Proven Technologies and Business Models, Now Gradiant Accelerates (“Boston Business Journal”)

Published on November 21, 2021


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A local cleantech startup with ties to MIT has raised a massive round of funding, which the company’s co- founder touted as the “last private placement” before looking at going public.


Gradiant, which develops tech systems to clean and recycle industrial wastewater, said on Wednesday it raised over $100 million. Warburg Pincus and Schlumberger New Energy led the Series C round, which brings Gradiant’s total funding to over $200 million since its incorporation in 2012.


CEO Anurag Bajpayee and COO Prakash Govindan co-founded Gradiant right after completing their PhDs in mechanical engineering from MIT. The company has an office with 20 people in Woburn, where Bajpayee is based, while Govindan moved to Singapore to oversee the company’s many manufacturing clients based in Asia.


Anurag Bajpayee (left), co-founder and CEO of Gradiant, and Prakash Govindan, co-founder and COO, incorporated the cleantech company in 2012.


A total of 350 employees work for Gradiant across Houston, Denver, Singapore, India, China and Australia. The company plans to double its team in the Bay State to 40 over the next year, according to Govindan, by adding technical folks and product development engineers.


“This is likely our last private placement,” Govindan said. “We’ll look into going public at some point depending on various factors, external factors in addition to our execution and how well we do. We’re looking at all ways of going public: the direct listing, or IPO or SPACs.”


Gradiant’s initial market was treating oilfield wastewater, but it has now expanded to remove a variety of water contaminants (such as suspended solids, organics or dissolved matter) for customers in sectors such as semiconductors, pharmaceuticals, food and beverage and textile. The company’s special expertise is what Govindan called “zero-liquid discharge,” or the ability to turn wastewater into fresh water with no other liquid side product coming out of the system.


Gradiant, which builds its cleaning systems inside the factories of its clients, expects to bring in $60 million in revenue at the end of this year and has signed contracts for around $120 million in 2022, according to Govindan.


“We have proven out the technologies, we have proven out the business models, and it’s time for Gradiant to implement a lot more of what we have already achieved,” Govindan said. “We don’t sell widgets. We sell a solution.”