Genomatica Raises $45M as it Moves to Higher Production Volumes

San Diego-based Genomatica has raised $45 million in a Series C round of venture funding that will allow the company to scale up production of its sustainable chemical technology to 15,000 liters a day, according to an item today in VentureWire.

Genomatica said last summer it had successfully scaled up technology that uses genetically engineered microbes to make 1,4-butanediol (BDO)-an industrial chemical used to make spandex, automotive plastics, and running shoes. At that time, Genomatica said it had successfully demonstrated a fermentation process that used a 3,000-liter broth of genetically engineered bacteria, sugar, and air to produce BDO—which is usually made from petroleum-based raw materials.

Now the company plans to go from 3,000-liter batches to 15,000 liters, although Genomatica has not yet publicly disclosed where it plans to establish its pilot plant.

Last month, Genomatica revealed a strategic partnership with Houston’s Waste Management to develop ways of making other useful chemicals from syngas, a gas mixture of hydrogen and carbon monoxide used to make a variety of intermediate chemicals like ammonia and methanol.

New investors in the latest round include VantagePoint, Waste Management, and Bright Capital, according to VentureWire. Existing investors Alloy Ventures, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Mohr Davidow Ventures, and TPG Biotech also participated.

Bruce V. Bigelow was the editor of Xconomy San Diego from 2008 to 2018. Read more about his life and work here. Follow @bvbigelow

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