Leeuwarden-based Hydraloop is growing fast. So fast that the acclaimed company is on the eve of a major international rollout. Hydraloop, which designs and manufactures smart water recycling products for use in homes and buildings, is supported by the NOM.
The most efficient and affordable way to use less water? Indeed, on-site treatment and reuse of slightly contaminated household water. All the stranger is that, especially in times of increasing water scarcity, our toilets, for example, are still flushed with clean drinking water.
With this in mind, Arthur Valkieser founded his company Hydraloop in 2015. The Hydraloop is a compact and low-maintenance system, a kind of refrigerator, that collects, cleans and disinfects water from showers, sinks, washing machines and air conditioning units. The recycled water can then be used for applications that require lower-quality tap water, such as doing laundry, flushing the toilet or watering the garden. Hydraloop sells through a b2b model to partners and focuses primarily on new construction projects for both the residential and commercial markets.
Appreciation and attention
The concept is catching on, that's for sure. What's more, the company, with support from the NOM and others, is on the eve of a major international rollout. Hydraloop, based at the Leeuwarden Water Campus, has never lacked appreciation and attention. 'The first version of our water recycling system had only just been completed when we were at the Aquatech exhibition in the Amsterdam Rai in late 2017,' Valkieser says. 'As relative outsiders, we made our entry into the world of water technology there. Not to mention with a product that was quite unusual in the sector in terms of appearance and design. So we stood out and were nominated for the Innovation Award. That generated a lot of interest, so we had to start production immediately. Through our network in the North, we ended up at Technologies Added in Emmen. Since then, the first Smart Factory in the Netherlands has been our production partner.'
The real breakthrough came in January 2020 after Hydraloop won no fewer than four awards at the CES in Las Vegas, the world's largest tech show, including that of the show's very best product. 'That was a turning point for our company,' says Sabine Stuiver, partner at Valkieser and co-founder of Hydraloop. 'Applications poured in worldwide and we started to grow tremendously. We now employ 45 FTEs, divided between our headquarters in Leeuwarden and offices in the United States and the Middle East. At the same time, the Hydraloop is sold in more than 50 countries by more than 125 local partners.'
More sustainable and smarter
But yes, success immediately brings new challenges. Finding growth funding, for example, in order to scale up quickly. That search brought Hydraloop to NOM, among others. 'We had once got to know NOM as a thorough and carefully operating organization,' Valkieser explains. 'It is an institution in the Northern Netherlands with a very valuable network. A partner, therefore, with whom we were eager to enter this trajectory.' The trust turned out to be mutual, emphasizes investment manager Allard van der Horst of the NOM. 'The Hydraloop is a fully developed product with proven international potential. The technology offers a solution to an urgent social problem and fits seamlessly with the transition themes More Sustainable and Smarter on which NOM focuses. Moreover, the company has everything it needs to put water technology in the Northern Netherlands prominently on the map worldwide.'
In particular, the funding will be used to expand the product portfolio, strengthen the partner network and set up decentralized assembly lines in several countries. 'A decentralized water recycling system should become a standard item in every building,' Stuiver underlines Hydraloop's mission. 'Simply because that way you save up to 45% mains water and wastewater. That's why, with climate change and population growth in mind, we advocate that water conservation be included in building codes. You can already see this happening in several places. The great thing is: with the Hydraloop, we empower people to take action themselves. From residential and commercial property owners to hotels, lodges and gyms. For projects of any size, in short, there is a solution. Wherever you are in the world. '