Aurora Biofuels Inc., an Alameda, Calif.-based biofuels company focused on open-pond algae aquaculture, has raised $20 million in Series B funding. Oak Investment Partners led the round, and was joined by return backers Gabriel Venture Partners and Noventi.
Aurora Biofuels, Inc., a leader in open-pond algae aquaculture technology, announced today it has completed a second round of funding, raising $20 million. The round was led by existing investor Oak Investment Partners. Previous Series A investors Gabriel Venture Partners and Noventi also participated in the round. Aurora Biofuels will use the funds to expand its field operations and to increase its efforts to optimize the production cycle of growing, harvesting and extracting microalgae to produce bio-oil, which can be converted into biofuels.
“We are ahead of our company growth and development plans and the new funds will allow us to accelerate our efforts in the field even further,” said Matt Caspari, founder and CEO of Aurora Biofuels. “Obviously, there is a great need today to decrease dependence on foreign oil. We believe that algae are an exciting alternative to traditional agricultural sources of biofuels and we are committed to bringing algae-derived biofuels to fruition.”
Microalgae have several advantages over traditional biofuel crops including their ability to produce much more bio-oil per acre, and their ability to be grown on marginal land using marginal water so they do not compete with food resources.
“Over the past eighteen months, Aurora Biofuels has made tremendous progress in developing an end-to-end process for producing bio crude oil from algae,” said Brian Hinman, Venture Partner at Oak Investment Partners. “We’re convinced that the economic model is viable, and believe that Aurora has a stable and productive aquaculture technology that works in low-cost open ponds. It’s time to test the process at scale.”
About Aurora Biofuels
Aurora Biofuels, Inc. was founded to develop the lowest cost solution for growing algae and producing bio-oil. To achieve this goal, Aurora has assembled a diverse team with the expertise spanning biology, biotechnology, aquaculture and agricultural, chemical and process engineering. Aurora Biofuels was founded in 2006 and has its headquarters in Alameda, CA. For more information, please visit www.aurorabiofuels.com.
About Oak Investment Partners
Oak Investment Partners is a multi-stage venture capital firm with a total of $8.4 billion in committed capital. The primary investment focus is on high growth opportunities in communications, information technology, internet new media, financial services, clean energy, healthcare services, and consumer retail. Over a 28-year history, Oak has achieved a strong track record as a stage-independent investor funding more than 435 companies at key points in their lifecycle.
About Gabriel Venture Partners
Gabriel Venture Partners� is an early-stage venture capital firm committed to fostering innovation by actively assisting entrepreneurs in technology and technology-enabled businesses. Gabriel seeks investment opportunities in capital-efficient companies that have the potential to be market leaders. Gabriel is based in Silicon Valley and has over $260 million under management. Gabriel’s investment team consists of seasoned technology entrepreneurs and industry executives, each with international operating experience and strong domain expertise. Representative investments include Placeware (acquired by Microsoft), NetScaler (acquired by Citrix), Iridigm (acquired by Qualcomm), LVL7 (acquired by Broadcom), NeoPath (acquired by Cisco) and IPWireless (acquired by Nextwave Wireless).
Noventi is an early stage venture capital firm focused on building successful companies through the partnerships with entrepreneurs. Noventi leverages decades of operating experience, a global network of resources, and a proven record in venture investing to focus on opportunities at the convergence of technology, energy, and the environment.