OPXBIO announced earlier this month that it raised $36.5 million in the first closing of a series C round of financing. This round was led by U.S. Renewable Group (USRG) and included first time investor DBL Investors with returning investors Mohr Davidow Ventures, Braemar Energy Ventures, Altira Group and X/Seed Capital. OPXBIO also announced that it added USRG managing director Jonathan Koch to its Board of Directors.
The Colorado-based company said that the money will be used to quicken the development and commercialization of its first renewable chemical, BioAcrylic. Announced in April, the company signed a joint development agreement with Dow Chemical to turn fermentable sugar (corn and/or cane sugar) feedstock into a bio acrylic acid. Currently, petroleum-based acrylic acid is an $8 billion global market and a vital chemical building block used in a wide range of consumer goods including paints, adhesives, diapers and detergents.
Founded in 2007, OPXBIO uses EDGE (Efficiency Directed Genome Engineering) technology to convert renewable raw materials into biochemicals and fuels. The EDGE platform allows the organization to engineer high-performing microbes and bioprocesses more proficiently in contrast to conventional genetic engineering methods.
“OPXBIO clearly is leading the industry in addressing a large, growing global demand for economic, renewable alternatives to petro-based chemicals,” said Jonathan Koch, managing director at USRG. “Powered by a proven technology platform and manufacturing process and an exceptionally strong management team, OPXBIO has demonstrated a superior ability to rapidly develop and commercialize multiple products to penetrate multi-billion dollar existing markets.”
“We consider the investment in OPXBIO by USRG and DBL Investors to be a significant endorsement of the company’s strong progress,” said Erik Straser, general partner at Mohr Davidow Ventures. “The addition of partners like Dow, the demonstrated efficiency and unprecedented speed of the EDGE™ platform to generate economic bio-based products, and a management team of industry veterans who continue to execute toward commercialization are all part of building a leader in sustainable chemicals.”
“We welcome USRG and DBL Investors to the OPXBIO investor team and are encouraged by their recognition of our technical and business development progress and value-creation potential,” said Charles R. (Chas) Eggert, president and CEO of OPXBIO. “With strong investor support, a world-class team and technology platform, and a powerful strategic development relationship with Dow, OPXBIO is extending its leadership position in the emerging renewable chemicals industry.”
Additional information on the company is in the following video:
– This post was written by Rob Stewart, a graduate student pursuing an M.A. in Urban Sustainability at the Antioch University of Los Angeles, and edited by Leonard Adler, Founder and Publisher of Green VC.