Utilities Digital Solutions Europe

Olea Edge’s $35m raise + 4  investments proving digital is booming

Friday, 10 December 2021

Smart water meter analysis company Olea Edge Analytics has closed a $35m Series C funding round. We check this and four other recent investments proving why digital water solutions are now booming.

Smart water for smart cities

Smart meter analytics company Olea Edge Analytics is the latest to secure investment as the water sector increasingly adopts digital solutions.

A $35 million, Series C investment was secured to develop its Artificial Intelligence (AI) and edge computing-based solution to help utilities manage water.

To date, $50.6 million has been raised by the company, with the latest round led by New York-based global private equity and venture capital firm, Insight Partners.

Olea claims that its solution, combining AI, machine learning and edge computing, helps “pinpoints trouble spots in a municipal water system”.

“The [water] industry is hungry for innovation.”

Sensors combined with advanced analytics are used to monitor and manage each component throughout networks, providing “utility departments previously unavailable insights and recommendations on how to return their resources to optimal performance”.

“Cities and water utilities are facing tremendous challenges from all sides: financial, operational, hiring and more,” said Dave Mackie, CEO of Olea Edge Analytics.

“This investment aligns perfectly with our objectives to scale the company, drive innovation in the water industry and help cities and utilities operate more efficiently.”

Nicole Shimer, VP of Insight Partners, said the “[water] industry is hungry for innovation” and that “customers in the water market can see almost immediate returns on their investment with this technology”.

The $35 million raise by Olea Edge Analytics follows several recent announcements proving that investment is starting to flow towards digital solutions. We checked out four other recent notable investments below.

Klir the way for a single system

Canadian company Klir raised $16 million Series A investment by New York-based global private equity and venture capital firm, Insight Partners.

The company is currently working with utilities including the Southern Nevada Water Authority, through to Urban Utilities in Queensland, Australia.

Promising a cloud-based, “single integrated platform” to help manage watershed-level operations, Klir offers a Software as a Service (SaaS) model.

Co-founder & CEO David Lynch said the “climate crisis has brought water into the forefront for venture capitalists”.

Building the ‘Google Maps’ of sewers

CEO Erin Rothman continues to grow Seattle-based StormSensor and recently announced the company has raised $10 million of new funding. This brings its total investments to $16 million and the team size to just under 40.

Building the “Google with traffic maps for sewers” and “metering the last unmetered utility”, Rothman developed sensors for monitoring water flow and temperature and the software for tracking and providing insights.

In a previous interview, the CEO told Aquatech Online that the company has now deployed networks in Deerfield, Stokie, River Forest, North Miami in Illinois, North Miami in Florida, Norfolk, Virginia and Anaheim, California.

Making wastewater treatment smarter

Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) invested $1.9 million into SENTRY Water Monitoring & Controls, an affiliate of Island Water Technologies, as a non-dilutive grant.

Outcomes for the investment include:

  • 20 per cent reduction in aeration costs through a feed-forward monitoring at wastewater treatment plants.
  • 20 per cent increase in renewable biogas production through real-time biological health monitor to enable operators of digestors to optimise their organic loading.

Earlier in the year the company closed a Series A seed round of financing with Factor[e] Ventures and SKion Water GmbH.

The company offers a real-time bio-electrode sensor to monitor microbial metabolic activity in the anaerobic and aerobic wastewater treatment systems. Produced data allows operators to monitor the impact of toxic chemicals or process imbalance on microbial health in the system.

Over 120 deployments have been made to date, with the target of 400 set for the end of 2023.

Dr. Patrick Kiely, CEO and founder of SENTRY, said: “SDTC will help accelerate the use of Sentry’s technology in the circular economy by helping wastewater treatment plants save 20 per cent on energy costs or generate 20 per cent more energy from renewable biogas.”

Transcending outdated design processes

Earlier this year US SaaS provider Transcend Software completed a $10 million equity investment led by Aspen Capital Group, HG Ventures, and PureTerra Ventures, also with participation from existing investor Vespucci Partners.

The company offers a design platform that it said enables the industry to “design more sustainable water and wastewater facilities in a fraction of time and cost compared to traditional, manual methods”.

Offering SaaS, Transcend started life with a solution “incubated” in Hungarian company Organica, which provides botanical garden like solutions for wastewater treatment.

Ari Raivetz, CEO previously told Aquatech Online that the digital solution is a platform “connecting those dots of the technology provider, the engineering firm that has to validate the design and then the end-user, the utility or real estate developer or industrial company that ultimately will own the asset”.

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