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ZwitterCo Secures $58.4m in Series B Funding Led by Evok Innovations

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Advanced membrane technology positions ZwitterCo to unlock the potential of unconventional water sources, tackling the interlinked challenges of decarbonization and water scarcity

WOBURN, Mass., July 9, 2024-- ZwitterCo, which is transforming water treatment through advanced membrane technologies, today announced the successful close of its Series B funding round led by Evok Innovations. Evok was joined by DCVC, BHP, Munich Re Ventures, Siteground, HG Ventures, and Blue Horizon Advisors. The oversubscribed $58.4 million round will accelerate ZwitterCo’s mission to unlock the potential of unconventional water sources, such as industrial wastewaters and more challenging surface waters or process streams, to meet the massive water demands of industries that underpin a low-carbon future.

“Climate change is simultaneously driving water scarcity and increasing demand for water in industries critical to the low-carbon transition,” said ZwitterCo Co-Founder and CEO Alex Rappaport. “This funding will allow us to rapidly scale our breakthrough membrane technology, empowering industries to reliably and affordably access unconventional water resources while ensuring the water used or recycled in these industries meets the highest purity standards.”

While membranes are ubiquitous in water treatment, there had been no breakthrough innovations in the field for half a century until ZwitterCo introduced membranes with novel zwitterionic chemistries. ZwitterCo’s technology creates unprecedented immunity to organic fouling, enabling ZwitterCo’s membranes to continue working efficiently and sustainably long after traditional membranes would have clogged.

The need for such advanced membrane technology is rising as the changing climate worsens regional water shortages. According to the United Nations, 2.2 billion people globally lack access to safely managed drinking water services, and by 2025, half of the world's population could be living in water-stressed areas. Additionally, the U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence sees a 20-50% rise in global water demand by 2050. As conventional freshwater resources become increasingly strained, the ability to tap into unconventional water sources will be critical for meeting the growing demand for clean water.

At the same time, water plays a vital role in the industries building the low-carbon economy of the future. From the production of hydrogen from seawater and the safe management of wastewater from critical mineral extraction to fluid management in renewable and low-carbon biofuels or precision fermentation applications, the industries driving global decarbonization rely heavily on water. ZwitterCo's membranes will enable these industries to minimize their water treatment and associated operating costs, reduce downtime, and ensure that the water used in their processes meets the stringent purity standards required for optimal performance and reliability.

ZwitterCo’s Series B represents a partnership between the company and leading sustainability-minded investors who recognize the interlinked challenges of decarbonization and water scarcity that ZwitterCo is addressing. “The full spectrum of the energy transition – from power and next-gen fuels to mining and critical minerals – relies on clean water,” said Naynika Chaubey, Partner at Evok Innovations. “The increasing unreliability of global water sources could put many of our energy systems at risk. ZwitterCo’s breakthrough technology is critical and timely, making this investment a cornerstone of Evok’s portfolio.”

Global expansion and sustainable impact

ZwitterCo, which recently commissioned its Innovation Center at its headquarters near Boston, will use the funds from its Series B to strategically invest in international expansion and the rapid advancement of its technology platform, further solidifying its position as a leader in the water treatment industry.

Over the past two years, ZwitterCo’s products have been ordered or installed at more than 50 industrial facilities across North America, Europe, and Asia, helping customers realize significant cost savings and unlock new revenue streams. For example, a bioprocessing manufacturer in a water-stressed region used ZwitterCo’s technology to recycle 80% of their fermentation wastewater, enabling the company to expand production of a sustainable protein product. At one of the largest manure-based renewable natural gas facilities in North America, ZwitterCo’s membranes were integrated in a fertilizer concentration process that generated 400,000 gallons per day of clean water while also producing valuable byproducts. And a power plant in the Pacific Northwest replaced its existing membranes with ZwitterCo’s products, resolving cleaning, downtime, and maintenance issues while delivering 10% higher water production, even in the face of challenging upstream water conditions.

Jason Pontin, General Partner at DCVC and Chairman of ZwitterCo's Board of Directors, said that as global temperatures rise and weather patterns are disrupted, ZwitterCo is well-positioned to make a significant impact on industries and communities worldwide.

“Long before the planet feels the worst of climate change, without new solutions and more efficient water markets, cities and farms around the globe will suffer severe water stress,” Pontin said. “Reusing unconventional water sources is the only way to achieve water resiliency, and ZwitterCo’s groundbreaking membrane technology is the key deep tech breakthrough that makes water reuse practical and economical. DCVC has invested in ZwitterCo at every stage from its last Seed round, because nothing is more important than the company’s work to secure a sustainable water future.”

About ZwitterCo

ZwitterCo is on a mission to solve the world’s most urgent water problems with its advanced zwitterionic membranes that combat organic fouling, the biggest challenge in filtration. ZwitterCo’s award-winning technology enhances membrane life and performance in high-strength industrial wastewater, surface water, and food process streams, driving sustainable water reuse and reducing chemical use. For more information, visit https://www.zwitterco.com/.

Contact:
Media contact:
communications@zwitterco.com

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