High-Tech Gruenderfonds, the venture capital firm backed by the German government and a host of Germany-based corporations, exited water filtration technology company Terrawater yesterday, selling its stake to Taprogge Esaco, a holding company for Germany-based clean technology firm Taprogge. High-Tech Gruenderfonds contributed to a €600,000 ($420,000) seed round for Terrawater in September 2007, while Taprogge Esaco made its first investment in Terrawater in 2009. Since then, Terrawater and Taprogge have collaborated on the development of a series of treatment plants which use waste heat to desalinise (remove salt and other minerals from) sea water, making it suitable for household use. The plants have been utilised in Africa and Asia. Klaus Lehmann, senior investment manager at High-Tech Gruenderfonds, said: "We are happy that in Taprogge Esaco we have found the ideal buyer of our stake in Terrawater. To date the working relationship of both companies has been very positive and we are selling our stake with the good feeling that the partnership will be further intensified by this. For High-Tech Gruenderfonds this yields a good double digit return on investment." Detlef Taprogge, managing director of Taprogge Esaco, said: "Terrawater can rely on Taprogge’s excellent access to international desalinisation markets, in which Taprogge has for over 40 years been the indispensable and market-leading technology partner for operators of thermal desalinisation plants. This is where we enjoy an excellent technical reputation and are closely tied in." Taprogge continued: "With Terrawater we are tackling the big issues of the future: desalinisation without chemicals and a virtually CO2 free energy footprint – this is absolutely ground-breaking for the industry."

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