Purfresh, formerly named Novazone, is awash in new funding. The company, which uses ozone to sanitize food and purify water, said Thursday it has raised $25 million in a Series C round.
Investors included Chilton Investment Co., Foundation Capital, Grauer Capital and Chrysalix Energy, as well as one "additional strategic investor to be named."
"Over the last several years, we have seen a dramatic increase in awareness of food and water safety, along with a desire to reduce the use of traditional, harmful chemicals," Purfresh CEO David Cope said in a written statement. "We see these trends accelerating globally, creating both a tremendous need and opportunity for companies such as Purfresh."
The funding is the latest in a small series of water investments in the last few months after a long drought of water backing (see Parched for VC Funding and VCs Say Water Industry Should Take Lessons From Energy).
Ioteq, HydroPoint Data Systems, Stonybrook Purification, Altela and Microvi Biotech all have snagged cash since September (see Water Investment Picks Up, HydroPoint Gets Cash, California Clean Tech Open Winners Score Cash, Services and Investors High on Water).
Based in Livermore, Calif., Purfresh for years has made ozone-based disinfection systems for markets like bottled water, canned drinks, medicines and personal-care products, with customers such as Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Nestlé's Arrowhead Water, Colgate-Palmolive, Neutrogena and Safeway.
Three years ago, the company was revitalized with $10.6 million in venture-capital financing, a new executive team and a new focus: food (see Ozone for the Masses).
Purfresh claims its system to sanitize fruits and other crops can kill more contaminants than chlorine for a lower cost. And, because the technology doesn't use any chemicals or leave a residue, it also can be used to sanitize organic crops, according to the company.
The company also has developed technology -- for cold storage and shipping containers -- that uses ozone to reduce decay and extend the life of crops in storage and transit.