Investing with Purpose: Tackling water waste with Waterplan

The founders of Waterplan
Holly Branson
Holly Branson's writing
Published on 12 April 2022

In the UK alone, three billion litres of water is wasted every day, and the United Nations predicts a 40% global shortfall in water supply by 2030 if trends continue. These are staggering statistics that show how important it is for businesses to take water sustainability seriously.  

This is why we invested in Waterplan – an innovative and purpose-driven start-up that helps companies to track their corporate water footprint, minimise their water usage and mitigate the related risks.  

I’m also excited to say the team has just closed a $7 million seed funding round with Leonardo DiCaprio joining the company’s list of investors! Leo explains perfectly why supporting purpose-led businesses like Waterplan is so important:

Water-related catastrophes continue to be a major result of the ongoing climate crisis,Having a platform that helps predict and take steps to prevent these events can be an invaluable tool in the fight. I’m excited to support the innovative work being done at Waterplan.

Creating sustainable solutions to global problems is always something that attracts me as an investor and I love how Waterplan has taken the science of tracking carbon emissions, and adapted it to the water space.Specifically, the platform uses AI to combine a company’s operational data with climate data models and water satellite images. This provides a real-time financial assessment of a business’s water risk, which is then used to create tailored resilience plans and nature-based solutions.  

As it’s so innovative, we decided to create a quick explainer video that shows exactly how Waterplan works, and why it’s so important to transition to a water secure world.

Waterplan is purposeful business in action, by turning sustainability solution into a compelling business case, and showing companies that looking after the planet doesn’t need to come at the expense of your profit margins. This is a message I’m determined to spread tobusinesses and investors all around the world. As Waterplan’s co-founder, Nicolas Wertheimer, put it in the video: “The cost of inaction on water security is five times the cost of the response.”  

By quantifying a company’s water risk, they can clearly see the need to mitigate it and invest in nature-based solutions. “If companies invest in reforestation in an area, for example, it can help reduce runoff and potentially increase rainfall,” according to Waterplan’s other co-founder and CEO, José Ignacio Galindo. As José also said:

In the past, companies have taken a reactive approach to water-related issues, often incurring large financial and reputational costs to correct problems after they’ve occurred. Waterplan helps businesses evolve to a forward-thinking, proactive strategy. Our SaaS platform equips companies to continuously monitor water risks, anticipate and prevent disruptions, while simultaneously meeting ESG objectives and doing what’s best for the environment.

Waterplan is also a fantastic example of what happens when you collaborate with a group of like-minded and purpose-driven people who all bring different skillsets to the table. The start-up was founded in 2020 when five amazing people came together: José Ignacio Galindo (an entrepreneur and software engineer), Nicolas Wertheimer (a doctor, water expert and sustainability professor), Olivia Cesio (an entrepreneur and industrial engineer), Matias Comercio (an entrepreneur and software engineer) and Jay Famiglietti (a hydrologist, professor and former NASA Senior Water Scientist). The result of this close partnership is a fantastic combination of innovative software, science and entrepreneurship – all bound together by a strong sense of purpose.

Thank you to Jose and Nicolas for taking the time to explain what Waterplan does and why corporate stewardship is essential in protecting this vital natural resource. Waterplan is sustainability and software combined, and I’m excited to be a part of the journey! 

I’ve been chatting to purpose-led founders and leaders from across our portfolio of investments - you can find more right here.