Smart Buildings

Water Management Maintains a Steady Flow of Funding

While energy management gets the majority of attention in the building operations space, water is also a fundamental resource for facilities that require advanced management for efficiency and sustainability measures. However, the wide availability and low cost of water has held back the development of water management in buildings, both from a facility management and a regulatory perspective, until recently. “Just about everyone can quote the current price for a gallon or liter of gasoline, but when was the last time you checked on the price of water? Water is widely known to be undervalued. It’s still a relatively inexpensive and plentiful natural resource in most developed areas of the world where we operate large buildings,” says Chris Hodges, Principal at Facility Engineering Associates. “Few governments have national water-use policies, and there is not a lot of emphasis on water use in buildings. However, that’s where our workforce tends to use a lot of water […]

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While energy management gets the majority of attention in the building operations space, water is also a fundamental resource for facilities that require advanced management for efficiency and sustainability measures. However, the wide availability and low cost of water has held back the development of water management in buildings, both from a facility management and a regulatory perspective, until recently.

“Just about everyone can quote the current price for a gallon or liter of gasoline, but when was the last time you checked on the price of water? Water is widely known to be undervalued. It’s still a relatively inexpensive and plentiful natural resource in most developed areas of the world where we operate large buildings,” says Chris Hodges, Principal at Facility Engineering Associates.

“Few governments have national water-use policies, and there is not a lot of emphasis on water use in buildings. However, that’s where our workforce tends to use a lot of water in daily life, and green building programs have brought water use issues in buildings to the forefront.”

For buildings, domestic water includes what we use for washing, bathing, cleaning, waste, and food functions, while process water includes water that we use in heating and cooling, and irrigation. Water outputs in a building include wastewater, evaporation, and leaks.

Leaks can account for a significant quantity if they are not detected and corrected in a timely manner, while evaporation is especially significant in buildings that rely on evaporative cooling towers. Water performance of buildings is defined as overall water consumption, including all these sources.

The growing importance of sustainability in buildings and the subsequent rise of green buildings has triggered a steady flow of funding into the water management space in recent years. Based on data from our 2023 startups landscape report and recent developments, we explore the startups seizing the water-focused funding opportunities available.

Water Management VC Funding Investment Smart Buildings

Water Management Funding in 2023

Earlier this month, August 2023, self-proclaimed Israeli “water intelligence” company Wint raised $35 million in a Series C funding round led by New York-based Insight Partners, Czech climate tech fund Inven Capital, and Australia/Singapore-based Taronga Ventures. Building off a $15 million Series B, Wint has developed an AI-enabled water management system that alerts users when there may be a leak, with the ability to configure the system to automatically shut down where the leak is detected. The company maintains an impressive list of clients, including Microsoft, Google, Mastercard, HP and Dell.

Earlier this year, March 2023, hot water management specialist Mixergy raised £9.2 million investment from EDP Ventures and Nesta to support a new R&D center in the UK. Originally conceived in the Department of Engineering at Oxford University, Mixergy holds a suite of IP around hot water heating, heat pump, and energy management technologies, using a patented top-down approach to heating that exploits thermal stratification to only heat the necessary amount of water. The Energy Savings Trust has verified that Mixergy can reduce gas consumption by as much as 20% whilst reducing costs by 40%.

Water Management Funding in 2022

Late last year, December 2022, Canada-based Eddy Solutions secured a two-year $3 million working capital loan facility with an interest rate of 8% (increasing to 14% upon any default) per annum. The Company intends to use the net proceeds from the financing largely for working capital purposes, to deploy its contracted revenue backlog and general corporate expenses after their acquisition of Reed Water in May 2022.

In October 2022, Netherlands-based LegionellaDossier raised $4 million from Newion, Amsterdam-based seed and early-stage VC firm Volta Ventures, London-based proptech VC firm Concrete Ventures, and an existing private investor. “Legionella” refers to a group of bacteria that can cause acute infections of the respiratory passages and lead to legionellosis.

The number of Legionella infections has been increasing around the world for some time and is expected to be exacerbated further by climate change. The company offers legionella prevention software, risk analysis software, IoT sensors, and digital legionella management services.

And, in May last year, UK-based AI and machine learning liquid sensor company InferSens, raised £870,000 ($1.1 million) in a funding round led by RO Capital Partners, with participation from Oxford Innovation Fund, and Bruce Melizan. The company intends to use the funds to accelerate growth capital and to bring their non-invasive liquid flow monitor product to market, which is of particular interest to building owners who are legally required to scrutinize the flow of water in properties for Legionella.

Water Management Funding Before 2022

Investment in the water management space was rising before the last 18 months with a range of funding rounds:

  • In December 2021, Indian smart water meter firm WEGoT raised $1.5 million in a funding round led by GRUHAS Proptech, to expand their services across the sub-continent.
  • In May 2021, Switzerland-based water management technology developer Droople, announced a CHF1.5M ($1.7M) capital investment round from investors including CloudBees.
  • In February 2021, Scandinavian fund Norvestor invested in Finnish water technology company Smartvatten, a hardware-enabled SaaS company providing real-time monitoring and reporting of water management in buildings.
  • In December 2020, Belgian startup Shayp raised €1.9 million to scale up its intelligent water monitoring system. The funding round was led by German Signa Innovations and supported by AMAVI Capital as well as other previous investors.
  • In November 2019, Conservation Labs raised $1.7 million in a seed funding round led by IrishAngels alongside the Amazon Alexa Fund, Serra Ventures, Mountain State Capital, and Innovation Works. Funds were used to launch its H2know monitoring product.
  • In April 2019, intelligent water management platform provider APANA, closed an $11 million Series B financing round led by Kurita Water Industries, with participation from Cowles Company, E8 Fund, and Urban Innovation Fund.
  • In January 2019, Los Angeles-based water management firm VivoAquatics raised an undisclosed amount in a Series A funding round led by Level Equity. Funds are being used to expand the suite of integrations across the commercial facility.

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