Brussels start-up has its finger in the dyke of water loss

Brussels start-up has its finger in the dyke of water loss
© Shayp/Olivier Papegnies

The Brussels-based tech start-up Shayp has raised €1.9 million euros in fresh investment capital for a system to tackle huge water losses in buildings.

Shayp was set up in 2017 by three partners to work on a system to use technology to tackle the problem of major water losses in large buildings, whether industrial or residential, including apartment blocks.

According to the company, one in three large buildings suffers from water leaks, 95% of which go undetected. In 3% of buildings, leaks will lead to water damage. In the rest, they lead only to inflated water bills.

The technology appears simple: attack a plug & play monitor to the water meter. If at any point water consumption is seen to spike, the monitor will send an alert to an app or text message, so that the source of the leak can be investigated immediately, rather than waiting for the next water bill.

It doesn’t take a deluge for effect of leaks to be felt.

A toilet that keeps running can cost €700 a year,” said co-founder and operational director Gregoire de Hemptinne.

For a building with multiple leaks, you can make a huge difference by intervening more quickly. The investment in leak detection pays for itself through the water bill. The average saving on the water bill is 20%,” he said.

Since its beginning in 2017, the company has attracted the custom of major property owners like the city of Brussels and one of the schools networks in Flanders. In 1,000 buildings where the system was installed, water loss was cut by 500 million litres.

On average, 15% of the water in buildings is lost through leaks,” said Hemptinne. “In old buildings, such as those of the city of Brussels, the loss amounts to 40%. With our sensor, the loss has been reduced to about 20%.”

The new investment came from the Ghent-based property investor Amavi, and the Austrian property group Sygna. The capital injection will allow the company to broaden its customer base.

Within two to three years, we want to be monitoring 10,000 buildings in the Benelux, the UK, Germany and France,” said de Hemptinne. “We have set ourselves the ambition to save 100 billion litres of water per year by 2022.”

Alan Hope

The Brussels Times

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