Waterplan, the world’s leading climate platform that helps companies measure, respond and report increasingly-changing water risk, announced the close of an oversubscribed $11 million Series A financing round.
The investment was led by Base10 Partners with co-founder and Managing Partner Adeyemi Ajao joining the Waterplan board. Previous investors also participated, including Giant Ventures & Transition Global (who co-led the seed round), YCombinator, MCJ Collective, and the Branson Family among others. To date the company has raised $18.5 million in total venture funding.
“Both governments and the private sector face existential challenges around how they manage their freshwater supply,” said Jose Ignacio Galindo, CEO and co-founder of Waterplan. “Disruptions are getting more frequent. The world is simply not responding at the pace and the scale that is consistent with the problem. Taking action on water risks is essential for climate action and it makes business sense.”
The United Nations forecasts that the world faces a 40% shortfall in freshwater supply by 2030 if action is not taken. And according to the independent study group CDP – that collects company-reported water information globally – the private sector alone faces more than $300 billion in potential losses due to the financial impacts of water risk, five times higher than the costs of addressing them today.
Increasingly regulators are requiring companies to publicly report their climate impact in much the same way that they report financial results per generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). The information that Waterplan’s platform provides will be essential as regulators around the world begin implementing climate- and nature-related disclosure protocols.
The United Nations forecasts that the world faces a 40% shortfall in freshwater supply by 2030 if action is not taken
Similar protocols, established by the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures, are already mandatory in Britain, the European Union, Switzerland, Brazil, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand and Singapore. And the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has proposed similar climate-risk disclosure rules.
“Waterplan's platform can play an integral part in helping companies meet the European Union's new Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive that will introduce more detailed sustainability reporting requirements,” said Gonzalo Delacamara, Senior Water Policy Advisor to the European Commission, OECD, World Bank, and Director of the Centre for Water & Climate Adaptation from IE university.
Meanwhile, investor interest in climate change solutions is soaring. At the end of 2022, there were a record 1,206 mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) globally with a climate-related focus – up from 950 at the end of 2021, according to Morningstar. The funds have collective assets under management of more than $410 billion.
Climate change remains one of the money-management industry’s hottest areas of growth. Analysts at Bloomberg Intelligence published a recent report saying that ETFs targeting climate themes accounted for about 40% of all newly-opened funds during the first quarter of 2023.
As investors are becoming more sophisticated about the risks of climate change, their approach is becoming more holistic. Investors are increasingly adopting frameworks like the Planetary Boundaries that considers the importance of water sustainability and focusing more on climate adaptation.
“The (Waterplan) software is helping Danone assess potential adaptation or mitigation strategies and will also be used as a platform to understand exposure to water-related risks for the operations and supply chains of several companies,” said Jehanne Fabre, Sustainability Water Director at Danone.
Waterplan’s SaaS platform, powered by artificial intelligence models, combines satellite imagery, real-time climate change data from public and proprietary sources, along with private company information so that customers can accurately measure, respond and report on their changing water risk. Early Waterplan customers leading the way in managing water risk in their industries include ABInBev, AWS, Danone, Diageo, Kurita, The Nature Conservancy, Sigma and more.
“We are working in Latin America with Waterplan to help monitor and track the progress in on-the-ground water stewardship projects,” said Kari Vigerstol, Director of Water Security Science and Innovation for The Nature Conservancy's global water program. “Waterplan's platform helps to track water risks and on the ground-progress that Water Funds can report on, internally and externally.”
The latest financing round allows Waterplan to accelerate investment in research and product development to advance the science in water risk management, innovate on its product platform and improve the customer experience. The company also plans to expand its presence in the United States, Europe, Latin America, and Asia.
“When we first met the Waterplan team, we were impressed by the customer traction the company demonstrated with early adopters who are leaders in their respective industries,” said Adeyemi Ajao, co-founder and Managing Partner at Base10 Partners. “Waterplan is tackling one of the world’s largest challenges – freshwater supply – with a unique solution that provides immediate actionable insights to de-risk an incredibly complicated, inter-connected and potentially expensive problem.”