Deal Dive: Gradiant is the new kind of unicorn worth getting excited about

remember when it was really interesting to see a startup become a unicorn?

A company hitting the billion dollar valuation mark used to be a rare event, hence the term ‘unicorn’. But for 2020 and 2021, it was the complete opposite. Every week it was like, “Oh, another crypto unicorn? Excellent. Wow, fifth neobank this month. Amazing. Wait, wasn’t that company founded last year?

I’m not saying this to diminish the achievements of any of those companies, but the investment rush of 2020 and 2021 made that once-scarce milestone almost seem like a late-game bet on the table.

But in today’s tougher funding market, unicorns are rare again. And there’s a new entrant showing us what unicorns might look like in 2023.

This week, Boston-based Gradiant said it has raised a $225 million Series D round led by Centaurus Capital at a $1 billion valuation. The company creates tools to manage and treat wastewater for companies in industries such as food and beverage, pharmaceuticals, and mining.

Gradiant co-founder and CEO Anurag Bajpayee told TechDigiPro+ that the company has essentially doubled revenue every year for the past several years. “If you think about the industrial revolution and global industry, we have been taking water from nature. We have an opportunity to turn back the clock on the state of water on this planet and return water to nature,” Bajpayee said.


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