Water startups trying to sell their technology are increasingly having to be flexible and offer creative approaches to water shortage problems to find a home for their work, according to Reuters.
As water availability dwindles, startups that use pipe sensors, filtration systems and pumps to generate information to better monitor water quality, reduce leakage or measure usage are increasingly finding open doors.
For example, in the past few years Israeli startup TaKaDu has found customers at more conservative water utilities for its algorithm-driven analytics, according to its founder, Amir Peleg.
However, those startups focusing on the treatment of water — how to make it drinkable or suitable for disposal — are having a more difficult time. The business model there remains more traditional and the field more crowded, forcing startups to improvise.
One problem is that many treatment technologies come out of university labs, where commercialization may be less of a priority.
In the case of one Singapore startup, Membrane Instruments and Technology, its venture capital company, New Asia Investments, found that potential clients in Vietnam really needed usable water away from the big cities, not sensors. In response, it created another company, De.Mem, using MINT’s integrity sensors. Now De.Mem is building small-scale treatment plants and pumps in Vietnam where there is a shortage of fresh water.
According to Andres Kroll of De.Mem, selling the sensors is an option, but taking over the operations is a more attractive model.
In addition, according to a report released earlier this month from MSCI’s Environmental, Sustainability & Governance unit, water shortage is putting a number of US companies and assets at risk.
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