August 9, 2012

Money, money, money

Even with the economic doldrums, there are still money floating around for green chems and biofuel. Here are some of the recent ones that came to the blog's attention. The blog, of course, already posted about Genomatica getting its $41.5m financing from new investor and partner Versalis as well as existing investors Alloy Ventures, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Mohr Davidow Ventures, TPG Biotech, VantagePoint Capital Partners and Waste Management.
  • Elevance raises $104m in its series E financing round led by Lacustrine Ltd (via Genting Genomics) and Total Energy Ventures.
  • Global Bioenergies have raised EUR3.04m on Paris-based NYSE Alternext from 153,459 new shares issued with a price of EUR 19.80 per share. The company now has a market capitalization of around EUR36m ($45.5m). 
  • Myriant receives $25m private bond placement under the US Department of Agriculture's Business and Industry loan guarantee program. Myriant is the first bio-based chemicals company to receive funding from USDA's B&I Rural Development Loan Guarantee program.
  • Amyris will receive up to $82m from Total's funding budget over the next three years exclusively for the deployment of Amyris' Biofene in renewable diesel and jet fuel applications. Upon completion of the research and development program, Total and Amyris intend to form a joint venture company that would have exclusive rights to produce and market renewable diesel and/or jet fuel, as well as non-exclusive rights to other specialty products.
  • Zeachem has been awarded part of a $6m grant by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and US Department of Energy (DOE) for the development of advanced biofuels utilizing tropical grasses. ZeaChem is part of a consortium led by the University of Hawaii that includes Oregon State University, Washington State University, Hawaiian Commercial and Sugar Company, and Hawaii BioEnergy LLC.
  • Cooper Tire & Rubber Company and its consortium partners has been awarded $6.9m grant from the USDA. The four-year grant will focus on research efforts aimed at developing enhanced manufacturing processes, testing and utilizing of guayule natural rubber as a strategic source of raw material in tires, and evaluating the remaining biomass of the guayule plant as a source of bio-fuel for the transportation industry.
  • Edeniq, a biomaterials and sustainable fuels company, has secured a $3.9 million grant from the California Energy Commission (CEC). The grant is part of California’s Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program, which provides funding for the development of new, California-based biofuel production facilities.
  • Fulcrum Sierra Biofuels has received a $105m loan guarantee from the USDA to finance development of its facility that can convert municipal solid waste into advanced biofuels. Once operational, the plant is expected to convert 147,000 tons of processed municipal solid waste into over 10 million gallons of advanced biofuels annually using a two-part thermo-chemical process.
  • Oakbio, the developer of microbe-based technology that captures CO2 from waste gas and converts the carbon into chemicals, has been awarded $474,843 in response to Grant Solicitation PON-11-502 of the Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) Program of the California Energy Commission. Oakbio’s research grant project will be initiated August 2012 and will run for 2.5 years.
  • Sweetwater Energy, a Rochester, NY-based cellulosic sugar manufacturer, has closed a $9m series A funding round. Earlier this year, Sweetwater began operation of its pilot-scale cellulosic sugar processing facility at its location in Rochester.
  • Chemtex International has been selected by the USDA to participate in the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP). The $3,996,000 award will support establishing and growing over 4,000 acres of miscanthus and switchgrass across eleven counties in North Carolina. This feedstock will be part of the biomass supply for Project Alpha, a 20 million gallon per year cellulosic ethanol biorefinery planned to be built in Sampson County with a plant startup expected in 2014.
Inventure Renewables and its sister company, Inventure International, have closed a $5m round of financing in May with an option to increase funding in a second tranche to a total of $12 Million. Lead investor Wilmar International has taken an equity stake in both companies. A portion of the funds will be used to build and operate a pilot plant to convert palm fiber waste and sugar cane bagasse into mixed sugars, which can be used for fermentation into ethanol, butanol, and the creation of building blocks for a range of industrial chemicals.

Virdia, formerly HCL CleanTech, a developer of cellulosic sugars bagged in March, a $75 million deal with the Mississippi Development Authority to build manufacturing plants in the state. Virdia also raised over $20 million early this year from Khosla Ventures, Burrill & Company and Tamar Ventures. In addition, the company closed $10 million in a venture debt deal with Triple Point Capital.

BioAmber has completed its Series C round of financing with net proceeds of $30 million. The financing was closed in two tranches; a first tranche of $20 million on November 4th, 2011 with existing investors Naxos Capital, Sofinnova Partners, Mitsui & Co. Ltd. and the Cliffton Group, and a second tranche of $10 million on February 6th, 2012 with specialty chemicals company LANXESS.

LS9 received earlier this year a $4.5m funding from the Florida Opportunity Fund's (FOF) Clean Energy Investment program. The Clean Energy Investment Program was created to promote the adoption of EE/RE products and technologies in Florida by providing funding to businesses to increase the use of EE/RE technologies, equipment and materials in the State.

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