MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., May 2, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Cobalt Technologies, a leader in commercializing biobutanol as a renewable chemical and fuel, announced today that it has closed a $20M Series D funding round. The round was led by The Whittemore Collection Ltd., the investment vehicle of Parsons & Whittemore, formerly one of the world's largest manufacturers of market pulp and builder of some 60 pulp mills in 28 countries. All of Cobalt's current venture investors also participated, including Pinnacle Ventures, Malaysian Life Sciences Capital Fund, VantagePoint Capital Partners, Life Sciences Partners (LSP), @Ventures, Harris & Harris and Burrill and Company.
The additional capital will enable Cobalt to build out its new 470,000 gallon per year demonstration plant in Alpena, Michigan, which will be the world's first cellulosic biorefinery for the production of the industrial chemical n-butanol. In addition, the funding will enable Cobalt to expand its network of strategic relationships, to begin development of its first commercial facilities and to progress its partnership with the U.S. Navy to develop bio jet fuel.
"This round validates the significant progress we have made in commercializing cellulosic biobutanol and demonstrates the real market opportunity that our investors see," said Rick Wilson, Ph.D., and CEO of Cobalt Technologies. "In addition to the generous financial support provided by The Whittemore Collection Ltd., we now have the world's most experienced builder of biomass-based businesses on our board supporting us in developing our global enterprise."
Cobalt Technologies has developed a continuous process that takes non-food feedstocks like sugar cane bagasse, woody biomass, palm waste and glycerol from biodiesel production and converts it into renewable biobutanol. Biobutanol is a valuable industrial chemical that is widely used in paints and other coatings, and is a platform molecule that can be converted into other valuable chemicals such as 2 ethyl hexanol and 1-butene and also converted into renewable jet fuel.