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Solix BioSystems to Expand with $31M Investment
August 3, 2012
olorado-based Solix BioSystems has announced the completion of a $31 million Round C financing, led by existing investor I2BF Global Ventures. The funding will allow Solix to pursue commercializing their product line of refined products like Omega 3, Betacarotene and the salmon pigment Astaxanthin (a.k.a Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids).
According to a company spokesman, Solix Biosystems is an example of the biofuels industry’s diversification away from fuel and biomass, where there is lower demand and margin, into higher-value refined products. The company, which began as a developer of photo-bioreactor systems, has since diversified towards selling the resulting bioproducts themselves.
“At Solix we are pleased to be making the transition from the product-development stage to commercialization stage of Solix’s evolution into a top tier bio-products company offering a range of products including biomass, biofuels, and high-value natural by-products,” said Solix CEO Joel Butler.
The new financing will be used primarily to fund the transition to commercial production of algae products using Solix’s Lumian™ Algae Growth System. These algae production photo-bioreactors – currently ranging from 260 to 58,000 liters – are constructed using the company’s proprietary Lumian™ panels, which maximize light penetration and efficient mixing of CO2 for optimized algae growth. Solix’s demonstration plant in Colorado has been producing multi-ton quantities of algae since 2009. The product is separated into oil and solid biomass. The oil is converted into both low-value products such as biodiesel, green diesel, bio jet-fuels and also high-quality natural Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids, including Omega 3, Beta-Carotene and the high-value pigment Astaxanthin. Solids meanwhile are used in aquaculture, food and animal feed ingredients due to their high protein and carbohydrate content.
“We are thrilled to be part of Solix’s transition into commercial algae production,” says David Waserstein, Director of Investments at I2BF Global Ventures and Board Member at Solix. “The biofuels sector will reward those that can both achieve scale and serve multiple markets with their products. Solix has successfully produced one of the highest-productivity algae systems and is now in a position to capitalize on their success by leading the way into algae production at scale.”