When Evoquas technology company was awarded $4.5 billion in government funding in 2019, it was hailed as a game changer for water and sanitation.
The company, which has been around for nearly 20 years, was hailed by the U.S. Department of Energy for developing water desalination technology that uses ultra-high pressure water to produce water that can then be piped to homes and businesses.
It’s now on track to reach 20 million customers across 20 countries, including India, where Evoquans technology has been hailed as the first step toward sustainable agriculture.
But as Evoquan’s technology has advanced, the company has faced criticism for some of its business practices, including using water to power equipment and its business model of using recycled water to create water-based drinks.
Now, Evoquos CEO Andrew Deutsch says the company will change the way it does business, and it plans to start making its water-powered products commercially available by the end of 2021.
Evoquo’s new CEO Andrew DiSacco, who recently joined the company as a senior executive, has also taken steps to reform the company, including launching a new brand called Evoquacare and overhauling its water business.
He announced the change of strategy last week at the company’s first annual investor conference in San Francisco, which attracted about 20,000 attendees.
“We’re going to be doing a lot of changes and pivoting in the future,” Deutsch said.
“I think what we’re going through in the U-turn and pivots and rethinking what we do and how we do it is something that we have to go through in order to be successful and continue to grow.”
The company has made a series of changes since its initial investment in 2014.
While it initially focused on water-sourced drinks, the last five years have seen Evoquaras focus shift from making water-derived drinks to a more broad range of products that are sold as “food” and other products that include water-absorbing cosmetics, toothpaste, and other household products.
In addition, the U., US, and Europe have enacted legislation that prohibits companies from using water in products that use it for their own purposes, including water-containing beverages.
Evoqua’s products include a water-purifying toothpaste for the home, a water filter for cars, and a product for washing dishes.
In its water powered products, Evoque also offers an alternative for people who can’t afford to buy water from municipal systems, or even those who live in rural areas that have few tap water sources.
“It’s been a really tough year for Evoqos,” said Deutsch.
“In many ways, we’ve been at the forefront of a very difficult transition.
We’ve had to make some really hard decisions about how we’re growing and expanding and we’ve had a lot to learn and we haven’t been able to do it in a way that people have seen it before.”
To that end, Evojacare is moving forward with plans to sell its water and wastewater services to a number of other global companies.
“That’s going to allow us to take on other opportunities,” Deisch said.
Deutsch also announced that Evoquashield, a subsidiary of Evoquan, will start selling Evoquacharge products to the public in the next year.
That deal will allow customers to purchase Evoquascare and Evoquamake, a collection of products in a range of health and wellness categories that are intended to be affordable for people with limited budgets.
“The way the business is going now, we’re trying to focus on providing the products that people need and that we feel are best for them,” Deitsch said.
It may sound like an ambitious move, but it’s the kind of change that is needed to be able to compete in a changing marketplace, he said.
In a report released by the University of Texas at Austin earlier this year, Deutsch highlighted the importance of making Evoquis products affordable for all consumers.
“There’s a huge opportunity to change the game for water- and wastewater-based water products,” he said in the report.
“And we are on the cusp of doing just that.”
Deutsch expects that the company can continue to make strides in the years ahead.
“As we get to a place where people can afford to use Evoquakess, we are confident that we will continue to do well in the marketplace,” he added.
“But we will also have to make the change in how we approach water, because we have a long way to go before we have the right technology.”
In addition to the $4 billion in federal funds, Deitsch also announced a partnership with Nestlé, the world’s largest consumer product maker, which is expected to be one of the first major new entrants to the market.
“This is a great day for Nestlé and for the world