Ames startup Gross-Wen Technologies has raised a $6.5 million Series A investment round, co-led by ISA Ventures and Iowa Farm Bureau’s Rural Vitality Fund. Other investors included Next Level Ventures, Mid-American Angels, Ankeny Angels, Ag Startup Engine, Oman Ventures, and 1330 Investments.
Gross-Wen Technologies has a patented wastewater treatment technology that uses algae to clean wastewater. Today, many municipalities and industries are looking for new solutions to meet stricter federal water quality requirements cost effectively. Gross-Wen’s patented revolving algae biofilm allows both municipalities and industries to retrofit current treatment plants, addressing nutrient management issues in an economical and sustainable way. The company’s byproduct, algae biomass, can then be packaged and sold as slow-release algal fertilizer or bioplastic.
“There is a tremendous opportunity for sustainable water treatment technologies. This funding will provide GWT the capital to grow our existing presence in Iowa and the Midwest and provide us the resources to develop new markets across the US,” said Dr. Martin Gross, co-founder and president of Gross-Wen in a release. “We are thrilled to add ISA Ventures, Rural Vitality Fund, and Next Level Ventures as our newest shareholders at GWT. These firms represent the top venture capital firms in Iowa and we look forward to their guidance as we expand our business.”
Gross-Wen was founded in 2014 by Drs. Martin Gross and Zhiyou Wen. In 2016 and 2017 Gross-Wen won multiple SBIR Grants, resulting in a total of $850,000 worth of non-diluting grant funding. In 2018, the company received a $2 million investment from Doerfer Corporation.
As part of the investment round, the Gross-Wen team will join ISA’s Expansion accelerator program, focusing on pathways towards acquisition and support through their entrepreneurial journey.
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