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July 18th, 2023

RealTech Fund Invests in Hydroleap, Advancing Next-Generation Green Wastewater Treatment Solutions

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Tokyo, Japan – Realtech Global Fund, managed by Realtech Holdings Limited (located in Sumida-ku, Tokyo; represented by Yukihiro Maru and Akihiko Nagata; hereinafter referred to as ‘RealTech’), proudly announces its investment in Hydroleap Pte. Ltd (‘Hydroleap’), a Singapore-based venture at the forefront of developing wastewater treatment solutions using advanced electro-chemical technology. As the lead investor in Hydroleap’s Series A funding round, the investment amounts to USD 4.4 million. For further details, please refer to the official release.

In this round, Realtech participated as a co-investor with SEEDS Capiatl, a sovereign wealth fund that supports Singapore’s deep tech ecosystem. RealTech will also extend sales and manufacturing support in Japan to enable widespread deployment of Hydroleap’s innovative solutions to a diverse clientele.

The Global Water Scarcity Challenge

According to UN estimates, by 2030, global freshwater shortages are projected to reach 40% of demand, leading to a severe water crisis as the world’s population continues to grow rapidly. Currently, over 2 billion people are exposed to unsafe drinking water, 4.5 billion people lack access to safely managed sanitation services, and nearly 1,000 children die daily from preventable water and sanitation-related diarrhoea.
Multiple factors contribute to water scarcity, including industrial development associated with population growth, climate change, and the depletion of water resources due to urbanization. Moreover, over 80% of wastewater from human activities is discharged into rivers and seas without any decontamination, exacerbating the issue. In particular, the treatment of industrial wastewater, which accompanies industrial processes, incurs high costs due to chemicals and activated sludge usage, generation of secondary treated materials (sludge), large water consumption, and other improvement factors, posing a significant burden on businesses. The need for environmentally friendly methods is evident.

Hydroleap’s Electrochemical Solution

Hydroleap offers an electrochemical treatment technology that can reduce pollutants in industrial wastewater by up to 95% and cut cooling tower effluent by 70%. The company has successfully developed a unique unit that employs special electrodes to enhance the efficiency of electro-treatment, which was previously reliant on expertise for operation. Through the integration of sensors and algorithms, automated operation has become a reality, making it possible to treat large volumes of contaminated water solely with electricity.
The solution combines two techniques – electro-oxidation (EO) and electro-coagulation (EC) – ensuring effective and efficient wastewater treatment. It incorporates learning, prediction, and execution of power requirements and operating conditions based on the water’s quality to be treated. This automation eliminates the need for manual intervention, guaranteeing consistent water quality post-treatment and reducing dependence on specialized personnel. Additionally, the modular design allows for easy scalability to meet varying customer capacity requirements.
Currently, Hydroleap’s units are being utilized in the food plant effluent and data center cooling tower industries.

【画像】排水処理ユニット
Wastewater treatment units developed by Hydroleap

Future Development and Utilization of Funding

With the recent funding, Hydroleap is poised to continue innovating while strengthening its unique electrochemical treatment capabilities in current sectors like cooling tower water recycling and food and beverage wastewater treatment. Looking ahead, the company plans to venture into the area of palm oil wastewater treatment, necessitating advanced wastewater treatment technology. The treatment of palm oil mill effluent (POME) poses considerable challenges due to its adverse environmental impact and high oil and organic content.
The raised funds will be strategically allocated to bolster and establish world-class research and development (R&D) and operational teams in Singapore and Australia.

RealTech Fund’s investment in Hydroleap signifies a significant step towards revolutionizing the wastewater treatment industry and addressing the pressing global water crisis. The partnership aims to create a sustainable and cleaner future for generations to come. ​

■About Hydroleap

  • Establishment date: December 2016
  • Location:  84 Toh Guan Rd E, #03-08/09 Singapore Water Exchange, Singapore 608501
  • Representative: Dr. Mohammad Sherafatmand
  • Business: Advancing Next-Generation Green Wastewater Treatment Solutions
  • Official website: https://hydroleap.com/
  • Investment date: February 2023

■About Real Tech Fund

Real Tech Fund is a venture capital fund established jointly by Euglena, Leave a Nest, and SMBC Nikko Securities, companies which have the experience of leading technology-based startups to success. We promote the social implementation of real tech and endeavor to resolve various problems pertaining to earth and humanity by providing support to startups (Realtech startups) with innovative technology that contributes to the solution of the problems. We support Realtech startups from before their establishment to the social implementation of their technologies, offering them the expertise and know-how that each founding company has acquired over the years.

■About Real Tech Holdings (RTH)

RTH is a global VC firm investing in deep tech startups aiming to solve global issues. The firm is a joint venture of two Japanese companies, Euglena, a biotech startup listed on TSE, and Leave a Nest, a company with expertise in corporate R&D and startup incubation.
The fund raised over 22 billion JPY and invested in over 80 startups within Japan and Southeast Asia with a strong emphasis on early engagement and hands-on support. In 2021, RTH became the first deep tech investment firm within Japan to establish a social impact investment fund.

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