Water tech company Aganova wins Emerald investment, promising further innovation in leak and condition assessment

Málaga, Spain: Aganova, a Spanish water technology company specializing in leak-detection and condition assessment of water infrastructure pipeline with a focus on critical ‘transmission mains’, has received a growth equity investment from Emerald Technology Ventures and Cimbria Capital. Aganova’s core technology is the Nautilus System – a wireless, in-line, and neutral buoyant technology that helps water utilities optimize leak detection, network inspection, and leak prevention in large diameter pipelines. Aganova’s new investment partners – Emerald and Cimbria – are internationally-known specialist investors in the water industry.

With climate change exacerbating water stress around the world, the pathway to water security runs through the pipes that make up municipal water systems. Any drop of water that escapes via leaks—no matter how tiny—is critical as we must protect water resources, ensuring that greater amounts are available overall while reducing energy consumption and improving financial performance. As growing populations are dependent on water for everything from agriculture to manufacturing, leak detection is a vital part of sensible water management.

Based in Málaga, Spain, Aganova develops advanced “inline” leak detection tools (meaning tools that are placed inside a pipe) paired with software. Its proprietary tools coupled with its digital platform provides a one-stop shop for inspection data that is easily accessible by the end-user. Crucially, its solutions are intended to work largely within transmission mains, the main pipe connecting a treatment plant to a municipal water system. These are large pipes, in contrast to the smaller pipes that make up distribution networks and where most leak-detection efforts have been focused.

Improving pipe performance 

There is significant room to improve pipe performance around the world. One study estimated that the global volume of non-revenue water— water that has been treated but does not generate revenues and can be lost through leaks, tank overflows, theft, meter inaccuracies, etc.—was 126 billion m3 per year, equating to an estimated financial cost of $39 billion per year, as of 2018. This will spur a compound annual growth rate of 5.9% in the global pipeline monitoring system market from 2020 to 2027, by which time it is expected to reach $7.9 billion.

Given the volume of water that traverses a transmission main, a potential leak or burst in such a pipe is much more serious than within a distribution network. This makes Aganova well-positioned to capitalize on the growing appetite for pipe maintenance solutions as water systems grow more complex.

Partners in growth 

Emerald’s growing investment activity in water pipe intelligence and innovation make it the perfect partner for Aganova’s international ambitions, as evidenced by Emerald’s recent investments into SewerAI and FIDO. And with Emerald and Cimbria’s significant networks and expertise in water, Aganova’s international expansion and growth will be well positioned, as both Helge Daebel, Emerald Partner, and Brian V. Iversen, Cimbria Managing Partner, will join the Aganova Board of Directors.

“We are thrilled to welcome Emerald and Cimbria as partners in Aganova given their documented achievements in helping scale water technology companies in global water infrastructure markets,” said, Agustín Ramírez García, CEO of Aganova. “It’s an opportune time in infrastructure to further deploy Aganova’s innovation to help reduce Non-Revenue Water loss and help save costs in maintenance and upgrades to water distribution pipelines.”

“Emerald sees great promise in Aganova’s Nautilus System becoming a standard technological solution for leak detection in large diameter networks for municipalities in need of streamlined, reliable, and affordable innovation,” said Helge Daebel, Partner at Emerald Technology Ventures. “Due to the age of much of our existing infrastructure and years of underfunding, Aganova’s technology will be critical in helping ensure the functioning of essential water assets and services.”

“Cimbria is pleased to join the Aganova team and apply our knowledge of value-add capabilities in transatlantic market expansion and strategic management via our Acceleration Program,” said Brian V. Iversen, Founder and Managing Partner of Cimbria Capital. “For Aganova, we believe this work will be especially meaningful in their renewed commercial effort to acquire new customers in North American markets, augment their business team, and increase corporate visibility.”

See media coverage here: Aganova secures equity for global expansion – Global Water Intelligence

About Emerald Technology Ventures

Emerald is a globally recognized venture capital firm building a sustainable future at the crossroads of industry and technology. Founded in 2000, it is a pioneer in open innovation, providing multi-national corporations with rich deal flow and insight in the sectors and markets of tomorrow. Emerald has managed and advised assets of over €1 billion from its offices in Zurich, Toronto and Singapore. The firm is dedicated to tackling big challenges in climate change and sustainability via over 500 venture transactions and five third-party investment mandates, including loan guarantees to over 100 start-ups. www.emerald.vc



About Aganova, S.L.  

Aganova is dedicated to the technological innovation for the analysis and control of pipelines, specialized in leak detection in distribution and transport networks. Aganova has developed the Nautilus System: an in-line, freely swimming, neutrally buoyant technology for leak detection in big diameter pipelines. Aganova’s mission is to provide the market with assumable and effective solutions through a recurrent-use model that helps reduce the Non-Revenue Water in the world.

About Cimbria Capital: 

Cimbria Capital is a private equity investment firm conducting growth capital investments focused on the Water Economy in North America and the Nordics. Cimbria allocates capital via its Oasis Funds to visionary companies and supports these businesses with operational expertise through its value-add Acceleration Program.