Ventures WaterHealth International

In 2002, Plebys acquired a majority interest in WaterHealth International, and secured its breakthrough, water-disinfection technology platform, UV WaterWorks™, to take advantage of the immense opportunity to address a critical global need. While the technology had been validated and market tested, the company had stalled due to a non-sustainable business model, limited management capacity and inadequate funding.

Led by Dr. Tralance Addy, Plebys shepherded WaterHealth through a voluntary reorganization, preparing it for a new "integrated systems" strategy based on the UV WaterWorks™ platform. The core technology was integrated into an end-to-end solution with innovative financing, sales, marketing, and maintenance systems. With Plebys' leadership, WaterHealth raised more than $16 million from investors including Dow Venture Capital, Sail Venture Partners, the International Finance Corporation, and Acumen Fund. WaterHealth has been successful in recruiting top talent for its operations, both at its US headquarters and in affiliate countries. In India, the focus of WaterHealth's current efforts, the company has grown from two people at the beginning of 2006 to over 200 employees as of mid 2007.

WaterHealth's village-owned micro-utility systems, known as WaterHealth Centres, are spreading rapidly across India and provide affordable clean water to over one million customers. A $30 million loan guarantee agreement announced by Dow and WaterHealth at the 2007 Clinton Global Initiative is accelerating WaterHealth's growth, enabling the company to reach an additional 11 million customers in India within the next two years. For WaterHealth, Plebys has built the foundation for a major, billion dollar level company, capable of scaling quickly to tap the tremendous market demand for clean water worldwide. Recent recognition of WaterHealth's potential include:

  • "Ten to Watch" list, The Clean Tech Revolution: The Next Big Growth and Investment Opportunity (Ron Pernick and Clint Wilder, Collins 2007).
  • 2007 Toshiba Green Innovation Award.
  • "Go Green, Get Rich," Business 2.0 (January 2007).
  • "Behind One Effort to Tap Into India's Water Market", The Wall Street Journal (14 August 2007)
  • "Do-Good Capitalist of the Year", Inc. Magazine (December 2007)