Turning tap water into mineral water: Danone leads investment in startup Mitte

By Rachel Arthur

- Last updated on GMT

Mitte purifies water and enhances it with minerals.
Mitte purifies water and enhances it with minerals.

Related tags Danone Water Bottled water Entrepreneurship

Mitte, a ‘first of its kind’ smart home water system, has secured $10.6m in financing, in a financing round led by Danone Manifesto Ventures, VisVires New Protein Capital and Kärcher New Venture.

Mitte, a Berlin-based startup, was founded in June 2016 with its system that turns plain tap water into mineralized water at home. Its smart home water system does this by purifying water with a proprietary distillation-based method, and enhancing the water with essential minerals.

The brand says it wanted to respond to growing concerns about plain tap water quality around the world; and its mineral cartridges are designed to replicate the mineralization process of natural and pure water flows. It also allows users to personalize their daily drinking water with different cartridges with varying levels of natural minerals, as well as offering an alternative to plastic bottles.

Last week PepsiCo, which owns bottled water brands such as Lifewtr and Aquafina, announced it would acquire Israel-based SodaStream,​ another brand seeking to transform tap water in the home and tackle plastic bottle waste.  

Danone interest

Moritz Waldstein, founder and CEO of Mitte said, “For us, healthy water means two things; free of contaminants and full of minerals that are known to be essential for humans.

“We are confident that Mitte’s positive impact will affect every aspect of the way people consume water, the environment and make an impact on the hydration industry as a whole.”

Danone is the #2 producer of packaged waters by volume worldwide, with its portfolio including evian, Font Vella and Volvic.

Despite Danone’s firm position in packaged water, Laurent Marcel, managing director of Danone Manifesto Ventures, says Mitte offers a ‘strong strategic fit’ as it aligns with its goal of health through hydration. Instead of viewing Mitte as a competitor he calls Mitte a ‘complementary solution’​ that will contribute to the overall growth of the water category.

For Mitte, the partnership made sense for a number of reasons: “Danone Manifesto Ventures hassignificant expertise with premium water brands globally, is aligned with Mitte’s core values, and is focused on a business sustainability agenda,” ​the company told this publication. 

The financing round will support Mitte’s expansion plans, notably in the US where it ran a successful crowdfunding campaign in 2017 (the campaign was overfunded by 360%).

Matthieu Vermersch, founder and partner of VisVires New Protein Capital, an Asian venture fund which is also investing in Mitte as part of the financing round, sees particular promise for the technology in Asia. 

“Mitte offers a highly sustainable alternative to the burgeoning issue of plastic pollution, a phenomenon faced globally but notably in Asia where concerns over safe drinking water have been traditionally addressed via the purchase and consumption of bottled water," ​he said.

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