May 15, 2008

Algae maker GreenFuel Technologies scores cash and customer

GreenFuel Technologies on Wednesday said that it has completed a round of funding to ramp up its algae-farming projects.

The company landed $13.9 million, which was led by Access Private Equity, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, and Polaris Venture Partners.

A portion of the money will retire debt the company borrowed following a corporate shakeup last year that put Bob Metcalfe in as interim-CEO. The remaining $7.6 million in new capital, which completes its series B round, will go to scale up technology projects.

Algae being grown at GreenFuel Technologies' test site at Arizona Public Service power plant.

(Credit: GreenFuel Technologies)

In a statement, Metcalfe said the company will announce a new CEO, a C round of funding, and signed customers for its technology.

GreenFuel also disclosed that one algae-growing project began in January but declined to provide details.

In March, news Web site Xconomy reported that GreenFuel had landed a customer in Europe that could be worth $92 million.

GreenFuel builds bioreactors that grow algae at sites that emit a lot of carbon dioxide. Its first pilot was at an Arizona power plant.

The algae is harvested and can be turned into biodiesel or other forms of biomass that can be converted into electricity or other liquid fuels.

A number of companies are developing algae technologies because of the rising cost of soybeans to make biodiesel and growing concern over growing food crops for fuels.

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