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Kurita Leverages Synergies Between Its New Chemicals and Smart Water Investments to Grow in North America

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Kurita Leverages Synergies Between Its New Chemicals and Smart Water Investments to Grow in North America

Kurita Leverages Synergies Between Its New Chemicals and Smart Water Investments to Grow in North America Smart water company APANA (client registration required) announced last week that Kurita led its $3.5 million Series A round. With about 140 installations in North America, the majority of which are with wholesale giant Costco, APANA has found quite some traction since its inception in 2012. APANA offers its customers hardware, such as high resolution flow sensors and meters, as well as automatic meter reading (AMR) from third-party vendors, and bolts on its wireless gateway and telemetry equipment. Its innovation is in software algorithms, where it takes baseline water usage data for a large store or facility and optimizes operations to locate water leaks/bursts, water treatment chemicals exporters identify waste signatures, and equipment malfunctions. APANA leverages both cellular communications and LoRa (Low Power Wide Area Networks) to collect and analyze data in real time. Customers using APANA see above 20% water savings and reduction in associated maintenance costs, with an expected payback within 24 months. While long payback periods can be a hurdle for adoption, the company has been delivering operational benefits to customers. Its recent traction has seen the technology implemented at large university campuses, car washes, cooling towers in industrial facilities, and wineries, to provide both energy and water savings annually. In early January, Kurita acquired a 100% stake in Fremont Industries, a Minnesota-based water treatment chemicals company, for $40 million. Fremont has primarily operated in the U.S. Midwest, where it manufactures treatment chemicals and provides services to markets including food and beverage, hospitals, and commercial buildings, as well as industries like biofuels, power, oil and gas,water treatment chemicals china refining, and municipal wastewater facilities. Fremont offers chemical formulations and monitoring services to prevent corrosion in boilers and cooling towers, biocides for Legionella removal, polymers, enzymes, and microbial solutions for wastewater treatment and nutrient removal, and pre-treatment chemicals for membrane systems and clean-in-place applications. With about $30 million in annual revenues, the addition of Fremont will more than double Kurita’s revenues in North America. This acquisition provides more footprint and sales force for Kurita’s overseas business, very similar to its acquisition of Germany chemicals provider BK Giulini’s water and paper chemicals products in January 2015, which boosted Kurita’s revenues in Europe (see graphic below).

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