CIT GAP Funds and The Pearl Fund Lead $3M Opportunity Zone Investment in Micronic Technologies

10/21, 3:50 PM (Source: GlobeNewswire)

Richmond, VA, Oct. 21, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) and The Pearl Fund today announced that CIT GAP Funds and The Pearl Fund L.P. led a $3 million seed round investment in Micronic Technologies, Inc, with participation from CAV Angels. Located in a Southwest Virginia Opportunity Zone, Micronic Technologies is a developer of a breakthrough Zero Liquid Discharge (ZLD) water purification technology that reduces wastewater volume by 95% and removes over 99% of contaminants in a sustainable and cost-effective way that hasn’t been achievable until now.

Billions of people worldwide do not have access to clean water, yet U.S. households waste over 1 trillion gallons of water each year and 80% of water used in industries today is not reused. It is estimated that by 2030, demand for water will exceed sustainable supplies by 40%. In response to this global challenge, Micronic Technologies treats a variety of use cases for clean water, including wastewater treatment and reuse from oil and gas, mining, agricultural, food, beverage and pharmaceutical industries, as well as municipal landfills.

“As the nation's premiere qualified Opportunity Zone venture capital fund, The Pearl Fund is chartered to find high-potential, high-impact tech startups and game-changing entrepreneurs that can generate at least a 10X tax-free return for our investors,” said Brian Phillips, Managing Partner, The Pearl Fund. “Micronic Technologies is exactly the kind of Opportunity Zone investment we target. Woman-led and located in an area often overlooked by the majority of VCs, Micronic Technologies has exceptional potential for investor return and will have a significantly positive impact on the environment.”

CIT GAP Funds, named Virginia’s Most Active Investor for the past six years by CB Insights, places early-stage equity investments in Virginia’s high-growth based technology, life science, and cleantech companies. Micronic Technologies’ patented solution, Tornadic One-PassTM cleans water from virtually any source more efficiently, effectively and at a lower cost than any other technology on the market.

“We are pleased to join The Pearl Fund in this investment for Micronic Technologies. This round builds on our initial Virginia Founders Fund seed financing for the company in 2019, and proves out the application of an Opportunity Zone investment framework for funding tech startups and founders in traditionally underserved geographies,” said Tom Weithman, Managing Director, CIT GAP Funds. “Opportunity Virginia has also played a role in Micronic’s success and execution, and we look forward to replicating the Micronic investment model in other Opportunity Zone investments.”

Rich Diemer, Co-Chair and Treasurer, CAV Angels, added, “The CAV Angels is pleased to take part in this Micronic seed round alongside The Pearl Fund and CIT. We invest in world-class early-stage companies in support of the UVA entrepreneurial ecosystem. UVA-Wise sponsored Micronic Technologies in the Southwest Virginia region for their first Tobacco Commission Grant to develop their technology and our investment bolsters Micronic’s exciting commercial and environment enhancing prospects.”

According to the White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council’s May 2020 Opportunity Zones Best Practices Report to the President, revitalization projects in Opportunity Zones have delivered economic and social benefits to over 50 million Americans living in economically distressed communities.

“Micronic Technologies is determined to make a lasting impact on the world by creating a technology that not only cleans water from any source, but also enables water to be treated on the spot,” said Karen Sorber, CEO and co-founder, Micronic Technologies. “CIT GAP Funds, The Pearl Fund, and CAV Angels will play a significant role in the commercialization of our technology and the future growth and success of our company. As a result, we also hope to help the region by creating new high-paying manufacturing jobs in Southwest Virginia.”

To view a map of Virginia's Opportunity Zones, click here.

About Micronic Technologies
Based in Southwest Virginia, Micronic Technologies is a woman-led and co-founded small business and the developer of Tornadic One-Pass™, a sustainable water purification technology. Tornadic One-Pass™ removes virtually all contaminants from practically any water source and cleans to federal and state quality standards, in one pass without using membranes, filters, or chemicals. For more information, please visit www.micronictechnologies.com.  

About The Pearl Fund
The Pearl Fund was ranked one of the top 10 Opportunity Zone funds by Forbes. It is the first Opportunity Zone venture capital fund, investing in early-stage startups and their founders. Led by serial entrepreneur and global economic development expert Brian Phillips, who has been a founding member of over a dozen startups (two IPOs, two acquisitions and one sold via an MBO), The Pearl Fund focuses on high-potential businesses that can yield a 10X+ tax-free return along with positive social and economic impact in OZ communities. As a pioneer in OZ investing beyond real estate, The Pearl Fund has also developed a growing network of affiliated business-focused Pearl Funds, each with a particular geographic and industry lens. For more information, visit www.thepearl.fund.

About CAV Angels
CAV Angels is a non-profit angel group that invests in early stage growth companies with a focus on the UVA entrepreneurial ecosystem. We have a primary mission to provide education on investment in private, early stage companies for members of the UVA family.  For more information please see our website at www.cavangels.com.

About CIT GAP Funds
CIT GAP Funds makes seed-stage equity investments in Virginia-based technology, cleantech, and life science companies with a high potential for achieving rapid growth and generating a significant economic return for entrepreneurs, co-investors, and the Commonwealth of Virginia. Since its inception in 2005, CIT GAP Funds has deployed $30.2 million in capital across 237 investments, including 16 companies in designated Opportunity Zones. CIT GAP Funds’ investments are overseen by the CIT GAP Funds Investment Advisory Board (IAB). This independent, third-party panel consists of leading regional entrepreneurs, angel, and strategic investors, and venture capital firms such as New Enterprise Associates, Grotech Ventures,  Harbert Venture Partners HIG Ventures, Edison Ventures, In-Q-Tel, Intersouth Partners, SJF Ventures, Carilion Health Systems, Johnson & Johnson, General Electric, and Alpha Natural Resources. For more information, please visit www.citgapfunds.org.

About the Center for Innovative Technology (CIT)
Investing in Virginia's Growth | CIT concentrates on the early commercialization and seed funding stages of innovation, helping innovators and tech entrepreneurs launch and grow new companies, create high paying jobs and accelerate economic growth throughout the entire state of Virginia. Founded in 1985, CIT accelerates next generation technologies and technology companies through commercialization, capital formation, market development initiatives, and expansion of broadband throughout Virginia. Programs include | CIT GAP Funds | Commonwealth Research Commercialization Fund (CRCF) | Virginia Founders Fund | Broadband/Rural Broadband | Smart Communities | Cybersecurity | Unmanned Systems | SBIR/STTR Support (Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) & Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs) | University Partnerships | Startup Company Mentoring & Engagement. CIT’s CAGE Code is 1UP71. For more information please visit www.cit.org. You can also follow CIT on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

About the Center for Innovative Technology (CIT)
Investing in Virginia's Growth | CIT concentrates on the early commercialization and seed funding stages of innovation, helping innovators and tech entrepreneurs launch and grow new companies, create high paying jobs and accelerate economic growth throughout the entire state of Virginia. Founded in 1985, CIT accelerates next-generation technologies and technology companies through commercialization, capital formation, market development initiatives, and expansion of broadband throughout Virginia. Our programs include | CIT GAP Funds | Commonwealth Research Commercialization Fund (CRCF) | Virginia Founders Fund | Broadband/Rural Broadband | Smart Communities | Cybersecurity | Unmanned Systems | SBIR/STTR Support (Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) & Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs) | University Partnerships | Startup Company Mentoring & Engagement. CIT’s CAGE Code is 1UP71. | For more information, visit www.cit.org or follow CIT on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Taylor Hadley
CIT GAP Funds (LaunchTech Communications)
978-877-2113
taylor@golaunchtech.com

Alysha Light
The Pearl Fund (FLIGHT PR)
alysha@flightpr.com

Sara Pomakoy Poole
Center for Innovative Technology (CIT)
sara.poole@cit.org
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