Sherbrooke, Que.-based Oneka Technologies has closed the $12.5 million first tranche of its Series A funding round, which included Invest Nova Scotia and was led by British Columbia’s Hoffecker family, with plans to raise up to another $10 million.

Oneka is developing seawater desalination buoys powered by wave energy in an effort to address the high energy requirements of conventional systems. Matthias and Ira Hoffecker, meanwhile, are impact investors who made their money from a major film distribution business in Germany, before moving to Canada in 2004. Matthias Hoffecker also has expertise in marketing and has previously run clean energy-related businesses.

Other investors in the round included angels and family offices, as well as Montreal’s Horizon Capital Holdings, Propulia Capital and AQC Capital, and Nova Scotia retail entrepreneurs the Wilson Family.

In a statement, Oneka said the funding round will remain open until the end of this year in response to an abundance of interest from investors, provided the eight-figure cap is not met before then. But the company only wants strategic funders.

“My team and I are proud to welcome our new investors who share similar values and ambitions,” said CEO Dragan Tutic in a statement. “This investment that enables us to have the means of our ambition is received with great responsibility and will effectively be put to use to accelerate our progress toward our mission.”

Founded in 2015 by mechanical engineer Tutic, Oneka previously tested a prototype off Eastern Passage, Nova Scotia, and now maintains an office at the Centre for Ocean Ventures and Entrepreneurship bluetech hub in Dartmouth.

In March, the company finalized a $14.1 million Ocean Supercluster deal to work with Nova Scotia shipyard A.F. Theriault & Son, Quebec City water treatment specialists H2O Innovation and the town of Barrington, Nova Scotia, to build and deploy a “utility-scale” version of its desalination buoy.

And in April, Oneka both received a $4.9 million grant from research and development work from Sustainable Development Technology Canada and officially launched its Chilean subsidiary. The new entity is meant to build on the success of a six-month test project off the coast of Agarrobo, near the Chilean capital of Santiago.

“Through our ownership of the CSL Group, a global maritime transportation and logistics company, whose focus on sustainability is at the core of our operations and our partnerships with our customers, we understand how Oneka’s desalination products provide mining companies and remote coastal communities with the most cost competitive and, as importantly, climate and ecosystem friendly solutions,” said Horizon Capital CEO David Martin.