Genomatica Raises $45 Million, for Demonstration-scale Production and Commercial Plant Engineering
SAN DIEGO, March 1, 2011 /PRNewswire/ – Genomatica, the emerging leader in sustainable chemicals, announced it has raised an additional $45 million. New investors include VantagePoint Venture Partners, the largest investor in this new round, which has committed $2.5 billion to cleantech investment; Bright Capital, the venture arm of RU-COM group, a diversified business group based in Russia with investments in industrial engineering and construction management, power and coal-mining, agriculture, housing and public utilities; and Waste Management, the leading provider of waste management services in North America. All existing investors joined the new round – Alloy Ventures, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Mohr Davidow Ventures and TPG Biotech.
The new investment will be used to complete demonstration-scale production and early commercialization plans for Genomatica’s first commercial product, Bio-BDO, a ‘green’ version of 1,4-butanediol (BDO) made from renewable feedstocks rather than oil or natural gas. BDO, an intermediate chemical with a $4 billion market worldwide, is used to make spandex, automotive plastics, running shoes and more. Successful operation at demonstration scale during 2011 will validate organisms, processes and manufacturing economics, and allow development of the basic engineering package to be used in construction of Genomatica’s first commercial-scale plant, planned for operation in late 2013. The investment will also accelerate the development of additional major chemicals in Genomatica’s product pipeline.
Large markets, leading technology and transformative economics
“Genomatica’s focus on major chemicals with large existing markets, its demonstrated technology platform, its cost-saving direct, one-step production, and its industry-relevant management team made it a compelling addition to our portfolio of transformative CleanTech companies,” said Alan Salzman, chief executive officer and managing partner at VantagePoint Venture Partners.
“Genomatica’s technology, including the breadth of chemicals it can produce and feedstocks it can use, has value in both established and emerging economies, for chemical companies, feedstock suppliers and downstream materials producers,” said Mikhail Abyzov, chairman of RU-COM. “We believe they can become the partner of choice for the chemical industry when it comes to renewable products and sustainability.”
Rapid progress toward full commercialization
“We’re gratified by the vote of confidence by our new and existing investors,” said Christophe Schilling, chief executive officer of Genomatica. “We’re focused on delivering superior project rates of return to our industry partners and building a great company for the long-term – one that will have a lasting impact.”
The latest financing marks another milestone for Genomatica toward full commercialization of its first product, Bio-BDO, which it has been successfully producing at pilot scale in 3,000-liter fermentations since the first half of 2010.
To date, Genomatica has achieved productivity, yield and titer at pilot scale that would allow cost competitiveness with the best petro-based BDO cash costs in the world. Genomatica plans to achieve the overall Bio-BDO process performance needed for cost-advantaged production in 2011, followed by the first world-scale manufacturing plant to be operational in late 2013, representing the first world-scale direct production of a renewable intermediate or basic chemical.
Genomatica is the emerging leader in sustainable chemicals: ‘greener’ intermediate and basic chemicals made from renewable feedstocks, rather than oil and gas. The company aims to transform the chemical industry through cost-advantaged, smaller-footprint products as direct replacements in a trillion-dollar market. Genomatica was named one of ’10 Big Green Ideas’ by Newsweek, and was featured on Forbes.com. Genomatica has been successfully producing its first product, Bio-BDO, at pilot-scale since the first half of 2010. BDO, an intermediate chemical with a $4 billion market worldwide, is used to make spandex, automotive plastics, running shoes and more.
Genomatica’s integrated bio-process engineering platform and extensive intellectual property allow it to rapidly develop organisms and processes to produce dozens of the most significant intermediate and basic chemicals from renewable feedstocks, like sugars, and later, from biomass and syngas.
Genomatica has raised $84 million from investors including Alloy Ventures, Bright Capital, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Mohr Davidow Ventures, TPG Biotech, VantagePoint Venture Partners and Waste Management.