Verdezyne, an industrial biotech firm in Carlsbad, Calif., has secured $48 million in funding. Malaysian multinational conglomerate Sime Darby Berhad led the round with participation from BP Alternative Energy Ventures, DSM Venturing B.V., OVP Venture Partners and Monitor Ventures. The funding was made official Monday in a ceremony in Malaysia attended by President Barack Obama and Malaysian Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Najib Razak.
CARLSBAD, Calif. & KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Verdezyne, Inc., a privately held industrial biotechnology company focused on producing renewable chemicals, has negotiated key terms for an investment of $48 million led by Malaysian multinational conglomerate, Sime Darby Berhad. The initiative was launched in a ceremony on Monday, April 28, at the Ritz-Carlton in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, attended by United States President Barack Obama, Malaysian Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Najib Razak, Verdezyne President and CEO E. William Radany, Ph.D., and Sime Darby Berhad President and Group Chief Executive, Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Mohd Bakke Salleh.
“It is an honor and a true privilege that both President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Najib Razak chose to attend our signing ceremony today,” commented Dr. Radany. “It speaks to the significance of this agreement for the renewable chemicals space and to strengthening ties between the U.S. and Malaysia. Moreover, it highlights the important environmental and geo-political benefits of replacing petroleum-derived materials with renewable sources. We hope that this agreement, and the technology development it will enable, can serve as a model for how the U.S. can lead the world in the development of environmentally-friendly products. Over the past year, with the invaluable assistance of the Malaysian Biotechnology Corporation, Verdezyne’s management team researched the oil palm industry extensively. We believe that Sime Darby, with its commitment to sustainability, is the perfect partner to help lead the revolution in renewable products in the U.S., Malaysia and beyond.”
The funds will be used to accelerate Verdezyne’s technology development in the U.S., and support various collaborative projects with Sime Darby’s newly-formed business unit, Sime Darby Renewables. Led by Sime Darby, this $48 million financing for Verdezyne was joined by existing investors BP Alternative Energy Ventures, DSM Venturing B.V., OVP Venture Partners, and Monitor Ventures.
“We could not be more pleased to be entering into this relationship with Verdezyne, and are truly honored that U.S. President Barack Obama took time out of his busy schedule to attend our joint signing ceremony today,” commented Tan Sri Mohd Bakke. “We see this investment as symbolic of stronger business ties between the two countries, and the beginning of a long-term partnership with Verdezyne. Sime Darby’s investment will accelerate the development of Verdezyne’s technology and create opportunities to leverage our sustainable palm based materials into higher-value downstream renewable products.”
Verdezyne is an industrial biotechnology company using proven and proprietary metabolic pathway engineering tools to develop unique yeast strains for cost-effective production of bio-based chemicals. Current investors in Verdezyne include BP Alternative Energy Ventures, DSM Venturing B.V., OVP Venture Partners and Monitor Ventures. For more information, visit www.verdezyne.com.