April 11, 2019
Kurita Continues Strategic Investment in U.S.-Based, Venture-Backed Company APANA Inc. to Increase Stake in Series B Round
Kurita Water Industries Ltd. (headquartered in Nakano-ku, Tokyo; Michiya Kadota, President; hereinafter "Kurita") announces that its additional investment in APANA Inc. (headquartered in Washington, USA; hereinafter "APANA") reached completion on April 5, 2019. APANA is a US-based venture-backed company that operates a business offering water management solutions based on Internet of Things (IoT) technologies.
Kurita made an investment in APANA (in Series A Round) in December 2016 to attain capital participation. Recently, in the Series B Round for a capital increase aimed at speeding up APANA's growth, Kurita made an additional investment as a leading investor to acquire additional shares. As a result of continued strategic investment, Kurita's stake in APANA exceeded 40% on an issued shares basis, and APANA became one of Kurita's equity method affiliates.
APANA engages in technology development on the real-time monitoring of water consumption using the LoRa® (*1) wireless communication technology and on big data analysis and in services that help commercial and industrial facilities with water conservation. Its solution of optimizing water consumption by installing sensors in appropriate positions according to the purposes of use of water and water supply piping structures in facilities and by utilizing the LoRa® wireless communication is so highly regarded in the United States that it is increasingly introduced to large commercial facilities run by major global retailers. Sales have grown significantly since 2016.
In Japan, APANA has acquired technical standards conformity certification for its wireless communication equipment and has been building up its track record in water consumption reduction in demonstration trials on the premises of domestic customers since Kurita's previous investment. Kurita will be working to substantially expand APANA's business, which has significant growth potential, in the Japanese market as well.
In response to the recent increase in investment, APANA will develop technologies for new markets, strengthen its sales team, seek sales partners for overseas market expansion and promote its solutions to retailers and restaurants that operate multiple outlets with the aim of consolidating its advantageous position in markets. Meanwhile, Kurita will enhance its collaboration with APANA and speed up its action to introduce and utilize APANA's advanced technologies and services.
Commenced in April 2018, the Kurita Group's Medium-Term Management Plan entitled Maximize Value Proposition 2022 (MVP-22) defined IoT and artificial intelligence (AI) as part of the key foundations for water treatment solutions. Accordingly, Kurita is proceeding with the reform of its business models and processes. Positioning solving water resource issues, sustainable use of energy, waste reduction, and progress in production technologies in industries as social issues that it should address intensively, Kurita is striving painstakingly to create value that it will share with society.
Kurita will enlarge APANA's highly original digital business for more customers to create innovations and new value in its business domains of water and the environment.
- *1: LoRa® : LoRa® is one of the new wireless communication technologies called Low Power Wide Area (LPWA).
In the IoT based wireless communication technology used for sensor networks, the following performance is expected; (1) highly thrifty power consumption that enables long-term operation with batteries, (2) a wide transmission and reception range and (3) low costs of communication and communication modules. LPWA attracts attention because it is expected to meet these requirements, which were challenges with existing wireless communication technologies.
<APANA's water management solution>
＊for commercial facilities
*APANA Inc. Website：https://www.apana.com/