With New Funding, Company in Sunnyside Anticipates Rapid Expansion in 2019
Make room Deep Rock and Eldorado Natural Spring Water. FloWater, a Denver startup, is pushing to get its fill in a thirsty U.S. market expected to reach 6.8 million water coolers by next year.
Modern water coolers have moved far beyond stands holding big plastic jugs that make odd noises as air bubbles move through them. Skip the gossip, today’s coolers are intricately designed machines producing purified and tasty water.
FloWater has developed water bottle refill stations that connect to municipal water systems and deliver a product that eight in 10 consumers rated ahead of Fiji Water in taste tests, according to the company.
“We are building products that democratize and decentralize water,” said CEO Rich Razgaitis, who co-founded the company in Silicon Valley in 2013 before moving it to Denver’s Sunnyside neighborhood three years ago.
Since its launch, the company estimates its stations have displaced more than 100 million plastic bottles. Commercial clients include Red Bull, Microsoft, Airbnb, Google, and Target, as well as more than 100 hotels and dozens of school districts and concert venues in all 50 states.
And it also has global ambitions. Bluewater Group, a Swedish company focused on water and air purification technology, provided $15 million in Series B funding to FloWater in December. That follows four earlier rounds worth $8 million.
“Our mission is to enable people to hydrate; our vision is water without plastic,” said Anders Jacobson, president of Bluewater, in a visit to Denver earlier this year.
He said consumers globally have shifted to organic foods to improve the equality of what they eat. Less attention has been paid to the purity of water and air, but that is changing.
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