Sapphire Announces $144 Million Series C Funding
April 2, 2012
apphire Energy has announced it has secured the final tranche of a $144 million Series C investment funding. The Series C backers include Arrowpoint Partners, Monsanto, and other undisclosed investors. All major Series B investors have participated. With this investment round, Sapphire Energy’s total funding from private and public sources substantially exceeds $300 million.
This round of funding is being used to directly support Sapphire Energy’s active and on-schedule commercial demonstration in Luna County, New Mexico. The Green Crude Farm, also known as the Integrated Algal BioRefinery (IABR), is the world’s first commercial demonstration scale algae-to-energy facility, integrating the entire value chain of algae-based fuel, from cultivation to production to extraction of ready-to-refine Green Crude. Some proceeds from previous closes of the Series C financing already have been invested in Sapphire Energy’s continuing operations.
“The ongoing support from the private investment community speaks to how strongly they believe in the development of Green Crude as an alternative fuel resource, especially Sapphire Energy’s ability to commercialize it,” said Cynthia J. Warner, president and chairman of Sapphire Energy. “It is increasingly important to find domestically produced crude oil alternatives to improve the country’s energy security, meet global energy demands, and provide jobs. Continued private investment is a critical step in achieving these goals.”
“It’s amazing to see that what started from an idea scribbled on the back of a napkin is now a leading force in support of the goal to improve energy security for the country,” said Jason Pyle, CEO of Sapphire Energy. “Today, Sapphire Energy has a widely admired technology platform, outstanding leadership team, and significant ongoing support from the investment community, making it well positioned to achieve the goal of bringing domestically produced Green Crude oil to commercial scale.”
This announcement follows several recent partnerships and deals supporting Sapphire Energy’s continued expansion in Green Crude production. Last month, Sapphire announced it will integrate Earthrise Nutritionals’ spirulina strain into its growing inventory of cyanobacteria and algae strains to expand resources for algae-to-energy production. In May 2011, Sapphire announced a multi-year agreement with The Linde Group to co-develop a low-cost system to deliver CO2 to commercial-scale, open-pond, algae-to-fuel cultivation systems, now underway at the Green Crude Farm. In March 2011, Sapphire and Monsanto entered into a multi-year collaboration on algae-based research projects. Sapphire also was awarded a $50 million grant from the Department of Energy and a $54.4 million dollar loan guarantee from the Department of Agriculture, providing security for a privately funded loan.