Many building operators assume that losses from water mismanagement are just a cost of doing business. Matt Rose thinks otherwise.
Rose is the CEO and co-founder of Apana, a Bellingham, Wash.-based startup located north of Seattle that helps Fortune 500 brands and other customers manage their water use.
The startup today announced a $11 million funding round led by existing investor Kurita Water Industries, a Tokyo-based company, as well as others that previously invested including Cowles Company, E8 Fund, and Urban Innovation Fund.
Rose, a former Navy pilot who has a software development background in healthcare and defense industries, founded Apana in 2014 with Frank Burns, who has more than two decades of experience building and maintaining wastewater treatment plants.
They’ve helped build a product that combines IoT devices with cloud-based analytics software to measure and analyze building-wide water use. It alerts users to potential problems and helps address areas of optimization.
Rose said that customers typically see between a 15 and 30 percent reduction in water use, which is more valuable given increasing water rates in big cities. He said the system pays for itself in 18 to 24 months.
Apana has customers such as Costco and MGM Resorts International in more than 600 cities globally, but Rose said the opportunity remains large. He noted that less than 1 percent of commercial, industrial, and institutional buildings in the U.S. have any kind of water management system.
“This type of solution has not readily been available, because without some sort of IoT solution connected to analytics and reporting, it’s nearly impossible to do,” he noted.
Total funding to date for Apana is $15.5 million. The company, which raised its seed round more than two years ago, employs 16 people.