Accenture has made a strategic investment, through Accenture Ventures, in KETOS, Inc., a data intelligence innovator that uses a proprietary technology platform to help organizations monitor and address water efficiency and quality. KETOS is the latest company to join Accenture Ventures’ Project Spotlight, an engagement and early investment program that connects emerging technology startups with the Global 2000 to enhance the strategic capabilities of Accenture, its ecosystem partners, and its clients.
As global demand for water continues to rise across agriculture, industrial and municipal processes and applications, over $80 billion is spent on water testing and compliance annually around the world. That number is expected to increase sixfold to $475 billion by 2030 as current methods of measuring water quality remain costly, laborious, and often inefficient.
With nearly $40 million in investor backing, KETOS’ mission is to solve this problem using a combination of robotics, data science and its software as a service (SaaS) platform to provide cost-effective and real-time water quality data through a 24/7 monitoring system. The company recently expanded its offerings to develop KETOS SHIELD, which monitors across more than 30 parameters, including a breakthrough with heavy metals like lead, copper and other constituents like ammonia, nitrates, sulfates and more, that are particularly important to determining the health and safety of drinking water.
“Water is a mission-critical issue that can create environmental crises if its value is undermined, but if managed intelligently and efficiently, it can also aid in solving for these crises and predicting others before they even occur,” said Tom Lounibos, managing director, Accenture Ventures. “For businesses to ensure they are using this scarce resource effectively, they need to be able to measure and monitor water quality instantaneously. Companies like KETOS can help manage the flow of data for our clients and partners as they continue to seek better measurement tools and capabilities to deliver on the promise of sustainability.”
KETOS founder and CEO Meena Sankaran added, “The quest for clean water is no longer a pipe dream. Stakeholders can use KETOS to easily access water quality data in real-time and turn it into insights-driven decisions that can positively impact efficiency, operations, yield, compliance, treatment and much more. By working with Accenture, we can increase our operations to drive safe and sustainable water production globally.”
Industries leverage KETOS’ technology in pre-and post-water treatment, for monitoring and reporting, providing a fully automated as-a-service “lab in the field.” For instance:
- The agriculture industry is using KETOS to create safer crops, improve grow quality with better nutrient blends and increase water reuse in open fields with ground water and controlled environments.
- The mining industry can reduce compliance violations by using KETOS SHIELD to remotely monitor water quality while also saving on labor hours and managing their brand across their communities.
- With industry standard lab accuracy, manufacturing plants and municipalities use KETOS to automate water quality testing and ensure they are complying in real-time, allowing them to be proactive rather than reactive to potential problems without compromising affordability.
“Public and private sectors benefit from real-time water quality monitoring as a critical component of the world’s water stewardship,” said Jennifer Helle, lead for North America Chemicals and Natural Resources at Accenture. “KETOS’ as-a-service water monitoring capability using real-time analysis can help industrial organizations reduce the cycle time of their water testing and drive a faster path to our collective sustainability goals.”
KETOS is a participant of Unreasonable CHANGE, a strategic collaboration between Accenture and Unreasonable, which aims to support social entrepreneurs by addressing key environmental issues facing businesses today. KETOS is the latest in Accenture’s Project Spotlight investments focused on sustainability, which include hyperspectral satellite company Pixxel and pulsESG, Inc. Accenture has also completed five sustainability-focused acquisitions in the last year, which comes in addition to the company’s significant expansion of its global capabilities through investing in its people and recruiting top talent.
Peter Lacy, Accenture’s global Sustainability Services lead and chief responsibility officer, added: “Our investment in KETOS reflects Accenture’s commitment to embedding sustainability in everything we do to drive value, impact and competitiveness. Water, biodiversity and sustainable agriculture are critical issues, and we look forward to working with KETOS to apply their capabilities in areas such as supply chain and digital manufacturing, while also identifying potential new partnerships with other organizations focused on water quality.”
Terms of the investment were not disclosed.