Water quality and logistics monitoring software Ketos has raised $15 million from a group of investors to take advantage of the growing demand for better water management tools and technologies.
The potential for more stringent regulatory oversight of industrial water use and wastewater management from local, state and federal government, coupled with increasing consumer and investor demands for better corporate environmental stewardship, is driving an unprecedented adoption of technology and services aimed at increasing conservation and reducing waste across industries.
Water monitoring can also provide relevant information to public officials about the potential for disease outbreaks and other health-related issues in a population.
Recently, monitoring wastewater streams has been used to detect outbreaks of the virus that causes COVID-19.
The renewed attention on water is one reason why an investment arm of the banking giant Citi joined lead investor Motley Fool Ventures and Illuminated Funds Group to come as new investors into Ketos. They joined existing backers like Ajax Strategies, Better Ventures, Broadway Angels, Plum Valley Ventures and Rethink Impact.
Silicon Valley Bank provided the company with $3 million in debt financing.
The company said it would use the funding to develop new capabilities for its combined hardware and software service that provides information into water quality and the existence of potential damage to water pipes for distribution and disposal of water.
“Creating one of the largest centralized data lakes of water quality insights -- with information on heavy-metal toxins, coupled with location-based mapping and potential contamination sources -- the potential for what machine learning and artificial intelligence can achieve is limitless,” said Meena Sankaran, the company's founder and chief executive.
One other selling point is the company's use of machine learning to predict where problems with water systems might arise -- avoiding the need for more costly investments into infrastructure.
“KETOS is truly disrupting the water intelligence industry with the data it captures autonomously (remotely controlled) and makes available to its customers for forecasting water management issues, which is even more top of mind as the world battles COVID,” said Ollen Douglass, managing director of Motley Fool Ventures, in a statement. “For the first time, it is possible to use predictive modeling and much needed mission-critical insights with $0 capital infrastructure investments, to build, take action and make informed decisions about a water network.”