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LanzaTech raises $60M in D Round; Mitsui leads, Siemens comes in

26 March 2014

LanzaTech, a leader in gas fermentation technology for novel and economic routes to fuels and high value chemicals, has raised $60 million in a Series D Round. Led by Mitsui & Co. with a $20M investment, the round includes new investors Siemens via its Venture Capital unit (SFS VC), CICC Growth Capital Fund I, L.P. and existing investors: Khosla Ventures, Qiming Venture Partners, K1W1 and the Malaysian Life Sciences Capital Fund.

LanzaTech’s carbon capture and utilization technology provides a capital-efficient and cost-effective alternative to traditional carbon capture and storage (CCS). Waste gas streams captured from industrial factories can be directly converted on-site to low-carbon liquid fuels and chemicals by adding a LanzaTech facility at the source, offering the potential to reduce global CO2 levels while accessing multi-billion dollar commodities markets.

In a tough capital raising market I am proud that we've attracted funding from both existing and new investors, including several of our strategic partners. The funding validates the confidence our investors have in us, the strength of our technology, the quality of our partnerships and the opportunity to make a big impact on the global fuels and chemicals markets through capturing and reusing carbon.

—Jennifer Holmgren, CEO of LanzaTech

LanzaTech’s gas fermentation platform enables the regional production of low-cost energy from local wastes and residues, including gases as varied as industrial flue gas, gasified biomass wastes and residues, biogas, and high-CO2 stranded natural gas.

LanzaTech’s first commercial facility, fully financed by BaoSteel, one of the largest steel manufacturers in China, is expected to be operational in 2015 and will use steel mill off gases to produce fuels and chemicals.

LanzaTech will use the Series D proceeds to extend its core gas fermentation platform and further develop the product portfolio. To date, products include fuels such as ethanol or jet fuel and commodity chemicals such as butadiene used in nylon production or propylene used in plastics manufacture.

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I genuinely hope LanzaTech succeeds because I like what they are trying to do with waste gas streams. Still, it's rather an ugly story (and it has nothing to do with R or D... it's just ugly).

Vinod Khosla gets somewhere around $80M from US loans and grants for Range Fuels from Bush-era programs for cellulosic ethanol. In 2008 he announces himself "a Republican who supports Obama" and puts together about $1.3M in donations to the campaign. In 2011 Range has paid back only about $2M and liquidates. In the foreclosure process, the assets of Range are sold to LanzaTech for about $5M. One of the key investors in LanzaTech is... Khosla Ventures.

In 2012, Khosla holds key fund-raising events for the Prez (one at his home in June). In September 2013, struggling LanzaTech receives a $4M DOE grant, and announces a new Director for its Board: Jim Messina, who coincidentally served as Deputy Chief of Staff to President Obama from 2009 to 2011 and Campaign Manager for the 2012 Obama re-election.

I think it was Kermit who told us it ain't easy being Green. But at least I can forgive Kermit his slime layer...

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