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Submer: datacenters that make sense


Saying that we’re living in an era where data is king could be considered a bit of an understatement. But as data grows, so do the demands of data management and the infrastructure behind it. Submer is a company that provides solutions for datacentres, beginning with cooling, and spanning across to affect change in nearly every other element of IT infrastructure - from scaling, to power, to energy and memory.

“With the exponential increase of power density in recent and future server chip models, it's impossible to continue with air-cooling", explains Gloria Fluxà, Submer Marketing Director. “We need solutions that offer multiple benefits in terms of cost, power, maintenance, space, resources - datacentres that make sense, and that are sustainable in every way. Overall, we provide efficient and sustainable cooling by using planet-friendly chemicals, innovative hardware and software, and much more”.

Large datacentres need more powerful and efficient cooling systems. Consider the likes of banking or fintech and the amount of data they manage or store, and the speed they require. Submer’s active single-phase immersion cooling system helps users save space and energy, and increase compute capacity. But Submer also focuses on other aspects of datacenter infrastructure, like zero water waste or heat re-use (i.e., redirecting heat capture to heat homes and buildings, a city grid or local heat transference).

Co-founder Pol Valls recounts the company’s trajectory from the beginning: “I felt like – and once in fact – I was literally dunked into an immersion cooling pool with my co-founder Daniel Pope. We had an entrepreneurial spirit and knew that we wanted to do something. The datacenter industry was inefficient and outdated. There was a lot of waste being created by cooling systems and we thought that we could improve it. We put together some simple prototypes at first, pitching our ideas to start-up accelerators. We pitched, received feedback, redesigned our prototype iterations, pitched again, and continually improved. Over a period of three years, we literally crossed oceans and continents, working on business development strategy with early investors, partners and customers. Our big break came in 2018 when we got an EU grant which allowed us to hire a bigger team of talented engineers and business people to launch a full-scale prototype and bring the technology to production and start selling that year. It was a game-changer.”

Two years later, in 2020, Submer received an equity investment from EIF-backed venture capital firm Norrsken VC. “It helped us grow our team internationally, even expanding operations into the US. Partnering with a social investment impact fund aligned strongly with our core values, and provided exposure around our motivation towards improved sustainability and planet-friendly solutions for the datacenter industry.”

It’s been a formidable journey, but Pol remains upbeat: “We learned product-market fit the hard way. Often geeks become distracted by things that excite them, but their ideas do not emerge as a realistic market fit. Experience has helped us to improve in dealing with the ecosystem of public funding, investors, engineers, sales… We’re in a continuous learning cycle…”

Company: Submer (Spain)

Type of business: ICT

EIF financing: EFSI Sub-Window 1, Innovfin Equity

Financial intermediary: Norrsken

For further information about EIF intermediaries in Spain, please refer to: http://www.eif.org/what_we_do/where/es

Note: Following the recent withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, we are updating the relevant EIF.org pages.


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