akvolution GmbH raises six-digit seed round for disruptive water treatment technology
akvolution GmbH has successfully closed a seed-financing round with High-Tech-Gründerfonds (HTGF) and will use the funds to bring their disruptive water treatment technology akvoFloat™ to the market.
“More water for less energy”. Berlin-based akvolution aims to make seawater desalination more affordable and sustainable to fight global water scarcity. The startup designs and markets compact water treatment plants based on its proprietary technology akvoFloat™, a ceramic-based and highly efficient flotation-filtration process. This technology drastically reduces the energy consumption necessary for water treatment in challenging environments, which is the key for a sustainable water supply in the near future.
“Water scarcity plays an ever-increasing role in the world.” says Dr. Matan Beery, CEO and co-founder of akvolution GmbH. “The only way to achieve a sustainable freshwater supply in the long-run is by desalination or wastewater reuse — both complex processes that require increasing amounts of energy. On the other hand, the generation, storage and transformation of energy also requires increasing amounts of water. This mega trend is known as the Water-Energy Nexus. It is one of the main challenges of the 21st century and it is also the reason why companies that champion energy efficient water technologies are going to be the winners of this century.”
“The investment in akvolution is an investment in the future of water technology,” confirms investment manager Dr. Ansgar Kirchheim. “The Industry longs for more mobile, robust and affordable water treatment technologies. We are looking forward to see akvolution launch its first products to the market in 2015.”
One of the main application fields of akvoFloat™ is the billion Dollar market for seawater pretreatment of desalination plants: The seawater needs to be properly cleaned before it can be desalinated, requiring the use of multiple processes and can account for as much as 20% of the plant’s capital costs and 30% of the operating costs. “In comparison to the best available competing technologies akvoFloat™ requires up to 90% less energy and 20% less space.” explains Johanna Ludwig (CTO), “Moreover our systems are easier to operate, require minimal maintenance and have 70% lower CO2 emissions. Our current pilot customer is convinced by the good cleaning results of akvoFloat™!”
“We are also exploring other applications in attractive markets where the unmatched simplicity and robustness of our technology also gives us a clear competitive edge, like the oil & gas industry.” reveals Lucas León (CBDO). “The equipment in charge of oil-water separation is critical for the affordable operation of oil wells, and reliability is key. akvoFloat™ also gives operators an economic incentive to reuse the water for the operations instead of disposing of it in deep wells, where it is taken out of the water cycle forever. Lab tests together with a global oil company will show, at which process step akvoFloat™ performs best.”
The akvoFloat™ technology is based on Dr. Beery’s 5-year research prior to the foundation of akvolution and is now ready for field tests. The funds will be used to finance product development efforts and acquire top talent.
About akvolution GmbH
akvolution GmbH is a Berlin-based company focused on water treatment engineering and equipment supply. The company was founded in 2013 by Dr. Matan Beery, Johanna Ludwig and Lucas León as a spin-off of the Chair of Process Dynamics and Operation of the Technische Universität Berlin. With the support of the Center for Entrepreneurship from the TU Berlin the three founders raised their first pre-seed capital through the EXIST-Technology Transfer Grant, which helped them to get the first pilot projects up and running and attract capital for the seed phase.
About High-Tech Gruenderfonds
High-Tech Gruenderfonds invests in young, high potential high-tech start-ups. The seed financing provided is designed to enable start-ups to take an idea through prototyping and to market launch. Typically, High-Tech Gruenderfonds invests EUR 500,000 in the seed stage, with the potential for up to a total of EUR 2 million per portfolio company in follow-on financing. Investors in this public/private partnership include the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy, the KfW Banking Group, as well as strategic corporate investors including ALTANA, BASF, Bayer, B. Braun, Robert Bosch, CEWE, Daimler, Deutsche Post DHL, Deutsche Telekom, Evonik, Lanxess, media + more venture Beteiligungs GmbH & Co. KG, METRO, Qiagen, RWE Innogy, SAP, Tengelmann and Carl Zeiss. High-Tech Gruenderfonds has about EUR 576 million under management in two funds (EUR 272 million HTGF I, EUR 304 million HTGF II).
High-Tech Gründerfonds Management GmbH
Dr. Ansgar Kirchheim
Phone: +49 228 823001-00
Fax: +49 228 823000-50