Advanced Bioeconomy ventures raise $1.262 billion in past 12 months, up 3.2%

rp_benjamins-lg.jpg44 deals, 37 companies; deal count jumps 16% but deal size drops 17% Here’s the complete skinny on who got what.

In Florida, The Digest reports that 12 advanced bioeconomy ventures raised $1.262 billion in new capital in Q3 2014 through Q1 2015 for company development — and pilot, demonstration and commercial-scale projects. This compares to $1.223 billion for the Q2 2013-Q2 2014 period, a gain of 5.2 percent. There was a notable shift towards debt issues (14 percent of deal flow and 34 percent of total raised) and towards commercial-scale projects (14 percent of deal flow and 33 percent of total raised).

The industry raised $412.36M in Q3 2014, $211.1M in Q4, and $234.1M in Q1 2015. Overall, the industry raised $1.277 billion in the past 12 months,  In addition, the Digest revised its Q2 2013 and Q3 2013 capital raise figures to $285.1M and 363.8M, respectively. Notable transactions in the period include $50M+ raises for Algenol and LanzaTech. Average deal size was $26.8M, compared to an average deal size of $32.2M in the same period last year.

The capital raising activity

Here’s the deal detail, as tracked at

Q1 2015

Edeniq – $16M Jan

Green Biologics – $76M Jan

Calysta – $10M Jan

Gevo – $6.18M Jan

Amyris – $21.7M Jan

Coskata – $2.34M Feb

Algenol – $65M Mar

Renmatix – $10M Mar (estimate)

Revolution Fuels – $0.98M Mar

TOTAL – $208.2M Q1 2015


Q4 2014

Aemetis – $19M Oct

LanzaTech– $60M Dec

Abengoa – $116M Dec

Greenbelt Resources – $0.5M Dec

Algae.Tec – $2.0M Dec

Cobalt – $0.9M Dec

Ensyn – $12.7M Dec

TOTAL – $211.1M Q4 2014


Q3 2014

Celtic Renewables – $2M July

Chromatin  – $12.5M July

BioAmber – $33.6M July

Amyris – $10.8M Aug

Gevo  – $16.8M Aug

Siluria – $30M Aug

Fulcrum – $75M April (estimate)

NexSteppe – $22M Aug

Agrisoma – $8M Sep

Liquid Light – $15M Sep

SGB – $11M Sep

Emerald Biofuels – $70M Sep

Red Rock Bio – $70M Sep

Pure Biofuels $5M Sep (estimate)

Metabolix$25M – Sep

Coskata $5.66M – Sep

TOTAL – $412.36M Q3 2014


Q2 2014

Verdezyne – $48M April

Cool Planet – $100M April

Pacific Ethanol– $28M April

Rivertop Renewables– $26M April

Methes Energies – $5M May

Avantium – $50M June

Amyris – $4M April

Gevo – $25.9M May

REG – $125M June

Cobalt – $2.9M April

Coskata – $5.2M April

KiOR – $10M May, June

TOTAL – $430.0M Q2 2014

Deals of note: Q3 2014 through Q1 2015

Q3 2014

In July, Celtic Renewables, the Edinburgh-based biofuel company, signed an agreement with Europe’s foremost biotechnology pilot facility to undergo next stage testing of its process to turn whisky by-products into biofuel that can power current vehicles.

The partnership, which will allow the company to develop its technology at Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant (BBEPP) in Ghent, has been made possible by second round funding worth £1.2million ($2M), including more than £800,000 from the UK Government, to help meet its ambition of growing a new £100 million-a-year industry in the UK.

In July, Chromatin closed a three-year, $12.5 million credit facility with The PrivateBank. The credit facility represents Chromatin’s first financing with a commercial lender and provides capital to support the company’s rapidly expanding sorghum seed business. Chromatin has also raised over $70 million in equity financing.

In July, BioAmber priced a 2.8M share offering at $12.00 per share, and raised $33.6M. The company granted the underwriters in the offering a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 420,000 shares of its common stock.

In August, Amyris raised $10.8M in a share offering.

In August, Gevo raised $16.8M in a share offering.

In August, Siluria Technologies received a strategic investment from Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures (SAEV), the venture investment subsidiary of Saudi Aramco. The total raise for this initial close of Siluria’s Series D financing was $30 million, and included additional investments by all of the major existing investors in Siluria. To date, Siluria has raised just under $100 million since its inception, and we’re expecting that total to reach north of $120 million with a completed Series D financing by year end of $50 million, or perhaps slightly higher.

In August, Cathay Pacific Airways announced that it is the first airline investor in Fulcrum BioEnergy, Inc., a US-based sustainable biofuel developer, as part of the airline’s biofuel strategy and to help it achieve a target of carbon-neutral growth from 2020. The airline has made a strategic equity investment in Fulcrum, which is a world pioneer in the development and commercialisation of converting municipal solid waste into sustainable aviation fuel or “biojet fuel.” Cathay Pacific also has an option for further investment. Cathay Pacific has also negotiated a long-term supply agreement with Fulcrum for an initial 375 million US gallons of sustainable aviation fuel over 10 years (representing on an annual basis approximately 2% of the airline’s current fuel consumption) that meets all the airline’s technical requirements and specifications. The Digest estimated the investment at $5 million.

In September, NexSteppe announced that it has raised $22M in its third round of funding. New investors Total Energy Ventures and ELFH Holding GmbH, a vehicle of the Berninghausen family in Germany, a serial founder and investor in cleantech, the wood industry and real estate, join existing investors Braemar Energy Ventures, CYM Ventures, DuPont Ventures and others.

In September, Agrisoma Biosciences announced the first closing of its Series A financing round, expected to total $8 million through 2014. The funding round was led by Cycle Capital Management and included participation of BDC Venture Capital, one of Agrisoma’s current equity investors.

In September, Liquid Light announced that it has closed a $15 million Series B financing. New investors include Sustainable Conversion Ventures, which focuses on renewable fuels and chemicals investments. Existing investors VantagePoint Capital Partners, BP Ventures, Chrysalix Energy Venture Capital, and Osage University Partners also participated in this round. The financing was completed at a significant increase in company valuation.

In September, SGB raised $11 million in venture funding as the company prepares to sell renewable jatropha. Investors included Thomas McNerney & Partners, Finistere Ventures and Flint Hills Resources, a wholly owned subsidiary of Koch Industries. The company used genetic technology to determine which plants had the most promising traits, then bred them, said Miguel Motta, SGB’s president and chief operating officer.

In September, the Department of Defense awarded $210 million under the Defense Production Act to Emerald Biofuels, Fulcrum BioEnergy and Red Rock Bio towards the construction of biorefineries that produce cost-competitive, drop-in military biofuels. Under the grants, the companies will build biorefineries to produce military spec fuel that is expected to cost the US military, on a weighted average, less than $3.50 per gallon — or cost competitive with petroleum-based fuels, with availability expected as soon as 2016, and have a 50 percent of greater reduction of emissions compared to conventional fuels. The biorefineries, once complete, will have a combined capacity for producing 100 million gallons of military-spec jet fuel and marine diesel. Based on previous announcements by the Navy, the Digest estimates that the capital is split evenly between the projects.

In September, BP announced an equity investment of an undisclosed amount in Pure Biofuels del Peru. Based in Lima, Pure Biofuels is a leader in the Peruvian refined fuels and distribution services markets. Pure Biofuels currently has over 1,000,000 barrels of liquid fuels storage at the Port of Callao, the largest port on the Pacific Coast of South America. The Company markets and distributes liquid fuels and biofuels in both the local and regional markets and also owns and operates a state-of-the-art biodiesel refinery co-located with the storage and dispatch terminal in Callao. The Digest estimated the investment at $5 million.

In September, Metabolix raised $25.0M in a reg D offering.

In September, Coskata raised $5.656M in a reg D offering.

Q4 2014

In October, Aemetis announced $19 million in EB-5 program funds have been received into escrow from foreign investors, representing more than 50% of the maximum of $36 million to be raised in the offering. A total of 47 qualified investors at $500,000 per investor have subscribed for $23.5 million in the offering.

In December, the New Zealand Superannuation Fund has made a US$60 million equity investment in leading gas fermentation company LanzaTech. The LanzaTech investment is one of a series of ‘expansion capital’ investments made by the NZ Super Fund in recent years, providing capital to privately-owned, early-stage companies that are seeking to grow, but are not yet ready to list on the public markets. While only around 1% of the overall NZ Super Fund is invested in expansion capital, Gormly says it is appropriate that it is part of the mix. “The Fund is well diversified and expansion capital’s risk/return profile is a good match for growth-oriented investors with a long time horizon.”

In December,  the Brazilian National Bank for Economic and Social Development approved $223.38 in financing for four sugarcane projects. The largest announced financing is for Abengoa Bioenergy SA Agribusiness, which will receive $116.8M to implement its second-generation ethanol plant. The new project will be integrated with the Usina São Luiz first-generation ethanol plant in Pirassununga, in São Paulo state. The project will result in the fourth 2G ethanol plant in Brazil (after the first two from GranBio, and a new plant just commissioned by Raizen). The plant will have a nominal capacity of 64 million liters per year (16.93 million gallons). With this new investment, the capacity 2G ethanol production in Brazil will reach almost 200 million liters per year, BNDES said.

In December, Greenbelt Resources announced it has successfully achieved its goal of raising $550,000 from individual qualified accredited investors. The investments were offered in the form of either restricted common stock or unsecured interest bearing convertible debentures, with substantially all of the proceeds directed to common stock purchases.

In December, Algae.Tec announced a further subscription agreement with Reliance Industrial Investments and Holdings Limited (RIIHL), its largest partner, to raise A$2.4 million. Algae.Tec has assigned an immediate agreement to raise A$1.4 million via the issue of 20 million shares at A$0.07 per share

In December, Cobalt Technologies raised $898,000 in a reg D offering.

In December, Ensyn raised $12.749M in a reg D offering.

Q1 2015

In January, Edeniq announced it had raised more than $16 million in equity. Edeniq is a leading provider of technology solutions for biofuel production, developing next generation cellulosic technologies. Edeniq uses combined mechanical and biological processes for maximum efficiency and lowest cost.

In January, Green Biologics announced the closing of an internal follow-on equity round of $42 million co-led by Swire Pacific Limited and Sofinnova Partners. Existing investors Capricorn Venture Partners, Oxford Capital Partners, Morningside Technology Partners and ConvergInce Holdings also participated in the round. In addition to the $42 million internal equity round, an additional $34 million in funding was raised predominantly in debt financing from Tennenbaum Capital Partners, along with equity and debt investment rolled over by existing members of Central MN Ethanol Co-op LLC in Central MN Renewables, a U.S. affiliate of GBL. This $76 million financing follows GBL’s previous equity round of $25 million in December 2013, bringing GBL’s total fund raising to just over $100 million since late 2013.

In January, Calysta announced a Series B financing of $10 million. The round saw financing led by Walden Riverwood Ventures and Aqua-Spark, venture firms from the US and the Netherlands, respectively. Nicholas Brathwaite, Walden Riverwood Ventures and Mike Velings, Aqua-Spark, will join the Calysta Board of Directors. Calysta intends to use the Series B investment to advance development of high value nutritional products for fish and livestock as well as traditional chemical products.

In January, Gevo raised $6.18M in a share offering.

In January, Amyris raised $21.7M in a share offering.

In February, Coskata raised $2.399M in a Reg D offering.

In February, Algenol, a pioneer in turning CO2 emissions into fuels, announced that it has closed on a new $25 million investment from BioFields, a Mexican business group devoted to the development of renewable and clean energy projects. This new investment follows a previous investment of $40 million from BioFields in 2014 — in all, BioFields has invested $65M in Algenol.

In March, Total New Energies made an  undisclosed investment in Renmatix (Digest estimated $10M), has signed a joint development agreement, and is taking aboard seat. Under the agreement, Renmatix and Total will utilize Renmatix’ s proprietary Plantrose process with specific feedstocks to extract sugar for use in production of biobased products of interest to Total. In concert with the investment and R&D projects, Total also joins the Renmatix Board of Directors.

In March, Revolution Fuels raised $983,332 through the sale of equity and securities for its mobile waste oil to biodiesel production facilities. The trucks pick up oil from restaurants and other oil users, produce biodiesel, and then either return it to the oil provider or sells it on their behalf. The company raised $2 million last year, short of its $2.95 million goal.

Previous quarters

Q1 2014

KiOR – $25M March

Solazyme — $202M March

LanzaTech – $60M March

Ceres — $20M March

Genomatica – $6.8M March

Mascoma — $2.0M March

Rennovia – $25M February

Renewable Energy Group – $26.2M February

Chromatin — $36M January

Amyris — $34M January

TOTAL – $447.0M Q1 2014

Q4 2013

Amyris — $51.8M October

Coskata – $3.3M December

Gevo — $25M – December

Green Biologics — $25M December

Cobalt Technologies – $4.1M December

Z-Trim – $1.4M December

Ennovor — $12M November

Verdezyne – $6.0M November

TOTAL – $128.6M Q4 2013

Q3 2013

KiOR – $70M July, August, September

Heliae — $28.4M July

Coskata – $3.0M August

Intrexon – $160M August

Lyxia — $1.6M August

Amyris – $60M August

Triton Algae — $5M September

CoolPlanet – $19.4M September

Fermentalg — $16.4M September

TOTAL – $363.8M Q3 2013

Q2 2013

AgBiome – $14.5M April

Ostara – $13M April

KiOR – $30M April, May, June

Cobalt – $23.2M April

Coskata – $4.5M May

Genomatica – $20M – Versalis JV, April

Camson Bio Technologies – $10M May

BioAmber – $80M May

Enerkem – $50M June

CoolPlanet – $29.9M June

Amyris – $10M June

TOTAL – $285.1M Q2 2013

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