Solugen raises over $350M – The Series C funding will go towards making carbon negative chemicals  

September 12, 2021 |

News just in from Texas, Solugen, a company decarbonizing the chemicals industry, announced a Series C financing round of over $350 million. Solugen’s patented Bioforge processes produce chemicals from bio-based feedstocks and are based on breakthroughs in synthetic biology, metal catalyst engineering, and modular plant design. In today’s Digest, the funding, who’s behind it, the tech, reactions, and more.

What they do

Solugen is addressing one of the biggest climate problems facing the international community, emissions from chemical production, which the IEA estimates accounted for 880 million tons of CO2 in 2018 and was the third largest source of global CO2 emissions. Solugen’s patented Bioforge processes produce chemicals from bio-based feedstocks and are based on breakthroughs in synthetic biology, metal catalyst engineering, and modular plant design. The company’s green products are cost competitive and also drastically reduce or eliminate emissions. Solugen is a platform chemistry company, and the company’s solutions will also address clean water, sustainable materials, safer food, and healthy personal care.

The funding

The latest round of funding will be used to expand Solugen’s Bioforge technology platform, which is used to produce lower-carbon and carbon-negative chemicals & materials for its key customers, and to expand the reach of Solugen’s product portfolio. According to their press release, through its Bioforge platform, Solugen has the potential to address a significant portion of the chemical products on the market today as well as introduce novel, bio-advantaged products.

Who’s behind it?

GIC and Baillie Gifford led the round with participation from Temasek Holdings, funds and accounts managed by BlackRock, Carbon Direct Capital Management, Refactor Capital, and Fifty Years.

BofA Securities, Inc. acted as sole placement agent on this transaction.

Reactions from the stakeholders

“Our breakthroughs in enzyme and metal catalyst engineering allow us to produce chemicals in a more sustainable and profitable way,” said Dr. Gaurab Chakrabarti, CEO and co-founder of Solugen.  “We can now deliver for our customers performance benefits, cost savings, and most importantly, lower carbon footprints.”

“This fundraising round allows us to continue expanding the footprint of our Bioforge technology to give industries the products they need to reduce emissions in their existing supply chains, without compromising on performance or economics,” said Solugen co-founder and Chief Technology Officer Dr. Sean Hunt.

Kirsty Gibson, investment manager at Baillie Gifford said: “Solugen’s vision for cleaner chemicals through synthetic biology has the potential to be a fundamental shift in how chemicals are made, to help tackle the environmental challenges we face globally. The chemical market itself is colossal and Solugen is just getting started. Our investment on behalf of clients will help the company execute on this vision and scale its operations.”

“Carbon dioxide from chemical production is a top three contributor to industrial greenhouse gas emissions,” said Jonathan Goldberg, CEO of Carbon Direct. “Carbon Direct’s mission is to help scale impactful carbon management technologies that will commercially scale. Solugen’s critical breakthrough is delivering lower and potentially carbon negative solutions that are cost competitive to the market today.  We are pleased to support Gaurab, Sean, and the Solugen team as they continue to decarbonize the chemicals industry.”

Bottom Line

If you recall back in 2018, The Digest reported that AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals named 10 start-ups and chemical researchers as winners of the AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals’ Imagine Chemistry challenge – and Solugen was one of those 10 for their green process to make hydrogen peroxide that has the potential to replace technology that has remained unchanged since the 1930s. Solugen was the world’s first and only producer of bio-based peroxide solutions, as reported in The Digest in May 2019. So keep an eye out on them as this latest round of funding is sure to allow Solugen to decarbonize some of the largest carbon emitting segments of our modern economy.

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