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7th September 2022

‘Green’ water treatment firm raises £2.3m to accelerate growth

A UK company with headquarters in Birmingham which has developed a nature-based wastewater treatment solution has raised a further £2.3m to help establish itself as the technological leader in ‘circular’ solutions to remove wastewater contaminants.

The latest investment in I-Phyc was headed Mellby Gård AB , a privately owned Swedish Company targeting investment in promising water technologies, and included the MEIF Proof of Concept & Early Stage Fund, which is managed by Mercia and part of the Midlands Engine Investment Fund, and private investors.

I-Phyc’s system uses algae to remove phosphorus, ammonia and other contaminants, while locking away carbon and creating sustainable by-products from the biomass produced. It has the potential to significantly improve water quality in rivers and streams and enable water companies to meet stricter limits on pollutants which is difficult to achieve economically using current systems.

I-Phyc’s technology is already in operation at water treatment plants at Weston-super-Mare and Broadwindsor in Dorset, and will be used in a new plant at Croxton Kerrial in Leicestershire. The company has seen a major increase in enquiries in the past year and is now in discussions with all the major UK water companies as well as operators in the US and Scandinavia.

The latest investment will allow I-Phyc to enhance its technology, bring new sites on board and firmly establish its position as the market leader in chemical-free water treatment systems. The company, which is based in Birmingham and has a laboratory in Bristol, currently employs 15 staff and is planning to create five new jobs in the six months ahead.

Karl Wills, Executive Chair at I-Phyc, said: “We are delighted to receive further backing from our existing investors, other new investors and welcome aboard a significant new investor in the form of the Mellby Gård AB . Mellby Gård AB through its wholly owned subsidiary Feralco AB is  a leader in the field of water treatment systems, its support is a real testament to the strength of I-Phyc’s technology. This latest investment round will not only provide funds for expansion, but also greatly enhance our credibility within the industry.”

Mikael Helmerson Deputy CEO Mellby Gård AB  adds ”This investment is the first to be made by the Mellby Gård AB Water Fund a vehicle targeted at participating to early stage investments in technology companies within the broader water market. We see I-Phyc as having an exciting role to play within the ever growing circular economy in which management of water resources will be an important contributor.”

The latest funding round is the third by Mercia and MEIF, which initially invested in I-Phyc in 2019. Kiran Mehta, Investment Manager at Mercia, said: Our previous investments helped I-Phyc to develop and roll out its technology and it is now attracting huge interest within the industry. With water companies trying to meet ever increasing water quality standards and challenging carbon emission goals, new technologies will have a key role to play. This new funding will help position I-Phyc as a leader in sustainable water treatment solutions.”

Mark Wilcockson, Senior Investment Manager at the British Business Bank, said: “This further investment from the MEIF will support I-Phyc to create new jobs in the region, invest in its technology and cement its position as a market leader in its industry. MEIF funding supports Midlands-based businesses looking to grow globally in this way, and we look forward to seeing the positive impact this will have economically for the wider region.”

The Midlands Engine Investment Fund and Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund projects are supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.

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