Kumulus, a Tunisian startup that extracts drinking water directly from the air, has successfully raised a €1 million (US$0.97m) pre-seed funding round to further develop its product and fulfill its first pre-orders.
Several institutional investors, including Paris Techstars Accelerator, Flat6Labs, WILCO, and Bpifrance, as well as business angels, participated in the round.
Kumulus is a Tunisian startup that operates in the sector of drinkable water. It was founded by Mohamed Ali Abid and Iheb Triki, and it manufactures thermal equipment that can produce several liters of potable water per day.
The sole resources utilized by the company are solar energy and humidity. The Internet of Things collects data that is fed into predictive algorithms, which subsequently work to increase water output and energy efficiency. The system incorporates both filtration and mineralization components.
Using a solar-powered technology, Kumulus’s solar-powered machine draws air in. After passing through a succession of filters, the air’s moisture is separated, resulting in consumable water. Therefore, the new company’s mission is to address the issue of water scarcity in Tunisia.
The founders of the company have indicated that they intend to target “markets where there is no stable source of renewable drinking water or where water scarcity has become a burden on the local community.”
According to the company’s creators, the most destitute inhabitants of Tunisia do not always have access to alternatives such as bottled water, carried cisterns, or nonrenewable groundwater.
A litre of mineral water costs approximately 10 cents in Tunisia and Egypt, but more than 15 cents in Morocco. The system invented by Kumulus produces 25 liters of water every day for less than eight cents.
The Kumulus water machines will be available for purchase or subscription, with payments made per litre of water produced by the unit. There will be a range of sizes available, but the company will launch with a device capable of producing 20 to 30 liters of water per day.
A further advantage is that no plastic bottles will be used, and communities that are not linked to a public water supply will have access to a reliable source of drinking water.
On November 9, 2021, Kumulus was awarded the €15,000 (US$4,535) POESAM International Grand Prize, which was sponsored and awarded by Orange.
It is now in second place, with OuiCare, a startup company from Cameroon, taking first place. A praise that will likely enable the founders to realize their development goals in the nation.
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