Solazyme, Inc., a renewable oil production and algal synthetic biology company has closed a $57-million Series C financing round, bringing total funding to more than $76 million. Solazyme uses microalgae biotechnology to produce clean and scalable fuels, “green” chemicals, edible oils and health and wellness products.
Braemar Energy Ventures and Lightspeed Venture Partners led the financing round and were joined by other new investors including VantagePoint Venture Partners. All major existing investors participated in the round, including The Roda Group, Harris and Harris Group, and Solazyme Chairman Jerry Fiddler. The round also included new strategic investors in key target markets. All funding has been dispersed to Solazyme and will be used to move the company to commercialization.
Solazyme’s unique renewable oil production process grows algae in the dark in an industrial fermentation process, where the algae are fed non-food biomass and industrial byproducts including a wide variety of cellulosic materials and low-grade waste glycerol which are converted by the algae into oil. (Earlier post.) This allows the company to produce oil cleanly and economically in a controlled, large-scale process.
Solazyme is currently producing thousands of gallons of oil in commercial scale facilities and has produced in-specification fuels including renewable diesel, biodiesel and jet fuel. Solazyme’s first fuel, Soladiesel, has been successfully road tested as an unblended fuel (100%) for thousands of miles in a variety of unmodified vehicles. Additionally, Solazyme’s process is the first bridge from non–food carbohydrates and industrial waste streams to edible and renewable oils. This technology has already been shown to produce high quality oils for a multitude of purposes across a variety of industries.