Membrane Technology Company ZwitterCo Secures $33 Million

By Dan Anderson • Sep 29, 2022
  • ZwitterCo recently announced it raised $33 million in funding. These are the details.

ZwitterCo recently announced it raised $33 million in funding. 

Funding round: Series A

Funding amount: $33 million

Investors: Led by DCVC with participation from new investors Heritage Group Ventures, Genoa Ventures, and Mott Corporation. And existing investors MANN+HUMMEL Corporate Ventures, Burnt Island Ventures, and R-Cubed Capital Partners also participated in this round.

What the funding will be used for: Expanding the development and production of its revolutionary zwitterionic membrane technology. The Series A funds will enable the company to add applications development, increase its pilot fleet, and build inventory to meet the strong demand for ZwitterCo products. And the funding will also commission ZwitterCo’s state-of-the-art innovation center just north of Boston, accelerating the development of new membrane products based on ZwitterCo chemistry.

What ZwitterCo does: ZwitterCo’s technology delivers what the water industry has been seeking for decades: a rugged polymeric membrane that is immune to irreversible fouling. Traditional membrane performance is known for degrading with every cleaning cycle until the membranes no longer work and must be replaced. And for tough-to-treat wastewaters, membrane replacement occurs frequently, increasing the operational complexity and cost of running wastewater plants. ZwitterCo membranes, by contrast, perform as new after every cleaning cycle.

ZwitterCo utilizes its patented zwitterionic copolymers to build highly advanced membranes that solve the toughest wastewater separation challenges. And they can be used in a wide variety of new applications and operating environments, given their ability to repel thousands of times more organic compounds than standard membranes. The company is building a suite of membrane products with these and other capabilities, bringing the precision and reliability of filtration to historically underserved markets.

A zwitterion is a special class of molecule that is “hydrophilic” or highly attractive to water molecules. And ZwitterCo’s patented zwitterionic copolymers self-assemble into hydrophilic channels, acting like flumes at a water park, ushering through H2O molecules, and repelling everything unable to flow through its narrow pores, including organic compounds such as oils, fats, greases, or proteins.

ZwitterCo’s first product a superfiltration (SF) membrane targets challenging industrial wastewaters for treatment and reuse. Since introducing its SF in 2021, ZwitterCo booked over a dozen commercial projects and completed dozens more successful pilots. And as a result, ZwitterCo is already tackling some of the hardest wastewater treatment challenges, including digestates, leachates, O&G-produced water, poultry & dairy, bioprocessing, and food & beverage wastewaters. Plus ZwitterCo membranes are used in novel process applications where fouling recovery, ruggedness, and exacting tolerances are essential, such as protein extraction from bio-fermentation.


“ZwitterCo has unlocked the true potential of zwitterions for water treatment, resulting in a leap in membrane performance. The mechanisms behind fouling and degradation that plague traditional membranes do not apply to our products.”

— Chris Drover, co-founder, and CTO of ZwitterCo

“Today, over 4 billion people experience severe water scarcity at various times during the year. As the world works to adapt to population growth and climate change, reusing wastewater safely and economically is imperative.”

— Alex Rappaport, co-founder and CEO of ZwitterCo

“At DCVC, we invest in Deep Tech companies that address urgent, global problems while providing outsized returns for our investors. ZwitterCo’s novel membrane chemistry will help solve water scarcity around the globe by making it easy and affordable for a wide variety of industries to adopt water reuse.”

— Jason Pontin, a Partner at DCVC and Chairman of ZwitterCo’s Board of Directors