Triton Technology Fund Announces Their Seed Round Investment in MANTA Instruments

SAN DIEGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Triton Technology Fund (TTF) announces their seed round investment in MANTA Instruments (MANTA), a seed stage technology company with breakthrough technology for characterizing nanoparticles.

Funds from the seed round are enabling MANTA to accelerate commercialization of scientific instruments that measure nanoparticles more effectively than any currently available product. Since closing its seed round, MANTA has built a core leadership team, was admitted into EvoNexus, and plans to launch their first product in the second half of 2015.

According to the 2014 National Nanotechnology Initiative Survey, the global nanotech industry exceeded $1T in 2013. “Somewhat shockingly, this huge and rapidly growing industry is, in many ways, literally running blind,” says Rick Cooper MANTA’s CEO. “This blindness stems from nanoparticles themselves being at least 100 times smaller than a human hair and therefore inherently difficult to see, size and count. As a result, today’s instruments for measuring nanoparticles are unable to: i) adequately measure concentration of nanoparticles, ii) accurately and reproducibly measure changes in nanoparticle size, iii) measure nanoparticle size distribution. MANTA’s breakthrough optical technology addresses all three of these unmet needs with one instrument. And with these additional measurement capabilities, MANTA’s customers can develop and manufacture better nanoparticle-based products faster and more profitably.”

The leadership team includes the original inventors of the technology from UC San Diego; Dr. Dariusz Stramski, Dr. Kuba Tatarkiewicz, Dr. Rick Reynolds and Monette Karr. They have decades of experience researching nanoparticles in sea water at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography. Rick Cooper, a successful serial entrepreneur, has joined MANTA as full time CEO. He brings over 30 years of experience leading and growing start-up companies. Prior to joining the Company Cooper was an advisor at UC San Diego’s von Liebig Entrepreneurism Center (vLC) and was asked to help MANTA develop their commercialization strategy. “We’re excited to see how well MANTA has progressed since their researchers first reached out to the von Liebig Center for support” says Dr. Rosibel Ochoa, Senior Executive Director of the vLC. “They epitomize the von Liebig Center model to help UC San Diego students and faculty commercialize their technologies through gap funding for proof of concept and mentoring from accomplished entrepreneurs.” Dr. David Fairhurst, advisor to MANTA, has 50 years experience in applied colloid and surface chemistry. He is a pioneer and recognized expert in nanoparticle characterization. He has held senior management roles at five US businesses in the field of nanoparticle colloids.

“Their breakthrough technology, strong intellectual property and outstanding team, certainly got our attention. And when we contacted customers in MANTA’s pipeline who validated their value propositions, we knew MANTA would be a great fit for the TTF portfolio” says Dave Schwab, Managing Partner at Triton Technology Fund and Vertical Venture Partners. “We are pleased with the progress MANTA is making with our investment and it is exciting to see how they are meeting their milestones leading up to the product launch later this year.”

EvoNexus, Southern California’s leading start-up incubator, also conducted due diligence on MANTA prior to the Company’s admission into this highly sought-after program. As an EvoNexus portfolio company MANTA has unmatched access to mentors, an expansive angel investor network, and traditional venture capital.

About MANTA: MANTA Instruments is commercializing scientific instruments that measure nanoparticles more effectively than any currently available product. With nanoparticle measurements enabled by MANTA, companies have much better control over the development and manufacturing of nanoparticles used in their products. And with better control of these critical components, MANTA’s customers are able to make better products faster and more profitably.

About Triton Technology Fund: Triton Technology Fund (TTF) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Vertical Venture Partners (VVP). TTF invests in companies commercializing technologies being developed at UC San Diego (UCSD) or by UCSD alumni. Companies can originate in any school including, for example, Jacobs School of Engineering, Rady School of Management, Scripps Institute of Oceanography, or the Medical School. Technology areas of interest include cloud applications, analytics, social media, mobile, materials, medical devices, digital health, healthcare IT, instruments and cloud software infrastructure. Of particular interest are technologies that can be matched with a targeted vertical market. For more information, interested parties may contact TTF at

About Vertical Venture Partners: Vertical Venture Partners is a venture capital firm focused on investments in companies that target specific vertical markets. Some vertical markets of interest include Retail, Healthcare, Transportation, Insurance, Financial Services and Telecommunications. Some technology areas of interest include: analytical applications, cloud applications, mobile, vertical CRM, cyber-security and software infrastructure. Vertical Venture Partners will invest at any stage of a company’s growth and can help companies accelerate their business. For more information, interested parties may contact VVP at

About the von Liebig Entrepreneurism Center: The von Liebig Center is a nationally recognized Proof of Concept Center with a mission to accelerate the commercialization of university discoveries. Housed at UC San Diego’s Jacobs School of Engineering since its founding in 2002, the von Liebig Center has helped more than 200 innovator teams conduct proof of concept studies and market research through a combination of gap funding, expert mentorship and entrepreneurial education. To date, the Center has helped launched more than 45 startup companies.


Triton Technology Fund
Rosibel Ochoa, 1-858-822-6775