OPX Biotechnologies Inc. has raised $36.5 million in the first closing of its C-Round private equity financing. The investment will accelerate OPXBIO’s development and commercialization of renewable, bio-based chemicals and fuels that are lower cost, higher return and more sustainable than existing petroleum-based products. (Earlier post.)
US Renewables Group (USRG) led the C-Round investor syndicate, which also included new investor DBL Investors with strong participation by existing investors Mohr Davidow Ventures, Braemar Energy Ventures, Altira Group and X/Seed Capital. Pacific Crest Securities provided financial advice to OPXBIO on the C-Round financing. The company also announced that USRG managing director Jonathan Koch has joined the OPXBIO Board of Directors.
The new investment will enable OPXBIO to accelerate development and commercialization of an industrial-scale process for producing its first renewable chemical, BioAcrylic. Acrylic derived from petroleum is today an $8-billion global market and is used to make products such as diapers, detergents, paints and adhesives. During an 18-month pilot-scale program completed in early 2011, OPXBIO demonstrated with speed and capital efficiency the ability of its proprietary EDGE (Efficiency Directed Genome Engineering) technology to make performance-equivalent BioAcrylic that is lower cost and more sustainable than petroleum-based acrylic.
OPXBIO has established a joint development agreement with The Dow Chemical Company to collaborate on the large-scale demonstration of the process for BioAcrylic production. OPXBIO anticipates full commercialization within three to five years.
OPXBIO developed and piloted the microbe and bioprocess that will produce its first renewable chemical product—BioAcrylic—in 18 months. The company’s second product is diesel fuel bio-processed from carbon dioxide and hydrogen. OPXBIO has raised $60 million with venture investors Altira Group, Braemar Energy Ventures, DBL Investors, Mohr Davidow Ventures, US Renewables Group and X/Seed Capital.