Sustainable Urban Communities



Scaling access to clean water through sustainable businesses in developing markets

Team Lead

Dan Nolan

Solution Summary

The developing world is rapidly urbanizing, and existing infrastructure can’t keep up. To support this growth, Untapped developed a last-mile distribution platform to connect local retailers to a reliable supply of clean water and essential goods. Clean water is always in demand, making it a highly-effective anchor product and entry point to retailers.

Untapped uses decentralized water treatment centers as distribution platform hubs—regional stock points that make the final distribution leg to retailers more efficient. By integrating decentralized infrastructure with last-mile logistics and distribution, Untapped increases cost-efficiency and profitability for both, resulting in clean water and healthy foods available through local retailers at 25 to 50 percent of the lowest market prices.

Market Opportunity

  • Globally, 3.8 billion people don’t have regular access to clean, affordable water.
  • Every $1 invested in clean water and toilets returns an average of $4 in increased productivity.
  • Untapped plans to serve 100 million consumers by 2030.


  • Current run rate for Haiti pilot is $800,000 with profitability during 2018
  • New operations in Ghana, Rwanda, and Kenya
  • Recently launched tablet-based system for managing safe water enterprises

Organization Goals

  • Continue expansion of African locations and technology deployment
  • Initiate development of a large water treatment facility in partnership with investors, targeting scale-up of business model
  • Primary Haiti location will maintain profitability and has secured an loan for $300,000 against on-site inventory

Existing Partnerships

Untapped currently partners with:

  • Numerous entities around the world, including the World Bank’s IFC, IMO Bank, Leopard Bank, IO Utilities, and Danone Communities

Partnership Goals

Untapped seeks:

  • Potential project investment partners—$1.5 million in equity and grants over two years, with a $600,000 seed round in 2018
  • Water utilities or development agencies looking to expand population with access to treated water
  • Additional treatment technology partners

Solver Team

Organization Type:
For profit

San Francisco, CA, USA

Company Stage:

Working in:
Haiti, Kenya, Rwanda, Ghana



Solution Team:

  • Jim Chu Chief Executive Officer, UNTAPPED
  • Dan Nolan Untapped

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