Vancouver industrial wastewater treatment company Axine Water Technologies has closed an $8 million Series B funding round, led by Japanese multinational Asahi Kasei, with participation from Chrysalix Energy Venture Capital, BDC Energy Venture Capital, and Roda Group.
Since 2012, Axine previously raised $7.7 million in seed and Series A funding rounds.
“Axine has developed a unique electrochemical wastewater solution with broad application across microelectronics, chemical, pharmaceutical, and other industrial markets,” said Takashi Morishita, General Manager, Corporate Venture Capital of Asahi Kasei. “We believe Axine’s combination of technology, service business model, market positioning and its high calibre management team has the potential to disrupt the industrial wastewater market worldwide. We are very pleased to lead this financing and to contribute our resources and capabilities to the company’s success.”
The Asahi Kasei Group’s chemicals business includes petrochemicals and performance polymers, as well as performance chemicals, pharmaceuticals and ingredients for personal care products.
Led by Asahi Kasei Corp., the Asahi Kasei Group holding company employs more than 30,000 people and has customers in over 100 countries.
Axine has developed low cost, chemical-free solutions for treating ammonia and toxic organics in industrial wastewater, based on a compact, modular electrochemical technology that can be integrated into existing treatment plants without disrupting operations and with minimal capital investment.
Companies that have to deal with wastewater, often in the microelectronics, pharmaceutical and chemical industries, are currently in a position of having to transport it by truck, usually to be buried or incinerated, so Axine’s refrigerator-sized water treatment device is helpful in eliminating the cost and risk associated with transporting hazardous wastewater on the highways.
Rhone estimates the market size for treating wastewater that travels off-site at approximately $5 billion.
Treatment plants can use the technology to reduce costs and risks, eliminate the need for off-site wastewater trucking and disposal, improve wastewater system performance, increase water reuse and ensure compliance.
“As a global materials science and chemical company with deep technical expertise in a wide variety of technologies, manufacturing, and markets, Asahi Kasei was exactly what we were looking for in a Series B lead investor,” said Axine CEO Jonathan Rhone. “The team at Asahi Kasei will be of tremendous help as we scale-up commercial deployment, develop new applications, and expand our customer base.”
Rhone, a former oil industry executive and founder of waste-to-energy systems manufacturer Nexterra, recently led a group of British Columbia cleantech CEOs in writing a letter to BC Premier Christy Clark, outlining their proposals for developing British Columbia as a global hub for cleantech innovation.
“It’s been exciting to watch Axine progress from concept to promising early stage technology to the point of commercial deployment poised for scale,” said Axine Chairman Greg Peet. “We welcome Asahi Kasei to the team and look forward to working with them to help the company achieve the next level of growth.”
While field tests in Oregon, Texas and Massachusetts continue this year, Axine expects to begin commercial operations in 2017 at which point the company will need an additional $100 million to scale up to commercial production levels.