Oasys Raises $10 M for 'Less Costly' Desalination Technology

Oasys Water Inc. on Feb. 17 announced the close of a $10-million Series A round of financing. Lead investors included Massachusetts-based Flagship Ventures and Advanced Technology Ventures (ATV), as well as Silicon Valley firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson.

Oasys plans to use the funds for the development of its commercial platform.

"Water shortages are no longer a 'far-away' problem," said Aaron Mandell, president and chief executive officer of Oasys. "California is currently facing the worst drought it has ever seen and cannot maintain the minimum water necessary to sustain living standards. The problem is exacerbated by the rising cost of electricity, as water production is already the single largest use of California's electrical grid."

Oasys's technology was originally developed at Yale University in the environmental engineering program under the stewardship of department chair Menachem Elimelech, Ph.D., and founding inventor Rob McGinnis. The company was formed with seed investment from GreatPoint Ventures.

The company's patented EOTM process can produce drinking water at less than half the cost of current desalination methods. This is accomplished by eliminating the need for high-pressures used in modern reverse osmosis (RO) systems, thereby reducing the electricity and fuel demands by more than 90 percent. The result is a reduction in the economics of seawater desalination that will ultimately bring the cost of producing water from our vast oceans below the cost of conventional surface water, such as the aqueduct system used in the California State Water Project.

Jim Matheson, general partner at Flagship Ventures commented, "Oasys has developed a truly disruptive technology to address the growing global water crisis, which we believe represents the next generation solution for a global market that is expected to exceed $1 trillion by 2020."

Matheson will be joining the company's board of directors along with Bill Wiberg, a general partner at ATV.