ISA Ventures and Iowa Farm Bureau’s Rural Vitality Fund co-led a $6.5 million Series A investment in Gross-Wen Technologies, along with Next Level Ventures, Mid-American Angels, Ankeny Angels, Ag Startup Engine, Oman Ventures, and 1330 Investments.
Gross-Wen Technologies has a patented wastewater treatment technology that uses algae to clean wastewater. Gross-Wen’s revolving algae biofilm allows both municipalities and industries to retrofit current treatment plants in an economical and sustainable way.
There are several reasons why ISA Ventures co-led this investment, including:
The team: Founder Martin Gross developed this technology while at Iowa State University and has since expanded the team bringing on industry veterans with 60+ years in the wastewater treatment space. The team’s domain expertise has allowed Gross-Wen to accelerate their sales pipeline and connections within the wastewater treatment industry. They also exhibit the intangible founder qualities we look for, like transparency, prioritization, humility, and resilience.
Solving a global need: As the global population grows and city density increases, nutrient management is at the forefront of wastewater treatment. Communities are looking for better and more cost-effective ways to meet stricter federal water quality requirements. Gross-Wen provides that scalable, targeted, and cost-effective solution.
Technology: Gross-Wen has developed and has 6 issued patents on the best way to grow algae. They’ve used science and research to turn algae, something often viewed as a problem, into a solution. After 3 years of R&D, they’ve commercialized the technology in a way that can be scaled up or down to meet a wide variety of needs from small cities in Iowa to large municipalities, like Chicago, IL, validating the effectiveness of their technology.
Growth potential: In addition to serving municipalities, Gross-Wen’s technology is also applicable in large industrial companies who are focused on sustainability efforts. Additional revenue streams are also in the pipeline for algae fertilizer, establishing a circular economy and offsetting some of the installation costs for their technology.
ISA Venture’s investment in Gross-Wen Technologies will help them implement their first commercial installation in Slater, Iowa. The Gross-Wen team will be joining ISA’s Expansion accelerator program, focusing on the pathway towards acquisition and supporting them on their entrepreneurial journey.
Here’s a little more about Gross-Wen’s product and vision: