divirod investment connects Spanish and US markets
Surface water Digital Solutions Americas

divirod investment connects Spanish and US markets

Wednesday, 24 February 2021

Divirod has secured $1 million in finance from a joint led investment from US-based Thin Line Capital and Spanish based GoHub ventures.

The collaborative approach

A US-based company using space-age sensors to help forecast water-related risks has secured a $1 million investment, including from Spain.

Called divirod, the company helps to monitor and forecast water-related risks and adverse weather from climate change: snow, storm, droughts and floods.

The investment was led by Thin Line Capital, angel investors and GoHub Ventures, the corporate investment venture arm of the Spanish water utility, Global Omnium, serving Valencia.

Both GoHub Ventures and Thin Line Capital noted an interest in 'predictive solutions' and 'climate resilience' as key factors for their investments.

“It is clear that both GoHub and Thin Line Capital see potential in divirod, based on their own experiences in this niche field.”

Since 2020, GoHub Ventures has invested in 17 start-ups, including domestic companies such as Galgus, Fivecomms and Auno. Its venture into divirod marks the first investment into a US company.

Image source: Divirod

Similarly, Thin Line Capital has also only invested in American start-ups, notably Digital Harvest - a predictive analytics company that can forecast crop harvest yield.

A complementary offering

Speaking to Aquatech Online, Jamie Barba Sevillano, CEO of Idrica, said: "divirod demonstrated perfectly how the technology and business work together - they have also developed very attractive advanced hardware that can find, track, monitor, and predict water sources, which is complementary to our solutions portfolio."

Barba said that he sees divirod as a complementary offering rather than a competitive one, as it can look at water systems from a broader perspective.

"They integrate satellite data, public sources, and other insights to create a map of water sources on a global scale. This is a space that complements our vision of water operations and analytics, 100 per cent, and will be one of those cases in which we will provide each other with much value."

“This is a space that complements our vision of water operations and analytics, 100 per cent.”

In a previous interview with Aquatech Online, the CEO revealed more about the digital twin journey in Valencia and the importance to learn from mistakes.

How divirod works

Founded in 2016, divirod provides an integrated hardware and software platform, Divisence, for almost real-time monitoring of surface soil moisture and data analytics to develop irrigation prescriptions for irrigation controllers while also forecasting water-related risks.

How it works:

  1. Divirod leverages data from existing satellites that are constantly in view of their sensor networks

  2. Sensing technology detects unique signatures in reflected signals

  3. New data is constantly uploaded to servers worldwide and seamlessly merged with existing data

  4. The data is processed and visualized into dashboards and water risk alarms.

In 2017, divirod took part in a study to tackle irrigation overuse by using satellite navigation signals to scan the earth's surface remotely.

“They predicted that their system could save farmers 30 per cent in operational cost and improve crop yields by 10-12 per cent.”

Looking at the Ogallala aquifer that runs through eight US states, divirod would instruct farmers on new techniques to reduce water consumption.

The team predicted that its system could save farmers 30 per cent in operational cost and improve crop yields by 10-12 per cent.

Furthermore, in 2020, the organization showcased its tidal predictions for Boston Long Warf, predicted the potential impacts from an unexpected 2-3m rise in water levels (detailed in the image below).

A steppingstone venture

Javier Marti, CEO of divirod, said the investment from GoHub and Thin Line Capital was a 'steppingstone' on its journey to help advance resilience.

The same sentiment can be said for GoHub, as it seeks to take another step into the US market as a “key market”.

"We manage a €20 million venture capital fund that will be used to fund US start-ups starting this year [2021]," added Barba.

GoHub recently closed a partnership with the US publicly funded innovation hub, The Water Tower, located near Atlanta, Georgia.

Barba went on to say that "with this partnership, we will jointly attract water-related start-ups that need capital and advisory to accelerate their growth. We are also very active and collaborating with MIT in several research initiatives, which will likely turn into ventures."

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