Aquipor is a startup dedicated to enhancing the technology behind pervious pavements, enabling better water filtration and increased pavement longevity. The company is differentiating from the competition by developing a product that prevents the blocking of holes by debris and pollutants.
Aquipor raised over $1 million in 2020 and secured over $1.5 million on StartEngine in 2022. Recently, I had the opportunity to speak with Greg Johnson, the founder and CEO of Aquipor, to gain insights into the company’s progress and future plans.
Long technological developments
Currently, Aquipor has yet to generate revenue or launch its go-to-market strategy. This is understandable given the complexity of their innovative concrete, which requires finding a balance between hole size—large enough to allow water to pass through—and small enough to prevent pollutants and unwanted molecules from clogging the pavement. As of July, Aquipor has sufficient funds to sustain operations for 4-5 months, excluding the current fundraising. Still, with continued successful fundraising, it could extend its runway to a more comfortable 12 months, a good place to be for a startup.
One noteworthy aspect is the substantial increase in the company’s valuation, rising from $20 million in 2020 to $50 million in 2022. While the investment market cooled off and startup valuations have been readjusted, Aquipor made a wise move by raising funds at a $51 million valuation this year. Nevertheless, it would have been more prudent for the startup to launch its 2023 raise at a lower valuation, offering fair value to investors.
Going to market
Aquipor is gearing up to enter the market. Greg Johnson mentioned that Aquipor’s recent crowdfunding campaigns successfully grew its mailing list to 7,000 subscribers, mainly comprising engineers and architects. To drive sales, the company plans to expand its test area beyond the current facility and organize “lunch & learn” events for its followers.
The initial focus for Aquipor is targeting cities in southern California. The company recognizes the significance of political willingness in cities when purchasing its product, as Aquipor’s solution may be up to 1.5x more expensive than traditional concrete. However, improved stormwater management often offsets the costs, mitigating risks associated with water system overflows on streets. Convincing municipalities to invest more than usual can be challenging. Still, Aquipor is exploring collaboration with private contractors who would use their product as part of larger contracts and services with cities.
Looking ahead, Aquipor intends to use the funds raised to hire a President or COO with an engineering background and expertise in handling projects and negotiating contracts with municipalities and the construction industry. If you know anyone suitable for this role, do let Greg know!
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About: Léa Bouhelier-Gautreau
Léa is passionate about impact investing and sustainability. Prior to KingsCrowd, she worked for Stanford’s accelerator, StartX, helping to select the most promising entrepreneurs. She also led the first award-winning study on the Malawian startup ecosystem. In her free-time, she volunteers to help entrepreneurs in Cameroon, Brazil and Colombia. Léa holds a degree in Anthropology from France and is currently enrolled in the UC Davis MBA program.