Klir raises $16m in investment led by leading Silicon Valley VC Insight Partners

Irish-founded but Toronto-headquartered firm is an operating system for water utilities

Klir, an Irish-founded compliance start-up for water utilities, has secured $16 million (€14.1m) in investment just 10 months after raising $3.1 million in a seed round.

Founded in Dublin by David Lynch and Elaine Kelly, the company is now headquartered in Toronto, Canada.

Klir’ s technology allows water utilities to easily gather, monitor and analyse regulatory compliance data in one place. Mr Lynch, the company’s chief executive, described the company as being akin to an operating system for water utilities.

Prior to Klir’s formation authorities relied on software from other industries to cope with increasingly complex problems arising as a result of climate change. Klir’s cloud-based platform, however, uses data analytics and task automation to help utilities capture widespread efficiency gains while ultimately protecting the environment.


Insight Partners, which led the Series A round, has invested in more than 400 companies worldwide, and has raised, through a series of funds, more than $30 billion in capital commitments. Its portfolio includes Twitter, Tumblr, Delivery Hero, Docusign, Trivago, Shutterstock, Shopify, Qualtrics and Udemy.

Existing backers Bowery Capital, Spider Capital and SaaS Ventures also participated in the latest round, which was oversubscribed.

“We could have raised double the amount that we did, but what we have secured is enough for us to put further money into the product and to expand our team,” Mr Lynch told The Irish Times.

Klir currently employs 21 people but expects to add another 40 people over the next 12 months, with some roles likely in Dublin. The company operates across the US, Canada and Australia, and its customers include Southern Nevada Water Authority and Queensland Authority.

The burgeoning digital water market is currently valued at $8.7 billion globally, and is forecasted to grow to $20.2 billion by the end of the decade. The wider impact of water is expected to reach $914.9 billion in 2023, according to Global Water Intelligence.

Mr Lynch said that unlike earlier funding rounds, the Series A was relatively painless, with the company receiving term sheets within a week from investors.

“Usually it can be hard work raising because water is unsexy to investors. But investors increasingly realise that we are operating in a sector that no one it touching and which requires serious disruption.”

Quality water

Mr Lynch said while Klir currently operates in some of the richest countries in the world, he sees the company as eventually being everywhere. Pointing out that it is poorer countries that struggle most with access to quality water, he said the company’s platform was designed to be affordable to cities across the globe.

“The more regions that use our platform the better because then we collate even more data and can share greater insights to ensure that our lakes, rivers and seas are protected at a time when they are more at risk than they have ever been,” he said.

Speaking of its reasons for investing in Klir, Josh Fredberg, managing director of Insight Partners, said water was an under-tapped market. "Klir's team has the vision and experience to deliver on the connected future of water services."

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor is a former Irish Times business journalist