Algae biofuel company Viridos, Inc. that aims to make sustainable, low-carbon, algae-based jet and diesel fuel has raised a $25 million (€28 million) through Series A equity investment.
The Series A was led by Breakthrough Energy Ventures (BEV) and was joined by Chevron and United Airlines Ventures. The funding will be used for R&D to further increase algae oil productivity to reach commercially deployable levels.
Globally, diesel and jet fuel account for over a third of the liquid fossil fuel used. The heavy transportation sector comprising aviation, shipping, and long-distance trucking relies on these fuels with demand expected to continue to grow for decades, creating major decarbonisation challenges.
Viridos aims to solve this challenge by leading the bioengineering of microalgae and has already achieved seven times the oil productivity compared to wild algae. This sets the stage for the scalable and sustainable production of algae oil as the feedstock of choice for sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and renewable diesel (RD).
“By establishing production sites to grow Viridos-engineered microalgae in saltwater, we are creating the foundation for a biofuel future that moves away from fossil fuels without competing for precious resources such as fresh water and arable land. We are excited to have the support from BEV, the leading energy transition venture capital fund, Chevron, and United Airlines. Together we can build the ecosystem needed to bring algae biofuels to the market,” said Oliver Fetzer, Viridos chief executive officer. “We look forward to bringing our oil-producing algae to commercial readiness and then growing them to produce scalable quantities of SAF and RD.”
“Decarbonising the heavy transportation industry is critical for addressing climate change and therefore a top priority for BEV,” said Carmichael Roberts, Breakthrough Energy Ventures. “Oliver and his team at Viridos have a promising technology for converting algae into sustainable liquid fuels. The science behind their platform positions them to crack the code on the critical barriers to scale, making Viridos an important addition to BEV’s portfolio."
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