mascoma.JPGMascoma, an East Coast biofuel startup with a multi-pronged approach to commercializing cellulosic ethanol, has just become one of the most heavily funded companies of its kind with a $50 million funding reported by peHUB.

Based in Cambridge, Mass., Mascoma is in the process of building several demonstration-scale ethanol plants in three other states: Michigan, New York and Tennessee. It’s partnered with a variety of different corporations and universities at each location.

What that boils down to is hedging its bets — by experimenting with several different feedstocks and processes, Mascoma is making itself more likely to hit the jackpot, a cost-effective cellulosic ethanol facility. The feedstocks it’s using include wood, switchgrass, and in New York, mixed materials like paper sludge and corn stover.

The $50 million funding was broken into a $30 million venture round and $20 million in debt. Participating were one new investor, General Catalyst Partners, and previous investors Khosla Ventures, Atlas Venture, Flagship Ventures, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Pinnacle Ventures and VantagePoint Venture Partners. Including various government grants, the company has taken just over $100 million to date.


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