Green

Strengthened by partnerships, cellulosic ethanol maker Coskata raises more money

The cellulosic ethanol company Coskata has managed to pull in a $40 million third investment round despite the recession. The amount is a significant boost for the company, which last took money early this year.

Coskata is becoming something of a standout among the newest generation of ethanol makers, by virtue of its ability to draw attention from larger corporations. Whether because of its technology or simply having excellent connections (or both), it has scored both funding and a couple of big deals to build plants.

Among them are a tie-up with US Sugar for a 100-million-gallon-per-year plant processing sugarcane remnants in Florida, a plan for another 50-100MMgy plant to be built with ICM, and the money it attracted in January from General Motors.

This funding fits into the general scheme, led by the massive private equity firm The Blackstone Group, through a venture funding arm. However, the funding itself isn’t massive; it’s enough to allow Coskata to continue expansion for another year or more, but continuing partnerships will be vital to the company when it comes to actually building ethanol plants.

Previous investors returned for the round, including Advanced Technology Ventures, Great Point Ventures and Khosla Ventures.