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Investors Pour $225M Into Water Tech Unicorn Gradiant

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Water technology startup Gradiant has raised $225 million in a Series D funding round that mints its unicorn status.

BoltRock Holdings and Centaurus Capital led the round for Boston-based Gradiant, which is now valued at $1 billion. 

The startup develops technology to reduce water usage and wastewater treatment systems for companies in the pharmaceutical, semiconductor, food and beverage, and other water-demanding industries. The company says its client list includes chip companies Micron Technology and TSMC, pharma giants Pfizer and GSK, and food and beverage manufacturers AB InBev and Coca-Cola.

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The company said it will use the fresh capital to expand into new markets, including the Middle East and Europe, and to invest in R&D.

“As global manufacturing and supply chains continue to advance, they demand more and more water resources which are increasingly rare and finite,” Centaurus founder John Arnold said in the funding announcement. “We are excited to partner with a company that has truly proven the ability to support these demands in an economic and energy efficient manner.”

Gradiant has now raised $392.4 million total, per Crunchbase data. The company was founded in 2013 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It now has more than 900 employees internationally, it says, and has achieved more than 100% top-line revenue growth for four consecutive years. 

Gradiant marks one of the largest venture funding rounds so far this year. It’s also the largest, by far, funding in the wastewater treatment space, at least since the beginning of 2022. 

Other recently funded startups in the industry include:

  • Heartland Water Technology, which develops wastewater technology for the energy industry and raised just under $45 million last year;
  • ZwitterCo, which raised $33 million last year and uses a membrane technology for water treatment; and
  • Greyter, which makes water recycling systems for residential and commercial buildings and raised $10 million in January.

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