Aqaix: Digitizing Water Finance
"The market is driven by population pressure, water scarcity, pollution, climate change, aging infrastructure in developed economies and so on. We enable the funding flow into the market, by allowing investors and donors to discover and qualify projects," said Michael Gardner, CEO, Aqaix
At the CleanEquity Monaco 2018 conference, various companies presented a brief about their work in the sustainability sector. Michael Gardner, CEO of Aqaix too was one of the people who presented about his company’s work.
“The name comes from a combination of aqua, AI, and analytics. The water infrastructure investment is $150 billion today, and it is doubling over 10 years, where the estimated need is $1trillion to $5trillion," said Gardner, adding that, “The market is driven by population pressure, water scarcity, pollution, climate change, aging infrastructure in developed economies and so on. We enable the funding flow into the market, by allowing investors and donors to discover and qualify projects."
Gardner also went on to add, “We encourage transparency, with integrated data for efficient project evaluation and there is ease of access to project and investment documents. We have aggregation and risk matching, by lowering investment risk through aggregation, blending and tranching. There is also verification involved through our AI which leads to the easy tracking of operational performance.”
“Water is Sustainable Development Goal 6, and we enable increased funding for the other sustainable development goals related to goal 6. We enable blended financing and public-private partnership, and asset level ESG transparency for portfolio management. We offer support for Public-Private Partnerships," said Gardner.
Gardner also added, “Our business is a classic software business model, called the SaaS Platform business model. The revenue sources are funder side enterprise ARR, transaction fees and specialised analytics and date. We can monetize through the ARR and at 0.3% to 1% of platform transaction volume. There is huge M&A exit potential. We collect a lot of data, so data companies would be interested as well. Companies which work in a similar sphere are Mercatus, Neighborly, Clean Power Finance and Blue Planet, all four of which we can compare to."
“The SaaS platform is functional today, using 50 GB of highly curated data. We have 14 person team, mostly on equity, who are working without salary, and there is a world class 5 person engineering team. If you go to Aqaix.com, you will see we are in stealth mode, but you can log in and see all the date," said Gardner, adding that, “Some of the strategies can include programs related to aquifer recharge and water rights digitization, geographic focus is on Africa, Mideast or China, and having Public Private Partnership collaborations with specific foundations. We’re just beginning the process of talking to investment customers."