Bluewater, a global water technology company based in Sweden, has partnered with I-Drop Water – a South African water solutions startup – to provide better access to clean drinking water and reduce single-use plastic bottle use.
Bluewater, which sells its water purifier solutions across Europe, the USA, China and South-East Asia, said the investment marks the launch pad for the company’s continued expansion throughout Africa. I-Drop Water – a for-profit South African social impact company that designs, builds and installs drinking water purification and dispensing machines in general grocery stores at no capital cost – shares ongoing revenue from water sales with store owners.
“Bringing I-Drop Water into the Bluewater family strengthens the fast-track approach to bringing our water solutions technology market proposition to South Africa and elsewhere in Africa,” says Anders Jacobson, co-founder and CEO of Blue AB, the Swedish sustainability-driven investment company that owns Bluewater. He notes how Johannesburg-based I-Drop has quickly built a strongly growing market position in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Botswana, a presence Bluewater is committed to help grow in the long-term.
Improving local access to water purification solutions
While Bluewater specialises in water purification solutions for home, commercial and public drinking stations, I-Drop designs, builds and installs drinking water purification and dispensing machines. Together, the two companies aim to improve local access to water purification solutions that process almost any source of water – greywater, rainwater and borehole – into drinkable water.
Formed in 2015 by husband and wife team James and Kate Steere, I-Drop uses nano-purification water filtration technology and a GSM-enabled platform to empower grocery store owners to purify and sell safe, affordable drinking water to their customers. Shoppers refill multi-use containers and pay by the litre for the drinking water they need, an innovative approach that saw the couple win the 2017 All Africa Business Leader Award – Innovator of the Year, hosted by CNBC Africa and Forbes Africa.
“Bluewater’s unique patented second-generation reverse osmosis water purifiers for home, commercial and public dispensers are the ideal complement to our product offering. Thanks to Bluewater’s stated mission to bring access to clean water to everyone everywhere and contribute to ending the single-use plastics scourge, we are uniquely positioned jointly to tackle two of Africa’s biggest challenges – clean drinking water availability and plastic waste,” Kate Steere said.