Biobot Analytics Raises $6.7 Million in Seed Funding to Transform Wastewater Infrastructure into Public Health Observatories
May 11, 2020
Biobot Analytics, a technology company that deploys wastewater monitoring equipment and analytical tools to provide novel public health insights at the community level, announced it has raised $4.2 million bringing its total amount of seed funding to $6.7 million. In response to the emerging crisis, Biobot has begun deploying its platform to track the spread of COVID-19 and map its prevalence in cities across the U.S.
The Engine, the venture firm spun out of MIT, that invests in early-stage Tough Tech companies that are solving the world’s most urgent problems through the convergence of breakthrough science, engineering, and leadership. AmFam Institute Impact Fund joined the round as a strategic investor.
Previous investors Y Combinator and DCVC also participated in this round. This capital will be used to support rapid growth of operations to address pandemic challenges and fund additional market expansion and product development. Biobot was developed at MIT, where the two founders, Mariana Matus, PhD and Newsha Ghaeli, combined their computational biology, wastewater epidemiology and urban planning backgrounds to develop the technology, which can provide sub-city-level human health data.
Using anonymous data collected from sewage, Biobot’s platform can trace health indicators that provide insights into drug use, the presence of viruses, environmental contaminants and nutrition.
“Doctors use waste samples regularly to understand, diagnose and care for our individual wellbeing. We are deploying our technology to do the same at the population level, which is tremendously valuable to government and private sector partners and will be core to public health improvement and the development of smart cities,” said Mariana Matus, PhD, co-founder and CEO of Biobot Analytics.
Biobot conducted its first commercial implementation of the technology with an opioid analytics program in Cary, NC. The company’s analysis gave local officials accurate information on the use of opioids, so they could better lead productive interventions, reducing overdoses by 40% and lowering their associated cost to the healthcare system. Today, seven cities in Massachusetts are conducting initial studies with the Biobot opioid product.
“We are thrilled to support Biobot in accelerating growth of their company. The team has shown the potential of using our wastewater systems for mitigating the opioid crisis and now is the time to extend the approach to addressing other important health challenges, from COVID-19 and other viruses to environmental contaminants,” said Ann DeWitt, general partner, of The Engine.
In March, in collaboration with researchers at MIT, Harvard and Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Biobot launched a campaign to solicit wastewater from facilities across the U.S. Its research protocol and findings from an initial review of samples from a large urban facility in MA were detailed in the academic paper which can be found on MedRxiv called “SARS-COV-2 titers in wastewater are higher than expected from clinically confirmed cases.”
Findings indicate that COVID-19 prevalence is orders of magnitude higher than confirmed cases suggest. National data spanning 100 locations will be published later this month.
About Biobot AnalyticsBiobot Analytics is a wastewater epidemiology company that is transforming wastewater infrastructure into public health observatories. Its wastewater monitoring technology analyzes urine and stool samples to create a health database that is independent from hospital reporting systems, free from societal biases affecting who can and can’t seek care, and most importantly, rapidly adaptable to new and emerging public health threats.
More News and Articles
Mar 29, 2023
Water management: Spain invests nearly 23 billion euros
The Spanish government improves its water management and will invest nearly 23 billion euros to comply with European Water Directives.
Mar 27, 2023
UN World Water Day 2023: How municipalities can accelerate the water transformation
The United Nations is proclaiming the motto “Accelerating Change” for World Water Day on 22 March. The message: because the pressure on drinking water reserves is increasing worldwide, the change towards sustainable water use must be accelerated.
Mar 24, 2023
Innovative technologies remove pharmaceutical residues from wastewater
Every year on 22 March, World Water Day reminds us of the importance of one of the most important resources of life. Almost two-thirds of our planet is covered with water, but not even three percent is drinkable freshwater. Every …
Mar 22, 2023
Delivering sustainable solutions to solve water challenges
With British Water’s conference on creating a more sustainable water sector approaching, Stephen Kennedy, head of digital and innovation at MWH Treatment shares his views on celebrating recent successes in creating a more sustainable sector while also discussing the challenge …
Mar 20, 2023
Supporting the National Water Strategy through scientific research
This month, the federal government of Germany introduced the first National Water Strategy. “With this strategy, the federal government is shining a spotlight on the necessity of integrated water resource management, serving as a leading example of resource use in …
Mar 17, 2023
Trenchless manufacturer celebrates installation of 100,000th liner
SAERTEX multiCom®’s trenchless pipe relining product, SAERTEX-LINER, has been installed for the 100,000th time.
Mar 15, 2023
Versatile electric pipe-cutter makes UK debut
The first all-electric battery-operated lateral pipe-cutter to enter the UK market has secured sole distribution with pipeline equipment specialist Ant Hire Solutions.
Mar 13, 2023
Spring collaborates with Microsoft and Impact X on water innovation
The water sector’s innovation centre of excellence – Spring - is collaborating with Microsoft and Impact X on a new initiative to make tools and funding available for start-ups to accelerate their companies.
Mar 10, 2023
State of Global Water Resources report informs on rivers, land water storage and glaciers
WMO reports on freshwater availability in a changing climate
Mar 08, 2023
Australia: Centenarian sewer gets after-dark upgrade
Over 100 years since its inception, Brisbane’s S1 Main Sewer has undergone a seven-year upgrade.
Mar 06, 2023
UKWIR gives access to hundreds of water sector research reports
UK Water Industry Research (UKWIR) is providing free access to over 1,000 of its water sector research reports aimed at helping to improve water and wastewater services for customers, and protecting the environment.
Mar 03, 2023
Sector must challenge public misconceptions through engagement
The water sector must tackle “unfair criticisms” by sharing more about the great work it delivers, Yorkshire Water’s chief executive, Nicola Shaw, told attendees at British Water’s Better Together reception in Hull.
Head of Communications
444 Somerville Ave
Massachusetts 02143 Somerville