Water Testing Tech FREDsense Taps Alberta Investment Fund

Calgary’s FREDsense Technologies is getting an injection of new capital from Alberta Enterprise Corporation’s $10-million Accelerate Fund II.

While the amount of funding wasn’t disclosed, the Accelerate Fund II typically invests up to $500,000 in early-stage companies. The fund was established last year and is managed by Yaletown Partners.

FREDsense—the FRED standing for Field Ready Electrochemical Detector—is behind portable field kits to test for chemicals in water. But unlike typical water testing processes that require samples to be analyzed in a lab, FREDsense can be used on site, saving time and money.

“What’s unique about FREDsense is that they enable highly accurate contaminant detection immediately in the field,” said Nate Glubish, the investment manager for Accelerate Fund II.

The portable water solutions mean groundwater operators can assess chemicals at the water source and modify water treatment immediately.

“There is no requirement for a lab technician at the source, so on-site staff can use FREDsense’s product to get rapid results right on the spot. There’s the potential to transform company workflows, and provide unprecedented speed in the detection of dangerous substances,” he added.

The water testing technology is being used in water utilities, groundwater well testing and gold mines in North America. In Quebec, FREDsense portable testing technology is being used at a mine to assess contaminant levels in effluent, which is liquid waste that is discharged into water. Environmental compliances like these help regulate water safety.

The Calgary startup said the company will use the new funding to expand their business and refine their technology.

“With this latest investment, we can accelerate commercialization of our technology, expand our range of contaminant sensors, advance into the broader U.S. market, and develop a more robust IP strategy,” said David Lloyd, CEO of FREDsense.

This year, FREDsense was part of three accelerator programs, including the newly formed Creative Destruction Lab at the University of Calgary’s Haskayne School of Business.