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Molekule: An air purification company with Tampa Bay ties scores $25 million investment.

Yogi Goswam, a mechanical engineer at the University of South Florida, developed the world's first molecular air purifier, which not only traps pollutants in the air, but also breaks them down into natural compounds like water and carbon dioxide. Photo courtesy of Molekule.
Published Nov. 5, 2018

Molekule, an air filtration company with roots in Tampa Bay, has come a long way in the past few years.

The company says it has grown to 80 employees and hit more than $1 million in sales every month since launching its flagship portable air purifier in 2016. Time Magazine named the purifier one of the 25 best inventions and it received an honorable mention in Fast Company's innovation design awards.

Today, the company announced it had secured $25 million in funding, thanks to a deal led by the Foundry Group, a Colorado-based firm that invests largely in technology companies.

"Molekule has a massive opportunity to bring relief to millions of people suffering from respiratory issues like asthma and allergies as well as people who just want to live a healthier lifestyle," said Chris Moody, a Foundry Group partner. "I've experienced the benefits of Molekule's innovative technology firsthand, and am thrilled to partner with its team to set a new standard and revolutionize an outdated industry."

University of South Florida engineering professor Yogi Goswami invented the purifier, which uses a process called photo electrochemical oxidation instead of the standard HEPA system. A LED light inside the purifier simulates sunlight to create a chemical reaction in a replaceable filter that breaks down harmful molecules like allergens and chemicals. The Molekule can trap pollutants up to 1,000 times smaller than what a traditional HEPA filter catches, according to the company.

"We don't just filter pollutants, we destroy them," Goswami told the Tampa Bay Times in 2016..

Molekule, based in San Francisco, is run by his son, Dilip Goswami.

"My father first created our ... technology to help relieve my chronic asthma symptoms," he said in a news release. "Dirty air is a health crisis that's largely unknown or ignored, unless or until someone has a respiratory ailment or there's a massive fire or flood."

The purifier, a 2-foot tall aluminum cylinder, retails for $799 on Molekule's website

Contact Graham Brink at gbrink@tampabay.com. Follow @GrahamBrink.

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