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Swiss cleantech Oxyle raises $3M to make better wastewater treatment

Photo Credit: Oxyle

One of the most urgent health and environmental issues in the world is water contaminated with toxic, long-lasting pollutants. Invaluable bodies of water are contaminated with micropollutants like pesticides, medications, and PFAS chemicals all over the world. Unchecked, these chemicals put our ecosystems in grave danger by causing hormonal imbalances, cancer, and birth defects in people.

Swiss cleantech startup Oxyle raised $3M in a pre-seed funding round to bring their mission of enhancing the health of water bodies and safeguarding ecosystems from micropollutants to market. The company has raised $7.4M in total since inception. The funding round was led by Wingman Ventures with participation from SOSV, Better Ventures, and 

The funds raised will be used to expand the company’s customer base into lucrative market segments, hire more employees with scaling capabilities, form partnerships to open up new markets, and, most importantly, launch the first product next year.

Oxyle, founded in 2020 by Fajer Mushtaq and Silvan Staufert, has developed a sustainable and scalable technology that destroys a wide range of micropollutants from contaminated wastewater, including forever chemicals such as PFAS, pharmaceuticals, hormones, pesticides, and so on. Oxyle’s novel treatment process is powered by nanoporous catalysts that oxidise and eliminate micropollutants to detection limits of 1 ng/L, even for highly persistent compounds resistant to existing treatments. This treatment process is combined with Oxyle’s proprietary analytics technology, which enables real-time monitoring of micropollutants.The goal is to install remotely controlled modular, decentralised reactors of varying sizes to meet the needs of customers in the chemical industry, pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, and environmental remediation projects.

Nitty gritties of core technology

Dr. Fajer Mushtaq, Oxyle’s CEO and co-founder, developed the core technology behind this game-changing innovation over a 5-year period during her doctoral research at ETH Zurich, which began in 2014. The concept of a novel catalyst for micropollutant degradation was developed in collaboration with Dr. Silvan Staufert into a scalable technology platform capable of addressing the problem where it matters: at the source, before they enter waterways. Oxyle has completed several paid pilots with industrial and municipal customers, advanced its technology to TRL8 through on-site demonstrations, and grown to a 17-person team.

Dr. Fajer Mushtaq, CEO and Co-founder of Oxyle AG commented:  “We are living in an era where we face several existential crises on a daily basis and lack of clean, pollutant-free water is one of them. At Oxyle, we are bringing market-disruptive solutions that remove and detect micropollutants in an efficient, cost-effective and sustainable manner for our industrial and municipal customers. We are exploiting new market drivers such as stricter regulations and growing public pressure to expand our operations in attractive market segments and help a diverse portfolio of global customers. We are excited to work in close partnership with our investors, customers, regulators and partners as we prepare for the market entry of our latest product, our batch treatment system.”

Dr. Silvan Staufert CTO and Co-founder of Oxyle AG commented: “Flexibility is at the heart of our technology since its conceptualization. Key performance metrics such as ease of use, energy efficiency and treatment decentralisation were always in the focus. With our scalable technology platform we provide both efficient treatment and monitoring solutions and are ideally positioned to tackle this problem wherever it comes up. Building on the success of our ongoing customer pilots where we have shown removal of PFAS to below detection limit. We are building on this momentum to provide products that protect our health and the environment from these toxic forever chemicals.”

Oxyle is a venture-backed startup that has received funding from the European Commission’s H2020 EIC accelerator programme, Eurostars, and several competitive Swiss programmes.

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