Flemish start-up with unique groundwater technology is ready for an international breakthrough
The investment funds Qbic II and VMH (Flemish Environmental Holding) gave the green light for an investment in iFLUX, a spin-off of VITO and the University of Antwerp last week. The start-up developed a monitoring technique that maps the effective spread of contamination of soil and groundwater. “This capital injection ensures that we can tackle this challenge at a global level”, says iFLUX.
Ready for international expansion
“With the help of flux results, our clients have a far better overview of the risks of soil pollution and are thus able to draw up more focused and cost-efficient remediation plans. Thanks to our knowledge and the trust we have built up within the industry, we are ready for a major breakthrough” says CEO Tim Op ‘t Eyndt, who is responsible for the business and international development.
Currently, most of the company’s projects are executed in Flanders, which is undertaking a pioneering role in sustainable ground water management using innovative techniques, spurred on by the OVAM (Public Waste Agency of Flanders). “However, the issue is a global one, and this capital increase will help us carry the iFLUX technology across borders. Hence we are primarily looking at neighbouring countries and the United States.”
The iFLUX story started in 2017, when Goedele Verreydt, Tim Op ’t Eyndt and Filip Meester launched their innovative technology. The new investment will also be used for the expansion of the team as well as the digitalisation of the technology.
“Groundwater is only the beginning of our story. Our ambition with iFLUX is capturing the spread of process parameters and environmental pollutants throughout the entire water chain” says Goedele Verreydt, creator of the technology.“ That is why we are currently integrating our measurement method into a real-time sensing application, to be able to provide unique data that helps manage groundwater in a quicker and more efficient way. We are evolving from contamination control in groundwater to surface water, water purification, process flow, and prevention. Our ambition is to become the company of choice for the monitoring of fluxes in any aqueous environment.”
1,36 million euros
From now on, the development of the iFLUX-technology and the expansion of its market share will be supported by 2 large funds. Qbic II (the Belgian interuniversity venture capital fund) led this funding round. “We see great potential in iFLUX’ story. There is compelling evidence that the technology works in the fight against groundwater pollution, and by developing the real-time sensor they can also play a crucial role in evolving towards Smart Water Grids” says Sofie Baeten of Qbic II.
Together with VMH (the investment fund of the Flemish Government), the University of Antwerp, a group of historical investors, Qbic II is investing 1.36 million euros. “Drinking water is a scarce commodity. We therefore need to ensure that the quality of our water sources is good and remains that way. By using this new Flemish technology we can take a step further in protecting our groundwater. With the support of VMH this company can continue developing and further spread Flemish technology abroad.” – Flemish minister of Environment, Nature, and Agriculture Koen Van den Heuvel
Qbic II Arkiv Fund:
Qbic is an interuniversity seed-and growth fund that invests in spin-offs and young, innovative companies with a technological link to the partner universities and research centres. Qbic is managed by an independent team of experienced investors. With 90 million euro under management, Qbic is one of the largest interuniversity spin-off funds in Europe. Qbic I was founded in 2012, invested in 18 companies and is in divestment phase. Qbic II launched in September 2016 and already has 8 companies in its portfolio.
Flemish Environmental Holding (VMH):
The Flemish Environmental Holding (VMH) is a public investment company that participates in environmental sector enterprises deemed strategic by the Flemish government. It also provides venture capital to businesses in the early stages of development which are accelerating the transition to a circular economy. VMH holds a 100% stake in Aquafin and is thereby implementing the assignment of the Flemish Region to underpin and execute its environmental policy.