Startup aims to make filtered water an app-driven subscription service in the home

With so many scandals around the quality of tap water these days, especially in the U.S., many people are turning to bottled water to drink. But this requires single-use plastics that are wreaking havoc on the environment.

One startup in Europe, Mitte, thinks it has the answer: filtering water direct from the tap. It has raised $10.6 million in a seed round. But it hasn’t started manufacturing yet. A new U.S.-based startup thinks it has a competitive solution.

oollee provides people with an unlimited supply of filtered drinking water for a small monthly fee. It’s now raised $1 million in pre-seed funding from investors, including Mission Gate Inc. and Columbus Holdings.

The idea is that with ordinary filters, people forget to maintain them and the water quality deteriorates. With oollee, maintenance and cartridge replacements are included in the monthly fee. To subscribe costs $29 per month (so less than $1 a day).

oollee uses the Reverse Osmosis method, where water is forced across a semipermeable membrane, leaving contaminants behind, which are then flushed down the drain. The clean drinking water collects in a holding tank. Usually, the installation and maintenance of an RO filter is costly and is too cumbersome for a house.

Umit Khiarollaev, CEO and co-founder of oollee says: “The small device connects to Wi-Fi and allows customers to monitor the water. The app reminds users to replace the filter element and lets them order new filters with a single click. Users can also check water condition, volume, temperature, and other factors.” Users also can check water condition, volume, temperature and other factors. The oollee water purifier filters water in four stages, re-introducing essential minerals in the final stage.

Competitors are all major bottled water or smart filter manufacturers, plus delivery services like Nestlé or Alhambra and the tech giant Xiaomi in China with water filters.