Jetti Resources, a natural-resources-tech startup, has raised about $24 million (US$18.7 million) in a Series A financing, apparently with the help of some heavyweight U.S. investors.
The Vancouver company, founded in 2014, reported securing most of its funding target in an August filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Jetti told PE Hub Canada the round was closed shortly afterward at the full amount. It declined to comment further.
The round’s backers were not disclosed but likely include Silicon Valley venture firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Kleiner Perkins is identified as an investor on Jetti’s website alongside DNS Capital, the family office of U.S. billionaire Gigi Pritzker and her husband, Michael Pucker.
Jetti specializes in new ways to extract metals from mineral ores. Its main focus is a novel hydrometallurgical technology that unlocks copper resources from low-grade primary sulfides.
The approach offers what may be a cheaper, less capital-intensive and more environmentally friendly alternative to traditional industry methods. On its website, Jetti says the technology can also improve zinc and nickel sulfide extraction and tackle other forms of mineral processing.
The company is collaborating in this work with researchers at the University of British Columbia. Last October, Jetti and UBC received a $300,000 grant from the BC Innovation Council to continue developing and testing the copper-extraction process.
Along with Kleiner Perkins and DNS, Jetti appears to have a close relationship with another U.S. venture firm: GreatPoint Ventures.
Andrew Perlman, co-founder and managing partner of GreatPoint, is Jetti’s chairman, while Mike Outwin, also with GreatPoint, is the company’s co-founder and CEO. Outwin is identified with the founding team of Silicon Valley’s GreatPoint Ventures Innovation Fund, which raised US$200 million over 2015-2017, Thomson Reuters data show.
Other members of Jetti’s senior management include mining and engineering executives. Among them is Ken Pickering, a director with a 46-year career in the mining industry, most of it spent at BHP Billiton.
Additional details about Jetti are unclear, as until now the startup has kept a relatively low profile.
Other companies focused on mining-related tech opportunities include MineSense, a provider of data analytics to improve mine efficiency. MineSense in February closed a $19 million round backed by Aurus Ventures, Caterpillar Ventures, Chrysalix Venture Capital, Cycle Capital Management and others.
Kleiner Perkins has been especially active in Canada’s innovative sectors of late. Last month, it led the US$40 million Series B financing of Tulip Retail, a mobile retail platform. Earlier in 2017, the firm exited precision-agriculture company Farmers Edge, the result of an investment by Fairfax Financial.
DNS has also backed other Canadian startups. DNS and the affiliated Pritzker Organization led last October’s US$17 million funding of Financeit, a point-of-sale financing provider.
GreatPoint has no disclosed history with a Canadian tech company prior to Jetti, according to Crunchbase and Thomson Reuters data.
Photo of miner courtesy of andresr/E+/Getty Images