Cellulosic sugars company Renmatix has raised $14 million. The investment, intended to support the commercializing of the company’s Plantrose process, was led by Bill Gates.
Gates is joined in the round by Total, the global energy major which, after an initial investment in 2015, has expanded its investment and has additionally signed a licensing agreement with Renmatix for 1M tons of annual cellulosic sugar production capacity, at Total’s discretion to build corresponding facilities. The license represents significant revenue potential for Renmatix, extending over the lifetime of the agreement.
At Total, our ambition is to become the responsible energy major. We want to make low-carbon businesses a profitable growth driver accounting for 20% of our portfolio in 20 years’ time. Meeting these goals is what has led to setting-up and expanding our collaboration with Renmatix.—Patrick Pouyanné, Chairman and CEO of Total
The patented Plantrose process uses supercritical water to reduce costs in conversion of biomass to cellulosic sugars, the critical intermediary for second-generation biochemicals and biofuels. With faster reactions and virtually no associated consumable-expenses, Renmatix’s supercritical hydrolysis economically enables a multitude of renewable process technologies to access the market for ‘high volume, low cost, broadly sourced’ cellulosic sugars that is compounding today. From this well established foundation in industrial sugars, the company continues to expand its product portfolio by valorizing additional bio building block intermediates, including Omno polymers and crystalline cellulose.