OKLAHOMA CITY — December 2021

Cortado Ventures is pleased to announce it closed a Pre-Series A investment with an innovative analytical instrument company. Headquartered in Denver, Exum Instruments brings high-performance, solid-sample chemical characterization out of the traditional laboratory environment. This funding milestone closed alongside Alchemy Capital, will enable Exum to lead the company and their first product, the Massbox, to increase its full-time staff by 30%, finalize deployment of technical tools and proprietary software, and continue to further business strategy as Massbox nears manufacturing scalability. Exum Instruments is led by CEO and Founder Jeff Williams.

The Cortado Ventures fund is managed by partners Nathaniel Harding, David Woods, and Mike Moradi. The fund invests in early-stage companies in a variety of Oklahoma regional sectors by aggregating and managing investor capital and helps startups grow through seed funding, collaboration, and mentorship. The Cortado partners have launched the venture capital fund to build next-generation companies which will bring future-ready technology jobs to the region.

Massbox is a user-friendly desktop mass spectrometer for fast and accurate analysis of solid-state samples. Massbox’s capabilities are enabled by Exum’s patented LALI (Laser-Ablation, Laser-Ionization) technology. This technology enables elemental and chemical characterization of solid samples to be done easily and affordably on a 2’x2’x2′ desktop device. This solves a decades-old issue of large, expensive, complicated, and high-maintenance devices only affordable to labs and companies of certain sizes or economic status.

Exum’s technology enables quality assurance and quality control in production and manufacturing settings and drastically lowers the cost and time to evaluate materials, impacting several sectors including aerospace and energy. Exum’s Massbox delivers mission-critical capabilities and speed-to-market to companies that currently lack these capabilities in-house.

“The Exum team’s exceptional engineering and business development skills make for a bright future,” Cortado Ventures Managing Partner Nathaniel Harding said. “Their expertise and robust intellectual property portfolio will expand the use of mass spectrometry in the already large and expanding market. Exum is bringing next-generation tech to sectors where Cortado has deep experience. We are excited about the team’s success.”

“We are incredibly excited for the opportunity to work with Cortado Ventures as we scale our company,” Exum Founder Jeff Williams said. “Exum has ambitious goals; finding the right investor mindset is crucial for execution. The team, network, and expertise Cortado brings to the table gives us yet another competitive advantage.”

CEO Jeff Williams founded Exum after years of doing analytical chemistry work in academic and industry settings, using almost every technique in the field. Through this work, he identified the need for a paradigm shift in how professionals and scientists used their tools. Jeff started Exum to bring a full commercial tool to further enable his industry’s innovation, and completely change the end user’s experience with an analytical instrument.

Exum builds instruments and software ecosystems to increase the speed of materials development and discovery, offering easy access to high performance at a low cost. Exum’s first instrument, the Massbox, is the first Laser Ablation Laser Ionization Time of Flight Mass Spectrometer (LALI-TOF-MS) on the market, capable of analyzing any sold sample you can throw at it – precisely, rapidly, and inexpensively.

Cortado Ventures is an early-stage venture capital firm investing in ambitious, growth-driven companies to define a new generation of economic prosperity for Oklahoma and the immediate region.

Alchemy Capital is a private equity company based in Tulsa, Oklahoma. 

If you would like more information about this topic, please call Nathaniel Harding at (405) 698-1748, or email nharding@cortado.ventures.