Mascara raises 2.2M€ to scale up its development

8 August 2019

Mascara was founded in 2014 by Marc Vergnet, an international manufacturer of wind turbines and hydraulic pumps and Maxime Haudebourg who has a sturdy background in automatic systems engineering and the agri-food sector.


Mascara designs, produces, installs, operates and maintains solar-powered desalination equipment for salt or brackish water.


The only manufacturer of its kind in the world, Mascara introduced its patented technology in 2017, a range of small and medium-capacity desalination units for isolated locations or areas with unstable electricity supply.

  • OSMOSUN® SW, a range of solar-powered seawater desalination units to treat 1-300 m³/day.
  •  OSMOSUN® BW, a range of solar-powered brackish water desalination units to treat 10-300 m³/day.



After an 18-month trial in two locations in Abu Dhabi with Masdar and in Bora Bora with Suez, the units were installed in a dozen more sites. The product has proved to be a competitively-priced source of fresh water for arid areas with plenty of sunshine.


The new equity invested will help take the company to the next stage, which involves growing sales, improving manufacturing procedures and embarking on an ambitious research programme.


Newly appointed general manager, Quentin Ragetly will be guiding the company to new heights.


Chairman Marc Vergnet:

“Water is already scarce and will get scarcer still. Desalination is the way to go but methods based on fossil fuels are neither clean nor sustainable. Mascara’s solar-powered desalination system is the future.

I am delighted to have convinced investors and to welcome them aboard Mascara. Together we will be helping to provide water to tens of thousands of island or isolated locations.


We are pleased to be able to boost our sales abroad and have set ourselves ambitious targets concerning medium-capacity units. Our patented technology gives us a head start in the desalination market, which although energy-hungry is increasingly looking to combine economy and ecology.” Bruno Jas of Sofimac Régions and Hervé Bachelot Lallier of Go Capital, co-leaders of the operation. “We are also proud to have by our side impact investment funds FAMAE and Gaia Impact Fund and are glad to benefit from their experience in the sector, as well as equity crowdfunding pioneer WiSEED which attracted a host of investors.


Nicolas Sérès, co-founder and general manager of WiSEED:

Mascara and WiSeed is a success story! The project attained the required score in the voting stage in a record two hours! And the enthusiasm was just as vigorous at the collection stage. Mascara reached its €600,000 target in less than a month. A staggering 784 people invested, acknowledging the project’s innovative nature, ecological outlook and crucial role in society. The team’s experience and successful technical trials were also key to the success. Mascara has what it takes to succeed in the long term and represents just the kind of sustainable development that WiSEED seeks to support. We are pleased to be part of this adventure and along with the co-investors we are keen to ensure Mascara remains leader in the desalination market.


Legal advisors:

For MASCARA NOUVELLES TECHNOLOGIES: Altaïr Avocats (Philippe Beauregard and Chiara Mascarello)

For the investors: Lamartine Conseil (Maeva Suire / Aude Marcheux)


Winner of two French environment and energy management agency (ADEME) innovation competitions, Mascara has patented its process in its main markets: Africa, the Indian Ocean, the Caribbean and the South Pacific.

Following an auspicious start, the company has installed 13 plants in the last two years, proving over and again that desalination by solar power, currently the world’s cheapest energy, is the way forward.



SOFIMAC Régions is an independent AMF-authorised investment management company specialising in development capital, local venture capital and turnaround investment. With offices in Paris, Clermont-Ferrand, Orléans, Lyon, Limoges, Aix-en-Provence, Caen and Rennes, SOFIMAC Régions has a loyal network of public and private subscribers. SOFIMAC Régions currently manages €450 million invested in over 200 companies. 

Venture capital company CENTRE CAPITAL DEVELOPPEMENT, managed by SOFIMAC REGIONS, has been operating in the Centre Val de Loire area since 1987. It is a minority partner in equity and quasi-equity capital and in development projects or company takeovers for up to €800,000.

Its main shareholders are the regional council, BpiFrance, local banks, companies, private individuals and a range of consular and employer organisations.

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GO CAPITAL is an independent seed capital and venture capital investment fund with €200 Million in assets under management invested in companies based in the west of France.

The €21.5-million Loire Valley Invest fund was launched in April 2017. Its subscribers are the BPI, the Centre Val de Loire regional council, the city councils of Orléans and Tours, the Crédit Agricole Centre Loire, Caisse d’Epargne Loire Centre, Banque Populaire Val de France, BNPP as well as Groupama Paris Val de France, Thelem Assurances, EDF, Michelin and Revicentre. Via the six equity funds it manages (GO CAPITAL Amorçage I and II, Ouest Ventures I, II and III and Loire Valley Invest), GO CAPITAL has invested in more than 100 companies, mainly in the digital, health and energy transition fields.

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WiSEED is the pioneer and leader of crowdfunding in France. A digital investment specialist, WiSEED offers investors the opportunity to compose a diverse portfolio of real economy investment and provides companies with fast, flexible, innovative funding.
Thanks to fine-tuned expertise and a proven ability to attract investors, WiSEED finances meaningful, responsible projects in the fields of environment, real estate, renewable energy, digital, health and food, in the secondary and tertiary sectors. Since it was founded in 2008, WiSEED has collected over €173 Million from over 125,000 for some 426 projects and has repaid 134 projects for a total of €66 Million. WiSEED is authorised by the French prudential supervision and resolution authority and is a recognised investment services company.

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Founded by Eric Philippon, FAMAE organises invention competitions in the field of sustainable development and supports projects that reduce our carbon footprint throughout the circular economy: waste, water, food, mobility and energy. Mascara won the competition in 2019. FAMAE is also an investment fund, FAMAE Impact. 

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Gaia Impact Fund is a French venture fund specializing in clean energy in sub-Saharan Africa and south-east Asia (solar kits, mini solar networks, pumping and technology).

Gaia was founded in 2017 by a team of specialist entrepreneurs in the renewable energy and social impact investment sectors. The company has supported 8 innovative companies in emerging countries and pursues a strategy of social and environmental impact investments.

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