Speaking at VC in the Rockies on Wednesday, Luca Technologies’ CFO Brian Cree said the company has spent $60 million on various acquisitions, mostly buying natural gas wells to be restored. Already profitable—Luca will generate $3 million in revenue this year—the company has no reliance on government subsidies, Cree told conference attendees.
Its projections include earnings of $23 million in 2012, $82 million in 2013, and more than $150 million in 2014. Holdings include wells in Alabama, Utah, New Mexico and Oklahoma.
The company operated from 2003 to 2006 with $9 million it raised from founders and management. In 2006 it raised $3 million from BASF Venture Capital, which along with Oxford Biosciences and KPCB Holdings gave it another $20 million in 2007. Luca’s most recent funding, a $75.9 million round from Oxford, BASF, KPCB Holdings, One Equity and KPCB Green Growth, came in late 2008.
At a time when natural gas extraction via hydraulic fracturing — better known as fracking — is increasingly under attack from environmentalists, Cree’s company presents what he calls a more environmentally-responsible alternative. (He didn’t address fracking specifically when speaking at VCIR, however.) And, at a time when Congress is looking to trim subsidies, the fact that Luca has no reliance on government funding certainly made an impression on VCIR attendees. One cleantech VC I spoke with noted Cree’s presentation was among the day’s most compelling.