LARQ, which makes germ-killing, reuseable hydration products, announced today that it has raised a $10 million Series A round of funding. The round was led by Seventure with participation from DCM.
Launched in 2018, LARQ’s first product was a reusable water bottle. What makes LARQ different from other reusable water bottles on the market is the built in UV-C light inside the container. Push a button and the light turns on for 60 seconds, which according to the company is enough to neutralize up to 99.9999 percent of harmful bacteria and viruses. The interior surface of the LARQ also has a special optical coating to reflect the light for maximum efficacy. The UV light used does not contain mercury.
With its new money, the California-based LARQ plans to expand internationally and into new product categories. Earlier this month, the company launched its new water pitcher on Kickstarter (where it blew past its $50,000 goal to raise more than $674,000 dollars). In addition to the UV light, the LARQ pitcher also features a plant-based carbon filter that the company says uses 75 percent less plastic than other water filter pitchers.
LARQ’s bottles and pitcher are certainly arriving at the right time for a number of reasons. Plastic waste remains a huge problem for our planet. More than 8 million metric tons of plastic waste wind up in our oceans each year, and that stat was prior to the COVID pandemic. Since the pandemic hit the problem has only gotten worse with the surge in single-use items like gloves, masks and food containers. Oh, and then there’s the recent reveal that we were misled about plastic’s ability to be recycled in the first place.
Speaking of COVID, given how the pandemic continues to run its course around the U.S. and internationally, people have a more heightened sense of the germs they are exposed to. Having a reusable water bottle that reduces plastic waste and cleans itself seems to the right idea at the right time (though it doesn’t appear that LARQ makes any specific claims about COVID-19).
According to the press release, LARQ sold more than 75,000 units in 2019. LARQ bottles sell for $78 a pop, and are available online and through a number of retail partners like Nordstrom and Bloomingdales.