Back in 2004, inge watertechnologies had a ground-breaking ultrafiltration technology, capable of delivering a stable source of drinking water, but needed support to achieve its global potential. inge did not simply need cash to commercialise its technology, it needed long-term investment and expertise.
Emerald Technology Ventures invested alongside Next47 (formerly Siemens Venture Capital), and over seven years provided continued capital for investment in R&D, helped build the management, brought in new investors, made decisions on international growth and led expansion into industrial and other applications. In 2011, the business was acquired by BASF, a strong corporate owner that gave inge access to the distribution network it needed to grow further.
The company is appreciative of the dedication and financial support of the Emerald team in creating a world leader in water treatment membranes.
Bruno Steis CEO, inge watertechnologies
What did the business need?
- Achieve profitability
- Cut cost of sales
- Grow internationally
How did private equity backing create lasting value?
- Brought in other investors including BayTech Venture Capital, Entrepreneurs Fund and Stone Fund
- Made changes to management including new CEO and independent chairman
- Expanded into new areas including industrial applications
- Provided continued capital for R&D, driving down cost of sales by a factor of five
- Expanded into China, with some success in US and Middle East
What outcomes did private equity investment achieve?
- Grew revenues by a factor of ten and achieved profitability
- Employment levels rose from around 25 in 2004 to more than 120 during the investment period
- Sold to large corporate, where inge could leverage sales and marketing to reach next growth stage
- Achieved strong return for investors in Emerald