Blog Archive

Friday, 18 January 2013

Nuclear Cleanup Co. Kurion Shows ‘Waste Wins’ in Clean-Tech.


By Yuliya Chernova
Kurion’s water-treatment system at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant in Japan.
Kurion, a small startup that removed 70% of the radioactivity from the waste-water at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant in Japan, is a testament to the possibilities that clean-technology investing can create.
“They have become one of the most profitable clean-tech companies that no one has ever heard of,” said Josh Wolfe, managing partner at New York-based Lux Capital, a venture firm that founded Kurion.
The contract with Tokyo Electric Power yielded about $100 million in revenue and a $40 million profit for Kurion in one 12-month period, said Wolfe. Kurion, which now has 29 employees, was the only U.S. business to participate in the post-tsunami nuclear cleanup in Japan.
With less than $6 million in funding, from investors including Lux and Firelake Capital Management, Kurion has accomplished what few clean-tech companies have done even with hundreds of millions of dollars of investment.
Now the company is taking steps, such as acquisitions, executive hires, and partnerships, to grow the business beyond that first successful win, as Dow Jones VentureWire detailed in a story on Monday.
Lux’s investment in Kurion in 2008 was a contrarian move at a time when everyone who was anyone in the venture community was backing other types of clean-tech.
“We have shunned every electric vehicle, solar, and battery deal,” said Wolfe.

Post a Comment