This article was written by Daphne Tomlinson, Senior Research Associate at Memoori
Water management solutions at the point of use in buildings are gaining traction as IoT driven digital water technology gathers pace. Advancements in IoT technology, analytics and automation enable organizations to now add water to their existing energy efficiency and sustainability initiatives.
IoT data and monitoring solutions focused on water conservation and loss reduction addressing the small to medium sized commercial buildings sector are a largely untapped market. The multi-site retail and hospitality sectors are attractive markets with their erratic demands for water and high cost pressures.
Our Startups report identified 14 new entrants in Smart Water Management. Since its publication, we have seen a number of European new entrants gain a foothold in their respective markets through funding rounds and acquisitions. Smartvatten, Shayp, Infogrid and Droople have benefited from investments in their water management platforms in the last six months.
In February 2021, Norwegian private equity firm Norvestor acquired a 60% majority stake in Smartvatten. The Finnish water technology startup is a hardware-enabled SaaS company providing its customers with a solution for real-time monitoring and reporting of water consumption in buildings. The water consumption data is gathered from mechanical, digital, and IoT-enabled water meters. With a camera to keep track of the main water meter and a cloud-based application that analyzes a property’s water consumption, leaks are detected and automatic alerts are sent out immediately. The retrofit capabilities allow a bolt-on solution for existing meters.
Currently Smartvatten monitors over 7,000 buildings in 15 countries. The company serves leading property owners, hotels and housing cooperatives. In recent years, Smartvatten has achieved a leading position in Finland and gained a foothold in Sweden and the Benelux countries. The company was founded in 2013, has an ARR of approximately EUR 4.2 million and currently employs around 40 people.
Venture capital investors have recently backed a Belgian startup, to help accelerate and expand its intelligent water conservation service for private and public real-estate owners. Shayp based in Brussels, provides advanced software analytics for monitoring water consumption in buildings and infrastructure. Signa Innovations from Berlin, led Shayp’s Seed round with the participation of AMAVI Capital from Belgium along with past investors and Finance&Invest.brussels, closing the round at €1.9 million.
Founded in October 2017, Shayp has estimated that 1 in 3 buildings present costly leakages all year round, due to faulty plumbing, leaky toilets and compromised systems. These leakages can account for anywhere between 10% to 60% of the organisation’s water bill since a vast majority go unnoticed or unreported by personnel.
Infogrid is a London, UK-based startup founded in 2018, providing an Internet of Things (IoT) platform to enable smart buildings by combining real-time IoT sensors with AI analysis to translate data into insight. The company participated in Oxford University’s Foundry accelerator program in 2019. Infogrid offers an end-to-end Sensor+SaaS service which includes retrofittable micro hardware, cloud storage and a digital platform.
Use cases include helping reduce the risk of legionnaires disease in water pipes by automating compliance checks. In every building with a water system, pipes need to be actively monitored to reduce waterborne pathogen risks (like Legionella and Pseudomona Aeruginosa). Managers need to ensure water services operate at temperatures that do not encourage pathogen growth and water is not left stagnant.
In December 2020, Infogrid raised $15.5m in Series A funding. The round was led by Northzone with participation from JLL Spark, Concrete VC, The Venture Collective and Jigsaw VC.
Droople, a Switzerland-based developer of water management technology, announced the completion of a CHF 1.5M seed investment round in May 2021. The money was raised from private investors including CloudBees. Droople, founded in 2018, has developed a water intelligence platform intended to help real estate owners efficiently manage their fleet of water-driven assets and buildings. Their software is designed to digitize water-based assets worldwide, including sanitary ware, water treatment systems and appliances.
“We believe that IoT technologies will reinvent the last mile water industry by monitoring 36+ billion water assets off radar today”, comments Ramzi Bouzerda, founder and CEO of Droople.