THE.WAVE.TALK specializes in developing household water quality measuring devices and diagnostic bacteria infection devices, and this investment sums the cumulative amount to 9 billion won, or approximately 8 million USD.
This last investment was made through Deep Impact Day, an impact investment competition program conducted by SK for social ventures, and former investors include Blue Point Partners, Naver D2SF, Estec Pharma, LB Investment, Yellowdog, and Big Basin Capital.
Having been an active Born2Global Centre member since 2018, the home water quality sensor developed by THE.WAVE.TALK is a tenth of the size of its competitors in the US and Japan and is cheaper with the same performance.
Additionally, preparations are underway to not only supply sensors but also to start a data business. It is a form of analyzing the nation's water quality data collected through the cloud network through AI and establishing the root cause - and countermeasures - to rectify the situation.
THE.WAVE.TALK is currently supplying a complimentary self-developed water quality sensor “WaterTalk Home” to 100 Seoul residents, providing a service that enables the quality of tap and purified water to be measured. It plans to expand service areas from Seoul to Busan, Daejeon, Gwangju, and Jeju.
THE.WAVE.TALK, a member company of the Born2Global Centre, successfully attracted a funding of USD 2 million in early February from Yellowdog and Silicon Valley-based Big Basin Capital, bringing its accumulated total to approximately USD 6 million in funding. Existing investors include Bluepoint Partners, Naver, EstechPharma, and LB Investment (previously LG fund).
THE.WAVE.TALK, a startup that has developed its own live bacteria sensing and IoT water turbidity test technology, regards the funding as a round of bridge funding to pick up the pace on product releases and the company's expansion into the global market.
THE.WAVE.TALK CEO Kim Young-dug Kim said, "Out of this funding, we will construct a big data network that automatically measures the water quality of ordinary households through an IoT sensor. We will also dedicate even more effort to expanding this technology overseas."
Yellowdog, one of the investors in this most recent bridge funding, is an impact venture capital firm known for investing in startups that seek to resolve social problems with innovative business solutions.
Yellowdog CEO Hyun-joo Je said, "THE.WAVE.TALK's vision to be the startup that saves the most lives in the world by resolving water quality problems coincides with Yellowdog's funding philosophy. We decided to join in this funding out of our expectations that THE.WAVE.TALK can create broad-reaching social impact as it solves chronic sanitation problems experienced around the world through its unrivaled technologies."
Yellowdog was especially impressed by the potential of THE.WAVE.TALK's independently-developed technology, which will allow for speedy antibiotic susceptibility testing (AST) and minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) testing at hospitals (in developing countries) with equipment that costs just several hundreds of USD.
Big Basin Capital, which also participated in the funding, is working on accelerating THE.WAVE.TALK's debut in the US market.
Phil K. Yoon, the founder and General Partner of Big Basin Capital, said, "THE.WAVE.TALK is an outstanding team that was able to sophisticate its technology and had the executive ability to commercialize it in a short period of time. It is fully capable of revolutionizing all areas, including food and pharmaceuticals, that are related to or affected by bacteria."
Currently, THE.WAVE.TALK is working with four major local governments to complete a testbed by June that utilizes an IoT sensor to automatically test the most important factor of water quality, in turbidity, in homes. The company will also be working on gaining certification from Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) and Korea's Ministry of Food and Drug Safety on antibiotic inspection equipment (such as "Bacometer AI" that can diagnose urinary tract infection in under 3 hours, and AST/MIC in under 6 hours).
THE.WAVE.TALK has been a member company of the Born2Global Centre since 2018. In 2019, it received an award at Pitch@Palace and was included in the top 10 ranking at Singapore's Future Food Asia. THE.WAVE.TALK was named a CES Innovation honoree in the Home Appliances category at CES Innovation Awards 2020 for its smart IoT water sensor.
By Hyunjin Choi
Born2Global has announced that its member company, THE.WAVE.TALK, is honored with CES Innovation Awards 2020 in the Home Appliance category for New Laser Sensor for Bacteria Detection.
Coupled with the technology transferred from Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology(KAIST), the technology of THE.WAVE.TALK can detect micro-substances such as micro particles and invisible bacteria inside liquid in a quick and easy manner. Using the technology, THE.WAVE.TALK has developed a turbidity meter that is ten times more sensitive compared to the existing turbidity meters.
To top it off, THE.WAVE.TALK minimized a detection sensor small enough to fit into a home appliance and launched a product at a price of 100 times cheaper than the conventional lasers of one million dollars so that anybody can make a use of the product at ease.
Smart IoT Water Sensor by THE.WAVE.TALK can readily identify whether the water or drink in the container is drinkable and the lamp embedded on the surface shows the result. Moreover, when equipped with a potable module for measuring air quality, the device is able to detect pollutant levels in the air.
The award-winning B2C product is unveiled at the upcoming CES 2020 in Las Vegas, January 7-10.
“Preceded by the successful entry to the B2B market, we hope to make it happen again in the B2C market with the newly invented home appliance-typed smart water sensor. The CES award for the Smart IoT Water Sensor is going to be a catalyst for our company to enter the global market,” said YoungDug Kim, CEO of THE.WAVE.TALK.