Renewable chemicals company Elevance Renewable Sciences announced today it has raised $100 million in third-round financing.
The company makes chemicals from natural oils. Using a Nobel Prize-winning technology called olefin metathesis, it makes specialty chemicals that can go in personal care products, detergents, fuels, lubricants and other specialty chemicals markets. The new funds will go towards expanding the company and creating biorefineries in Asia, North and South America.
Elevance is playing in the renewable chemicals market, which is was one of the hot, growing sectors of 2010. The renewable chemicals market will be worth $60 billion by 2014, according to a recent report by the Cleantech Group, and venture dollars flowing into the sector skyrocketed in the first half of this year to $361 million in investments. Biofuels companies have also turned to producing chemicals as a quicker way get revenues going; biofuels have taken more time to and are harder to scale. Ls9 and Solazyme, for example, have deals to make ingredients for consumer care products; LS9 partnered with Proctor & Gamble, Solazyme with Unilever.
In a similar vein, the algae fuel players have also turned into alternate, non-fuel uses of their technology. Aurora Algae changed its name from Aurora Biofuels and shifted its business to focus on producing oils for use in protein bars and lotion, saying it would give them a better shot “to be profitable from day one.” Solazyme also recently signed a joint venture with Roquette Frères to create food ingredients based on algae science.
Partnerships are key in the biofuels and biochemicals field, and it looks like Elevance has locked down a nice assortment of backers. It was founded in 2007, with more than $40 million in capital and technology invested by TPG, Cargill and Materia. It has also partnered with top food company Cargill and Dow Corning, which makes everything from lotion to cookware and is part-owned by top chemicals company Dow Chemical.
Participants in this round of financing include Naxos Capital Partners (which led the round), TPG Biotech, TPG Growth and new investors Total Energy Ventures (the venture capital arm of French oil and gas company Total).
[Image via Wikipedia Commons]