Membrane technology company ZwitterCo secures $33 million

  • ZwitterCo recently announced that it has raised $33 million in funding. These are the details.

ZwitterCo recently announced that it has raised $33 million in funding.

Funding Cycle: A-Series

Funding amount: $33 million

Investors: Led by DCVC with participation from new investors Heritage Group Ventures, Genoa Ventures and Mott Corporation. And existing investors MANN+HUMMEL Corporate Ventures, Burnt Island Ventures and R-Cubed Capital Partners also participated in this round.

What the funding will be used for: Expand the development and production of its breakthrough zwitterionic membrane technology. The Series A funds will allow the company to add app development, increase its driver fleet and build inventory to meet the high demand for ZwitterCo products. And the funding will also commission ZwitterCo’s state-of-the-art Innovation Center just north of Boston, accelerating the development of new membrane products based on ZwitterCo’s chemistry.

What ZwitterCo does: ZwitterCo’s technology offers what the water industry has been looking for for decades: a rugged polymer membrane that is impervious to irreversible fouling. The performance of traditional membranes is known to degrade with each cleaning cycle until the membranes fail and need to be replaced. And for difficult-to-treat wastewater, membrane replacement occurs frequently, increasing the operational complexity and running cost of wastewater treatment plants. ZwitterCo membranes, on the other hand, perform like new after each cleaning cycle.

ZwitterCo uses its patented zwitterionic copolymers to build highly advanced membranes that solve the toughest wastewater separation challenges. And they can be used in a wide variety of new applications and operating environments, given their ability to repel thousands of times more organic compounds than standard membranes. The company is building a suite of membrane products with these and other capabilities, bringing filtration precision and reliability to historically underserved markets.

A zwitterion is a special class of molecules that are “hydrophilic” or highly attractive to water molecules. And ZwitterCo’s patented zwitterionic copolymers self-assemble into hydrophilic channels, acting like channels in a water park, ushering in H2O molecules and pushing out anything that can’t flow through its narrow pores, including organic compounds like as oils, fats, fats or proteins.

ZwitterCo’s first product, a superfiltration (SF) membrane, targets hard-to-treat and reuse industrial wastewater. Since introducing its SF in 2021, ZwitterCo has booked more than a dozen commercial projects and completed dozens of other successful pilots. And as a result, ZwitterCo is already tackling some of the toughest wastewater treatment challenges, including digestate, leachate, O&G produced water, poultry and dairy, biotreatment and waste water from food and beverages. Additionally, ZwitterCo membranes are used in new process applications where fouling recovery, robustness, and tight tolerances are critical, such as protein extraction from bio-fermentation.

KEY QUOTES:

“ZwitterCo has unlocked the true potential of zwitterions for water treatment, resulting in a quantum leap in membrane performance. The mechanisms that cause fouling and degradation that plague traditional membranes do not apply to our products. »

— Chris Drover, co-founder and CTO of ZwitterCo

“Today, more than 4 billion people experience severe water scarcity at different times of the year. As the world struggles to adapt to population growth and climate change, it is imperative to reuse wastewater safely and economically.

— Alex Rappaport, co-founder and CEO of ZwitterCo

“At DCVC, we invest in Deep Tech companies that address pressing global issues while delivering outsized returns to our investors. ZwitterCo’s new membrane chemistry will help solve the world’s water shortage by enabling a wide variety of industries to easily and cost-effectively adopt water reuse.

— Jason Pontin, Partner at DCVC and Chairman of the Board of ZwitterCo

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