Sustainable Water Fund Attracts $100 Million from Temasek, Microsoft

Clean technology firm Emerald Technology Ventures will invest in early- to expansion-stage businesses that address global water challenges.

A clean-water venture capital fund has attracted $100 million in commitments from Singapore sovereign wealth fund Temasek, as the cornerstone investor, as well as strategic investors Microsoft, water technology firm SKion Water, and water provider Ecolab. 

The venture fund from clean technology investor Emerald Technology Ventures will invest in early- to expansion-stage businesses that address water challenges around the world, the firm said last week. It will finance technologies that conserve water resources, support sustainable cities, improve resource efficiency, adapt to climate change, and reduce health risks. 

“With the closing of this fund, we look forward to continuing to drive the water sector forward by utilizing our proven partnership model for the most innovative water companies,” Helge Daebel, partner and head of Emerald’s water activities, said in a statement. 

Emerald is expanding in the Asia-Pacific region, where it opened a Singapore office last year when it established a water technology incubator to support local companies. The venture is supported by Enterprise Singapore, a government agency. Emerald has successfully exited several investments in the water sector in the past, according to SKion Water CEO Reinhard Hübner. 

“Helge Daebel as leader of Emerald’s water activities is widely recognized as one of the most knowledgeable persons in the global water investor community,” Hübner said. 

Investors are preparing for the impact of water scarcity over the next decade, when demand for freshwater is expected to outpace supply by 40%, according to Ecolab President and Chief Operating Officer (COO) Christophe Beck.

Some global regions are expected to be affected by water issues more than others. According to BlackRock, almost all real estate investment properties in Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, and the Philippines will feel the effects of rising tides and eroding coastal shorelines in the next decade. 

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