Co Wicklow water tech firm H20zone raises €3m as it eyes expansion
Quality of the water produced by system independently verified by certification bodies
The company has two key products: RainSafe, which is for use in domestic and commercial users; and AgriSafe, tailored for livestock producers. File photograph: Getty Images
The Co Wicklow-based company said it intends to use the funds to further support commercialisation of its water purification technology as it looks to grow international sales. It also intends to boost employee numbers from 15 to 27 people.
Executive chairman Paul O’Grady said the company also sees an opportunity to boost turnover locally based on concerns over water quality caused by recent Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports.
The additional funds were raised from new and existing investors including the family of Henry Bolger, who founded Modern Plant, which distributes Mira showers in Ireland. Other backers include Danu and a consortium led by Louis Fitzgerald. The round was organised by Focus Capital Partners.
H2Ozone’s patent-protected technology removes the threat of bacteria and micro-organisms in water including E.Coli, Salmonella, Legionella, and Cryptosporidium. It can be used to treat water from any source and it does so without using any chemicals.
The system works by passing water through a series of filters and then into a helical UV reactor chamber where the UV light inactivates all bacteria, pathogens and micro-organisms. Ozone is then delivered through a diffuser into the water reservoir as the final step in the natural purification process.
Quality of the water produced has been verified by independent certification bodies including KIWA, ACS. The water standards exceed those required under European Drinking Water legislation and the solution is CE Regulated.
The technology has been around since 2011 but was in development until 2016. The company officially launched earlier this month.
H20zone has already secured customers in the UK, Switzerland, Portugal, Holland, Belgium and Barbados. Among the organisations using the company’s technology locally are Trinity College Dublin, the D Hotel, Café En Seine and Killacorn Poultry.
“We are working through a list of about 200 potential distributors around the world right now and we’d expect to close at least 10 per cent of those. If we do sign as many as we hope we’d be expecting a fivefold increase in revenues in 2018 alone,” said Mr O’Grady.
The company has two key products: RainSafe, which is for use in domestic and commercial users including nursing homes and restaurants; and AgriSafe, a solution specifically tailored for livestock producers.
The latter product, which developed out of a collaboration with the University of Bristol, enables farmers to provide controlled measures of ozonised water to livestock. Research has show that this can lead to improvement in mortality, yield, bio-security, feed conversion ratios and profitability across the poultry, piggery, beef and dairy sectors
“We had originally thought that both products would be equal in terms of sales, but Agrisafe is catching on particularly well on the back of a number of recent studies that show it has been found to completely eliminate antibiotics in the poultry industry and increase the financial gain for farmers,” he said.
Following the latest investment, the Bolger family now own a 34 per cent share in the group with Danu having a 17 per cent stake. Mr O’Grady has a 15 per cent shareholding in H20zone with the Fitzgerald consortium holding a 12 per cent stake.