Zürich/Lausanne, Switzerland: Cleantech venture capital pioneer Emerald Technology Ventures announced that it has led a Series C investment round of CHF 12 million with existing shareholders into bNovate Technologies, a maker of rapid microbial detection systems for water. The infusion will accelerate the Switzerland-based company’s global expansion as well as grow its product portfolio, which is currently designed for water utilities, the food and beverage industry, research facilities and the pharmaceutical industry.
bNovate’s successful product BactoSense, the result of Swiss innovation and engineering, is a compact, connected, and robust device that can monitor water continuously and detect microbial contamination in only 20 minutes. Traditionally, a rigorous assessment would take three to five days. Not only is it faster, but it has also made massive gains in efficiency and accuracy, as conventional laboratory methods require more resources, scientists onsite, and often undercount the bacteria present in a given water sample.
Applications for bNovate’s devices include municipal utilities for safe drinking water and industrial applications for the efficient cleaning of production assets and safely produced goods. Currently, there are already hundreds of installations in the field. And with stress on freshwater sources around the world increasing as populations urbanize, industrial applications will grow in scope as climate change exacerbates imbalances in supply and demand. Water managers urgently need fast, simple and cost-effective ways to ensure that vast quantities of water are clean and safe. bNovate’s nimble solution aims to capitalize on this future rapid growth in the market for microbiological water testing, which is expected to expand by 6.8% annually between 2020 and 2027.
bNovate has already been recognized for their innovation and positive contribution to global climate goals such as an Uplink Top 10 Innovator at the WEF 2023 and by the Swiss foundation, Solar Impulse.
“We look forward to supporting the company in their growth, especially in the Americas and APAC regions,” says Helge Daebel, Partner at Emerald, who will be joining the Board of Directors at bNovate. “The speed and automation of this technology in detecting bacteria in water has the potential for massive positive impact both in the municipal and industrial space.”
“We are proud to offer solutions to the market that contribute to the global water safety improvement and allow companies to be more sustainable,” says Simon Künzi, CEO at bNovate. “Now we need to find the right people to join our passionate sales team and help make a difference.”
Emerald has extensive experience and a long history in water innovation, including the launch of a dedicated water fund in 2020. Its track record in this space includes investments in vanguard companies Aganova, FIDO and SewerAI.