Zürich, Switzerland: Cleantech venture capital pioneer Emerald Technology Ventures announced Thursday that it has led a follow-on investment into FIDO Tech Ltd, a startup focused on reducing water leaks via software. Following FIDO’s acquisition by SKion Water GmbH, the infusion from Emerald will accelerate the development of FIDO’s disruptive artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms and its uptake across FIDO’s native UK and beyond. Greenhouse Capital Partners, Ireon Ventures and RKKVC also participated in the round.
The investment comes amid increasing concern over water stress due to climate change and aging infrastructure. With two in three people on the planet potentially facing water shortages by 2025, every drop of water lost due to leaks is irreplaceable. There are significant financial implications to this wastage: one study estimated that in 2018, the world lost $39 billion worth of water that could have been utilized by thirsty towns and cities.
FIDO, which has been named a top UK and Global Tech Innovator by KMPG and whose technology is now used on five continents, has invented an innovative method of “listening” for leaks via sensors analyzed by AI. What is more, the company can also estimate the size of the leak—a first among leak-detection service providers. With a stated accuracy of 92%, the company’s offerings free up leak technicians from having to listen to acoustic recordings and manually identify true leaks from false alarms. Quick identification of true leaks and leak sizing helps to prioritize repair jobs and ultimately reduce loss.
Emerald, whose Senior Partner Charles Vaslet will join FIDO’s board, is rapidly expanding its water portfolio, including a recent investment in US-based infrastructure diagnostics platform SewerAI.
“FIDO Tech is rapidly winning business with its hardware agnostic AI platform that removes human fallibility from determining what is and is not a genuine leak with high accuracy,” says Vaslet. “The company is skillfully led by Victoria Edwards, a seasoned entrepreneur, whose team has delivered fast commercial traction through successive product innovation.”
“We are very excited to announce this investment in FIDO from some of the world’s biggest names in water sector impact investment. At least of third of the world’s piped water is lost to leaks. This is a tragedy, but there is also an amazing opportunity to get ahead of the climate change disaster that is pushing our communities towards the day they run out of water,” says Victoria Edwards, FIDO CEO. “[Our investors] bring a wealth of expertise and knowledge about critical innovation and adoption in the water sector, and really believe in what we are trying to achieve.”