Israeli water tech draws new European investment

Atlantium Technologies is the first cleantech firm in Israel to receive funding from Europe’s Aster Capital group

View of the Eshkol Water Filtration Plant in Northern Israel (Moshe Shai/FLASH90)
View of the Eshkol Water Filtration Plant in Northern Israel (Moshe Shai/FLASH90)

It’s a new era in water disinfection, declares Atlantium Technologies, which claims to have “re-invented ultraviolet-based water disinfection with unique Hydro-Optic Disinfection.” The experts will decide if that’s so or not – but Atlantium’s latest funding round represents a new era in cleantech funding in Israel. For the first time, Europe’s prestigious Aster Capital venture fund is investing in an Israeli company, giving $3 million to Atlantium to continue its development of its new products. The investment is part of a $9 million financing round which includes Aeris Capital A.G. (Switzerland) along with the current investor Benjamin Kahn.

Thirteen-year old Aster Capital, sponsored by European companies Solvay, Alstom, Schneider Electric, and the European Investment Fund, focuses on innovative cleantech investments, and recently opened an office in Israel. The local office has been screening companies to find one that fits Aster’s mission statement – investing in “highly promising companies that have developed superior solutions to solve global challenges in the energy and environment sectors,” according to the fund – and came up with Atlantium, which develops ultraviolet (UV) technology for, among other things, water disinfection.

One of the biggest problems with UV disinfection of water is ensuring that the right dose is administered – sufficient to kill germs or render them harmless, but not so high that equipment is damaged or unacceptable levels of ozone are produced. In addition, verifying UV results is complicated, making it difficult to tell just how clean the water is. Atlantium has developed technology to deal with all these issues, and, in fact, is one of the few UV systems whose effectiveness has been validated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Now, Atlantium is developing new uses for its technology, such as advanced oxidation techniques, removing toxic and non-organic materials in water, developing water purification systems for use in shale oil fracking, and for use in power plant cooling systems.

Benjamin Kahn, CEO of Atlantium, said of the deal that the company “is proud that our breakthrough technology not only attracts the brightest people but also high quality investors. We are excited to welcome Aster Capital as new shareholder and partner and look forward to extend our technology lead in water disinfection.”

Alexander Schlaepfer, a partner at Aster Capital, said that the fund “has been impressed by how the Atlantium team has managed to deliver a sustained growth path in the last few years, and has been able to attract a long list of blue chip customers such as The Coca Cola Company, Nestlé, Pfizer, and others. With our three corporate sponsors holding activities both in the existing and in the new sectors to be addressed, we believe we can strongly support Atlantium’s future development.”

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