therapeutic decisions and improving the life of cancer patients.
- Scemai has developed a system that uses artificial intelligence to collect, monitor and analyse physical and digital data, and corrects and performs predictive maintenance. It comes with an industrial, intelligent virtual assistant to aid in decision making and can be used for monitoring in the water, energy and solid waste sectors. Scemai was awarded the Águas de Gaia H20 Innovation prize by Associação Acredita Portugal.
- SCIVEN DESE’s energy-as-a-service model enables its customers to substantially reduce their energy costs and the associated environmental impact without capital amortisation. The company intends to introduce into the market the first generation of modular cogeneration systems that can be attached to biomass-fuelled hot water boilers. Besides reducing costs, thanks to decentralised energy generation and the use of renewable energy, the technology also helps reduce CO2
- Smart Monitoring uses technology to monitor the home environment of senior citizens and people who require special care. OneCare AAL provides senior citizens with a permanent monitoring system that combines the smart detection of daily routines, neurocognitive games, and health and socialisation parameters to offer peace of mind, comfort and security to senior citizens and their caregivers.
- Something in Hands – Investigação Científica, Lda is a spin-off from the University of Lisbon’s Faculty of Sciences that develops new medicines for targeted metastatic cancer therapy. Pre-clinical trials are currently under way for final approval of a new therapy for triple-negative breast cancer.
- S&DG – Storage and Distribution Generation is developing a system for energy storage and distribution generation by Compressed Natural Gas (CNG). The solution enables the storage of excess renewable energy production, by storing energy during periods of overgeneration and delivering it in periods of higher energy demand.
- SkyPowerLines provides a scalable service of detailed inspection and 3D mapping of transmission and distribution lines through an innovative system for collecting and processing images and data. It uses small, long-range drones (fully automated flights), replacing ground patrolling, the use of helicopters and large drones using LiDAR technology. Powered by IoT and DaaS (drone-as-a-service) technologies, the drones can be operated by the customer, partner drone operators or by the SkyPowerLines pilot team.
- Swatter has developed a mobile Spoofing Portable Gun (SPG) system that detects and protects against unauthorised drones safely and in a controlled manner. The target market of this system, the first of its kind in the anti-drone market, is any security and defence organisation, such as the armed forces, public safety institutions and private security firms. Swatter was awarded the silver medal (world’s top 100) at the China International college Students’ “Internet+” Innovation & Entrepreneurship Competition.
- Tesselo offers a GIS-based platform that monitors natural resources and weather hazards at every scale, combining open spatial data and artificial intelligence/machine learning. The solutions make green asset management (forests, soil, vegetation, plantations) more efficient and sustainable. Since its creation, Tesselo has already received four incentives from the European Space Agency and the European Commission. EDP Ventures co-invested with Portugal Ventures in this startup.
- Theia has developed Spotlite, a platform that uses satellite data to assess and monitor multiple risks for infrastructure operators in a host of industries. It reduces the need for in-situ monitoring and helps prevent the occurrence of critical failures. The solution has already been awarded two international prizes, including a Copernicus Masters. Indico Capital Partners co-invested with Portugal Ventures in this startup.
- United Boutiques is a platform that connects local businesses with consumers for the sale of items from the boutiques’ past collections. It enables ready-made items to be sold via a new sales channel, encouraging the digitalisation, without costly investments, of small retail businesses, which are often family-owned and with little IT knowledge.
- UZME Everywhere® has designed a water-activated self-heating lunch box that can heat up meals no matter where users are and without using electricity or gas. The lunch box has a heating pad that, when mixed with a bit of water, heats up a meal in just 5 minutes. This solution is the result of the unique combination of minerals inside the heating pads, which release the heat needed to heat up a meal when they come into direct contact with water. The lunch box offers a unique, modern design with the thermal efficiency required to achieve the fast and uniform heating of food.
- The Water Wise System™, created by Wakaru, is a software suite for integrated management of the urban water cycle. It transforms data into knowledge using predictive and analytical models powered by machine and deep learning, manages events and identifies anomalies in real time. The system responds to and prevents service interruptions and reduces water and energy waste, real water losses and utilities fraud. It also assesses the condition and malfunction of assets, and communications failures.
- Wall-i is a billboard advertising monetisation network that displays ad campaigns on digital screens for target audiences through facial recognition – age, gender and mood. Already installed in some of the stores in the Prio chain, Wall-i aims to be the Google Ads of billboard advertising.
- We Can Charge has designed B2B software (app and desktop) that enables any company to create private charging networks for electric vehicles. Besides being compatible with the various types of charging stations on the market, it can also be installed in sockets. The solution addresses the need of customers, such as hypermarkets, hotels, restaurants, parking garages and universities, and of companies that have EV fleets, and public transport companies.
- Wisify, a spin-off from the University of Porto, is dedicate to developing, manufacturing and marketing the Lipowise, the world’s most advanced digital skinfold caliper. Lipowise is a smart tool that enables healthcare and sports professionals to quickly, accurately and cost-effectively assess body composition. This EU- and US-patented tool is portable and connects to a dedicated app via Bluetooth.
- Wysensing offers an IoT-based solution for the management and monitoring of health and food safety tasks. Cleaning records, temperature records, pest control and sanitation are just some of the parameters measured that enable detailed reports to be drawn up per equipment and for a specific period.
- YesYesYes, which aims to be the leading natural skincare brand in Portugal, is creating a range of personalised natural beauty products for each skin type, giving consumers the freedom to create the solution that works for them based on a Mix & Match concept = 1 cream for each skin type + 1 (or more) serums for each skin problem that needs resolving.
New invests under PORTUGAL VENTURES’S CORE BUSINESS ACTIVITY
- CleanWatts is a cleantech company with digital platforms that simplify, broaden and accelerate energy decarbonisation for businesses and communities around the globe, offering its customers two areas of value creation: energy efficiency and energy communities. By combining multidisciplinary expertise in energy systems, software development, digital services and operations management, Cleanwatts helps transform the complexity of energy transition into a simple value proposition for customers: clean, smart and local energy that is cheaper than grid electricity.
- Hostels Hub is currently one of the biggest national hostel networks in Portugal. It aims at creating a network of different accommodation units, across the Iberian Peninsula, that include more than just hostels. The network currently comprises six units, among which a long-term lodging unit and a guest house, and two member brands: HUB (Urban/Culture) and AKTION (Activities/Leisure), located in Lisbon, Ericeira and Peniche.
- merytu helps companies in the hospitality and catering sector add more qualified professionals to their teams for as long as they need, in a seamless and transparent process. The solution automates profile matching, payments, insurance, and all legal and administrative bureaucratic processes. This novel solution for hospitality and catering companies helps improve cost efficiency, reduces time spent on processes and offers a careful selection of talent based on professional performance. merytu also enables professionals in the sector to leverage technology for career management to achieve above average gains and find avenues for growth.