Bellingham technology firm receives $11 million investment that could add local jobs

A local tech firm focused on helping other companies better manage water usage has received a big investment that will allow them to expand and hire more people.

Apana announced earlier this week that it has a received a second round of venture funding totaling $11 million. This funding could add another 40 jobs locally in the next 18 months as the company makes plans to expand into European and Asian markets, said Matt Rose, co-founder and CEO of Apana.

The company, which is on the Pacific Highway north of Bellingham, currently has 16 employees, 10 of which are based in Bellingham. It uses sensors and software to help businesses like Costco and the Bellagio hotel monitor water usage. The system is called the Intelligent Water Management Platform.

This second round of funding was led by Japan’s Kurita Water Industries Ltd., with participation from several other groups. Apana raised $3.5 million in a first round of funding a little over two years ago from a similar group.

Rose noted in an email that Kurita can help Apana successfully enter the Asian market. The funding will also help expand its sales opportunities in the U.S.

Apana plans on hiring around 10 to 15 people this year, mostly in technology and administrative positions, followed by more hires in 2020.

When it was known as Kirkland Analytics, the company won $10,000 at a statewide First Look Forum in 2014. The company was started with the ideal of monitoring commercial and industrial buildings, usually saving clients more than 20 percent on water use by finding failure points inside the structures.

“Facility operators and property managers use the platform to avoid costs, protect assets and eliminate waste across the built environment,” Rose said.