(858) 880-0252 [email protected]


















What they do & why the LACI Cleantech Debt Fund invested

Founded in 2019 by Nigel Sharp, Brian Pinkard, PhD, and Chris Woodruff, Aquagga is a cleantech startup with a mission to advance health equity and environmental justice by removing toxic “PFAS”—“forever chemicals”—from our environment and water supplies.

Aquagga provides equipment and services to safely destroy and dispose of PFAS-contaminated waste with applications in environmental remediation and industrial wastewater treatment. Aquagga’s patented Hydrothermal Alkaline Treatment (HALT) is designed to be a safer, more effective, and more sustainable alternative to current methods such as incineration and landfilling. Their hydrothermal processing concept won first place in the “Innovative Ways to Destroy PFAS Challenge” from the Environmental Protection Agency in 2020. More recently, Aquagga is a 2024 finalist for Sustainable Innovation of the Year at the GeekWire Awards.

Why “Aquagga”? The company takes its name from a “quagga”—an extinct relative of the African zebra. Why zebras? Zebra companies, as opposed to competitive “unicorn” companies, are committed to cooperation and sustainable, shared prosperity. (As founding members of the Zebras Unite Co-Op, we’re inclined to agree.) As Aquagga points out on its website, “Aqua in the name is a bonus.”

Aquagga has demonstrated its commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion through participation in Elemental Excellerator’s Empowering Diverse Climate Talent (EDICT) internship program, as well as the pursuit of projects in frontline communities impacted by PFAS contamination. Currently operating as a Public Benefit Corporation, Aquagga is actively working towards B Corp certification.

Aquagga came to the LACI Cleantech Debt Fund via participation in the Cascadia Cleantech Accelerator (hosted by VertueLab and the Cleantech Alliance). Managed by Mission Driven Finance, the LACI Cleantech Debt Fund invests in companies working on solving challenges related to climate change. Capital from the fund will enable Aquagga to hire two additional scientists, purchase equipment for new units, and improve existing units.

Impact Segment

Inclusive green economy

Impact Vehicle

LACI Cleantech Debt Fund

Date of Investment

January 2024

Impact Geography

Tacoma, WA


Nigel Sharp
Co-founder & CEO

Brian Pinkard
Co-founder & CTO

Chris Woodruff
Co-founder & COO

Year Founded