Industrial Biotech’s Billion Dollar Quarter: ventures raise $1.1B in Q1 from seed to commercial-scale


In Florida, Biofuels Digest reports that the industrial biotechnology sector raised $1.103B in new capital in the first quarter of 2017, excluding debt and sovereign investments as well as M&A activity (but including expansion investment)

It’s the first quarter the Digest has reported with more than $1B in new investment into the sector.

There was robust deal flow, with a total of 25 reported investments (averaging $44 million) and ranging from a $2 million seed round for Full Harvest from a syndicate of angel investors to a $260M expansion investment in Greenergy by Brookfield Business Partners.

In addition, the Digest noted more than $137 million in “honorable mention” investments that included late December announcements that missed the Q1 cut-off, venture fund closings that were not specific to one company, and undisclosed venture rounds for which an estimate could not be formed.

By deal flow, the investments were evenly distributed between fuels, chemicals, feedstocks, nutrition and genetics with each sector generating between 8% and 24% of the deal flow. In terms of dollar investments, fuels were dominant with more than $56% of all investment going to that sector, owing generally to the large $104M average investment per deal.

Chemicals investments averaged $34M, feedstocks clocked in at $36M, genetics at $28M and nutrition at $16M. The fuels ventures were almost all at commercial-scale deployment scale, while the nutrition investments represented primarily early-stage companies.

Overall, 18 of the 25 reported investments were in the United States, three in Canada, two in Europe and two in Asia-Pacific region.

Complete venture details are available, deal by deal, in our Q1 recap: Advance to Go! Raising the Cap for Big Cap Raises which you can see here.