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bNovate raises CHF 12 million to enhance global water safety


20 June 2023

bNovate Technologies, an industry front-runner in rapid microbial detection systems for water, announced a Series C investment round that raised CHF 12 million. The round was led by Emerald Technology Ventures, a pioneer in the cleantech venture capital field, and involved participation from existing shareholders.

Founded in 2011 and based at the EPFL Innovation Park in Lausanne, bNovate has been striving to revolutionize water safety. The company’s innovation, BactoSense, stands as a testament to Swiss engineering and creativity. BactoSense is a compact, connected, and robust device designed to continuously monitor water and detect microbial contamination in a staggering 20 minutes, compared to the traditional three to five days. It offers efficiency and accuracy, which conventional lab methods, with their need for more resources and onsite scientists, often fail to provide.

The applications for bNovate’s devices are broad, ranging from municipal utilities ensuring safe drinking water to industrial applications facilitating efficient cleaning of production assets and safely produced goods. As of now, there are hundreds of installations in the field. The company anticipates a surge in industrial applications as climate change and increasing urbanization put pressure on water networks and create supply-demand imbalances.

Water managers worldwide urgently need quick, simple, and cost-effective methods to guarantee water safety. bNovate’s agile solution aims to capitalize on this pressing need and the expected 6.8% annual growth in the market for microbiological water testing between 2020 and 2027.

“We are excited to support the company in their growth, particularly in the Americas and APAC regions,” states Helge Daebel, Partner at Emerald, who will be joining bNovate’s Board of Directors. Emerald, a Switzerland-based VC, has an impressive track record in water innovation, including launching a dedicated water fund in 2020.

Setting new standards in the field of industrial microbiology

Simon Künzi, CEO at bNovate, reflects on the company’s mission: “We are proud to offer solutions to the market that contribute to the global water safety improvement and allow companies to be more sustainable. Now we need to find the right people to join our passionate sales team and help make a difference.” In 2020, bNovate established a new Marketing & Sales department in Zürich, a move reflective of the company’s progressive expansion.

The journey of bNovate, from securing a Series B funding of CHF 5 million in 2021 to CHF 12 million in this latest round, signifies its commitment to making water safer globally.