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Water Management Startup HydroPoint Seeks Cash

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Water management company HydroPoint Data Systems is looking to raise between $4 million and $8 million, Chief Strategy Officer (updated: and former CEO) Chris Spain told us recently, and he expects the round to close in the second quarter. HydroPoint is open to adding new investors if it brings “real strategic” additional value, he added.

The Petaluma, Calif.-based company has raised $35.9 million from three earlier fundings, as well as an additional undisclosed sum from Citi’s Sustainable Development Investments in 2007. Other investors in those previous rounds include RockPort Capital Partners, Firelake Capital Management, Chrysalix Energy Venture Capital, Monitor Ventures, J.F. Shea Venture Capital, the venture capital arm of homebuilder Shea Homes, and The Toro Co., a landscaping firm.

Founded in 2002, HydroPoint sells an irrigation-control system, called WeatherTRAK, which uses satellite data and weather-predicting software to help calculate how much water to dispense to different plants. The system allows users to monitor and control the sprinkler systems at different properties from a single web dashboard.

The company claims its systems saves water, energy and money, and reduces water runoff. With more than 16,000 subscribers, it expects to save 11.3 billion gallons of water and 45 million kilowatt-hours of electricity this year. It also promises customer paybacks within 12 to 24 months for most systems and expects to save its customers more than $75 million this year.

Despite the penny-pinching environment, HydroPoint last month reported its strongest fourth-quarter results ever, with year-over-year revenue growth of more than 70 percent. And Regency Centers last month announced it had installed WeatherTRAK at 30 of its shopping centers.

Spain says the company’s project pipeline in January was 300 percent larger than it was the same month a year before, and is only getting bigger. HydroPoint’s also just grew its workforce by 8-10 percent, bringing its head count to 72, Spain says, and will likely start hiring again — mainly for sales and marketing positions — in the fall. “We’re not positive we’re recession-proof, but we definitely feel we’re recession-resilient,” Spain says.

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