Kiwi cleantech company Hydroxsys has raised $2.1 million in one of the largest seed investment rounds ever in New Zealand, led by Sparkbox Ventures and including the New Zealand Venture Investment Fund.
Other investors include Stephen Tindall’s K1W1 fund, Lewis Holdings Limited, the Manawatu Investment Group, and a number of angel investors.
Hydroxsys, co-located at the University of Auckland’s Tamaki Campus has developed membrane technology for use in a range of industrial processes and chief executive Mark Hartstone says the business is fielding approaches from large international companies.
Sparkbox Ventures’ Andrew Duff, who is a Hydroxsys director, says the company is now moving to develop scalable production of its membranes as it shifts into on-site testing to validate the technology’s capability in the field.
“Like Lanzatech is doing in sectors which burn fossil fuels, the Hydroxsys membrane has the capacity to significantly clean up industries like dairy processing and mining.
“Following this investment round, Hydroxsys’ membrane is moving into pilot production with an Australian partner to assess its performance in the mining of gold, bauxite and coal seam gas. In addition, field trials will commence with a dairy partner in the fourth quarter 2014.
“Our aim is that by the second quarter 2016 we will be supplying equipment into dairy and mining companies on a commercial basis.
According to the latest Young Company Finance Index, released today, investment activity in 2013 was up 80 percent on 2012 wit $53.2 million invested into young New Zealand companies.
Only a fifth of that was into new investments, with the rest being follow-on. In particular, investment into the software sector grew more than 140 percent to $25.4 million.