Santa Brings $100M to Elevance, $30M to LS9

Nothing says Happy Holidays like a $100 million funding round.

Elevance Renewable Sciences raised $100 million in its third round of venture funding. The start-up, based in Bolingbrook, Ill., uses olefin metathesis to make renewable specialty chemicals from natural oils. If the phrase “olefin metathesis” rings a bell, its because the innovation’s developers were awarded the 2005 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, a fact that Elevance mentions as often as possible.

Aside from the Nobel Prize, Elevance is distinguished by the notable fact that it will have a 200,000 ton-per-year commercial plant online next year. The plant will be in Surabaya, Indonesia, at the current production site of its joint venture partner, agriculture firm Wilmar International.

Elevance (which is probably breaking out the champagne this week, a bit ahead of New Year’s) was formed in 2007, with more than $40 million in capital and technology invested by TPG, Cargill and Materia. It was pretty quiet on the renewable chemicals scene until the plant was announced in June. The latest funding round included current investors as well as Total Energy Ventures, the venture arm of French petroleum firm Total.

The folks at Venture Beat point out that Elevance has also partnered with Cargill and Dow Corning, which suggests that other meaningful developments may be forthcoming. Elevance says it will use the new money to expand and create more biorefineries in Asia, North America, and South America.

Meanwhile, another renewables chemical firm with award winning technology raked in a tidy $30 million this week. LS9 took home a 2010 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award for its renewable petroleum technology.

This is how LS9 describes itself “LS9 is applying synthetic biology to produce proprietary biofuels that are compatible with existing fuel distribution and consumer infrastructure, as well as high-value industrial chemicals. LS9 is the pioneer in the commercial development of fermentation derived hydrocarbon biofuels.”

The company plans to use the money to move into commercial production.

Author: Melody Bomgardner

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