NewWorld Capital and Credit Suisse fund back water tech company

Aquam Corporation, a company specialising in water infrastructure, has received $26 million in growth capital from NewWorld Capital and a fund advised by Credit Suisse.

The investment is to help Aquam expand its business repairing water pipe infrastructure and further develop meters that will more efficiently manage water usage. Cameron Manners, Aquam’s chief technology officer, said this is the largest investment the company has received to date.

“It’s been very fruitful for us,” he said. Manners described Aquam as a collection of businesses that work with municipalities in the US, Canada, the UK and Ireland to repair water systems. More recently, Aquam has sought to develop diagnostic technology that spots leaks in water pipes, helping utilities understand “exactly how to spend their money”, Manners said.

He added that Aquam considers US water infrastructure an area the business should focus on for growth. He said that utilities there are beginning to follow the “UK model”, through which municipal water systems are increasingly being managed by private, for-profit utilities. Those utilities are looking to increase efficiency.

More than $526 billion of investment is needed between 2011 and 2035 to upgrade US water distribution systems, according to the American Water Works Association.

“It’s very nice to see these markets mature,” Manners said. “We have some very, very unique technologies.”

The company has attracted the interest of NewWorld Capital. Bill Hallisey, co-founder and managing partner of the New York-based investment firm, said: “The thing that was compelling to us was that Aquam was the only company in the marketplace for pipe rehabilitation that we could identify that had a portfolio of products and services providing solutions for the full spectrum of customer needs from diagnosis of a problem to rehabilitation – often a better solution than expensive and complicated re-piping.”