San Diego Business Journal

Encinitas-based water purification startup Cyclopure raised a $4 million round led by Qualcomm Co-Founder Irwin Jacobs. The company plans to use the additional funding to commercialize its filtration product, Dexsorb, which the company says can remove tiny chemicals from tap water. In particular, the company’s product targets including per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), a group of chemicals that don’t break down easily and may cause adverse health effects when accumulated, according to the Food and Drug Administration.

“It is exciting to see a technology with the potential to address many of the challenges that we face today,” Jacobs said in a news release. “Access to affordable and safe water is fundamental to healthy communities. It also can reduce reliance on single use plastics; a major environmental problem. Sustainable use of water resources and healthy ecosystems are increasingly under stress from changes in global environmental conditions. We are pleased to support innovation that targets these problems.”

Cyclopure CEO Frank Cassou said the funding would help the company bring its home-based water test kit to market in the next year. He said the company plans to launch a series of testing a purification products between now and fall of 2020.

“Commercially, we want to use our smart and sustainable science to offer a suite of solutions to restore tap water to a level of trust with households,” Cassou said in a news release. "Environmentally, we want to help close the window on single use plastics as a water source – it’s bad for the pocketbook, unreliable in quality and awful for the environment. We’re old school; we think ‘drinking water’ should be drinkable.”

In total, Cyclopure has raised $10 million in funding, including a $3.5 million series A round and Small Business Innovation Research grants from the National Science Foundation and National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. The company was founded in 2016 by Cassou and Will Dichtel, a chemistry professor with Northwestern University.

“We can’t thank Dr. Jacobs enough for his commitment and support of Cyclopure’s efforts to develop novel solutions to make safe and affordable drinking water available in the home,” Cassou said. “Irwin and his wife Joan care deeply about community health issues. We appreciate their belief in our mission to restore home tap water to drinking water quality for the benefit of personal health, family incomes and the environment.”