Nuvoe is decentralising water purification with a reusable water bottle that has its own UV filter right there in the bottle. And that’s just the start.
What does your business do, and who are your customers?
Nuvoe is building the future of water. We’ve got a multi-product plan to get us there and we’re starting off with the Nuvoe Pod.
The Pod is the world’s first water purification upgrade for your refillable water bottle. It neutralises up to 99.9999% of germs and viruses with the power of UV-C light so you can drink fresh water from a clean bottle all day long.
The Nuvoe Pod uses similar technology as large-scale UV water purification systems which we’ve miniaturised to fit inside a refillable water bottles. It purifies up to 250 litres of water a month on a single battery charge and is effortless to use. Just shake to activate, and your water is purified and your bottle will be cleaned in a minute.
Our customers come from across the globe and they include travellers, hikers, parents, runners, gym-goers, desk workers, and campers. We thought our message would resonate the most in countries that have struggled with water quality, and while it has, the majority of our customers come from Western nations that see this as a painkiller and not a vitamin.
The biggest reasons people are ordering the Pod is because of poor water quality from their municipal tap water, and a hatred for having to regularly wash their water bottles. And we get it – they’re a b**** to wash and peer-reviewed studies say that we should be washing them at least once a day.
I wrote about the need for the product here.
What’s your mission?
We are building Nuvoe to be world’s largest water purification company, without any fixed infrastructure.
We believe that purification of water at the point of consumption is the most cost effective, most sustainable and most reliable way to provide safe, clean drinking water. Relying on the ageing infrastructure of pipes and plumbing between the treatment plant and the household tap is only getting worse. Just as importantly – providing consumers with ‘Evian’ quality drinking water from their taps will reduce our reliance on the environmental nightmare caused by single-use plastic bottles.
Globally there are around a million plastic bottles bought per minute. Over 91% of all those bottles are not recycled. Most of these end up in landfills or in our oceans and the plastic used to make them, PET, takes over 400 years to decompose, also leaving micro plastics in its wake. There’s also the transportation of all these bottles from where water is collected, to treated (if it is treated), to shops and then ultimately homes which creates tonnes of CO2 emissions.
We’e here to change that.
What does it mean to you, to be a ‘social enterprise’?
While industrialisation over the last 100 years has created product that is not sustainable, it has undoubtedly brought billions of people out of poverty and improved our standards of living. Businesses, enterprises, cooperations, in general, are a force for good in the world – whether they are ‘social’ or not.
A trade between two parties occurs when both parties recognise that the trade itself creates more value than the sum of the individual parts. Businesses, enterprises and cooperations are simply vehicles used to scale that trade. The businesses over the last 100 years have developed technologies and products based on the science available to them at the time. We are now living in a new golden age of science that allows us to create products that are sustainable and the successful businesses of the next 100 years will be ones that leverage this.
We believe that sustainable businesses ultimately deliver much better solutions that will be superior, more affordable, and better for the environment. It is these businesses that will last and be successful in the long term.
This is our philosophy when it comes to water. Our infrastructure is ageing and delivery poor water quality. Urbanisation has increased demand in cities where dams and other infrastructure are required to sustain the population density. Aquifers around the world which supply much of the our freshwater needs are drying up. There are estimates that by 2025 over 66% of the world will live in water-stressed areas. These are the problems of today sustainable business will solve.
Can you scale a mission? Are there challenges around growing your business, while also staying committed to your impact thesis?
If impact is at the core of your business, it’s much less of a tug-of-war between sustainability and growth.
How have you seen investor sentiment change over the past 5 years, when it comes to recognising the value (or cost) of being mission-led?
There are definitely a lot more ‘impact’ focused investors. Even investors that don’t have sustainability as one of their themes they highly rate startups that have sustainability focused values. At the end of the day however, they still look for businesses that will return a profit on their investment – as it should be. Profitable businesses will be the ones that will last the longest and have the most impact.
Was there a business (either local or globally) that influenced the development of your organisation?
I would say trends more so than any specific organisation, with the biggest influence on us being the trend of decentralisation. For example, we’ve seen a big shift towards decentralisation in power generation where house owners are rapidly adopting the use of battery + solar panels to generate and store their own power. It’s a solution that’s greener, become much more cost effective, but also delivers a better experience with resilience to power outages etc.
What’s in store for your business in 2022?
We want to scale the marketing and sales of the Nuvoe Pod worldwide and begin to focus more on emerging markets. We’re looking to do a funding round sometime this year so we can really ramp up operations.
We’ve also got an exciting pipeline of products we’re actively working on. The Nuvoe Pod is just the beginning. It’ll take more than one product to change our global water infrastructure.
Exciting times ahead!
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