Here’s the 13-slide pitch deck Waterplan, a Y Combinator-backed startup tackling the water crisis, used to raise $7 million in a round backed by Leonardo DiCaprio
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- Water is a limited resource and the climate crisis has accelerated water insecurity.
- Leonardo DiCaprio-backed Waterplan helps businesses monitor and mitigate water usage.
- Check out the 13-slide deck the company used to raise $7 million in fresh funds.
A startup backed by Leonardo DiCaprio and the Branson family that’s working to solve the water crisis just raised $7 million in fresh funds.
California-based Waterplan, which was part of Y Combinator’s summer 2021 intake, enables companies to measure how their water use will impact the resource and local environment. The company has developed a tool that uses artificial intelligence to analyze climate and water data and then recommends mitigation strategies to ensure water security.
José Ignacio Galindo, the Waterplan CEO and cofounder, said he had the idea for the startup after seeing the carbon-accounting sector, where startups help companies track and reduce emissions, take off.
“I didn’t see much innovation going on in the water sector,” he told Insider. “But water is the main way the climate crisis expresses itself.”
Ignacio Galindo teamed up with Nicolas Wertheimer — a doctor by trade who spent his career looking into waterborne diseases, water access, and sanitation — after meeting years earlier as social entrepreneurs at the World Economic Forum.
The pair set out to build a carbon-accounting equivalent for water, along with the entreprenuer, Olivia Cesio, and a former NASA water scientist, Jay Famiglietti. The platform enables businesses to assess and monitor their water supply, conserve water, and proactively take action to prevent disruptions like running out of water.
Wertheimer said the increase in global temperatures impacts the water cycle directly. The Waterplan cofounder said changes occur in precipitation patterns and in water recharges, which refers to surface water moving downward to become groundwater. Groundwater is extracted to be used for drinking water and in water-reliant industries like agriculture.
“So you can see that the droughts are getting more frequent,” Wertheimer said. “Floods are getting more intense and frequent as well.”
Waterplan targets water-intensive businesses — agriculture, food and beverages, paper products, and apparel manufacturing — as its customers. It already has Coca-Cola, Colgate, and McCain Foods on its roster.
The startup aims to target the market for water-related financial risk, which in 2020 was estimated by the nonprofit group CDP to be $301 billion. Waterplan looks at facilities that operate in areas with water stress or water risk and integrates data on consumption and withdrawals into its platform. The platform then uses modeling to estimate how much money is at risk with the with the business’ current consumption and gives recommendations to reduce water usage.
Recommendations can range from reducing consumption to investing in efficient technologies or nature-based solutions such as planting mangroves, which act as a coastal water defense.
The platform monitors risks based on urgency. Most risk profiles are updated once a month.
“Water-related catastrophes continue to be a major result of the ongoing climate crisis,” the actor Leonardo DiCaprio said. “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.”
The round was co-led by sustainability investors Transition Global and Giant Ventures. The startup is also backed by Monzo’s Tom Blomfield, NFL star Joe Montana, Mixpanel founder Tim Treffen, Newtopia, L2 Ventures, and environmental funds Climate Capital, Jetstream, and MCJ Collective.
The fresh cash will be used to bolster the company’s 22-person team and build out the platform’s capabilities. The cofounders said their long-term goal is to work to change the way businesses think of water, moving from reactive to proactive management.
Check out the 13-slide pitch deck the company used to raise the fresh funds.