Novomer Raises First Round

Novomer Inc., an Ithaca, N.Y.-based developer of biodegradable plastics, polymers and other chemicals from renewable substances like carbon dioxide, has raised $6.6 million in Series A funding. Physic Ventures and Flagship Ventures co-led the round.


Novomer Inc., a materials company pioneering a family of high-performance, biodegradable plastics, polymers and other chemicals from renewable substances such as carbon dioxide, today announced that it has raised $6.6 million in series A funding. Physic Ventures co-led the financing in partnership with Flagship Ventures.

Founded in 2004, Novomer’s technology is based on the discoveries of Professor Geoffrey Coates and his research group at Cornell University. Dr. Coates is an internationally recognized pioneer in the field of polymer science and a leading innovator in the increasingly vital arena of sustainable materials.


“Novomer is an exciting new sustainable materials company whose products provide both environmental benefits and improved materials performance,” said Jean Fr�chet, a professor at UC Berkeley and partner at Physic Ventures. “The company’s catalyst technology enables the production of polymers and plastics from renewable feedstocks. Many of these polymers are both biocompatible and biodegradable, and constitute a significant discovery and application of new chemical processes and environmentally conscious technology.”


Dr. Coates, Novomer’s chief science officer, explained: “Unlike other biodegradable plastics coming to market that are based on edible feedstocks and complex fermentation, we are using building blocks that are readily available and highly manageable. In particular, Novomer’s use of carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide as inexpensive feedstocks, rather than the use of valuable food resources, sets us apart from the competition.”


“The world will consume 300 million more pounds of plastic this week than it did last week � an unsustainable trend which demands the environmentally friendly technology pioneered by Novomer,” said Jim Matheson, general partner at Flagship Ventures. “Novomer’s value proposition is truly disruptive.”

Tony Eisenhut of KensaGroup, a technology commercialization firm and early investor in Novomer, added, “We’ve seen tremendous promise in Novomer’s technology from day one, which prompted us to transition the company out of the University lab, creating a fast-growing company with the potential for global impact.”


“Novomer is built on world-class science,” said Novomer President Charles Hamilton. “With this investment, the company gains the resources it needs to expand production capacity and step up business development efforts. We gain access to a wealth of business and operational experience through the depth of our investors, and are able to rapidly grow our team and accelerate development and commercialization of our world changing materials.”


About Novomer – Catalyzing Precision Eco-Plastics
Novomer ( is a revolutionary new materials company pioneering a family of low-cost, high-performance, green plastics, polymers and other chemicals. Founded in 2004 by technology commercialization firm KensaGroup, Dr. Geoffrey Coates and Dr. Scott Allen, the company is based on pioneering catalysts developed at Cornell University. Novomer’s groundbreaking technology allows carbon dioxide and other renewable materials to be cost-effectively transformed into polymers, plastics and other chemicals for a wide variety of industrial markets.

Novomer’s board of directors includes Tony Eisenhut of KensaGroup, Professor Jean Fr�chet of Physic Ventures, General Partner Jim Matheson of Flagship Ventures and former Dow Chemical Vice President Robert Pangborn.


Novomer, based in Ithaca, New York, has been highlighted by the BBC, CNN, Dow Jones, Forbes, the New York Times and WIRED.


About Physic Ventures
Based in San Francisco, Physic Ventures ( invests in science-driven, consumer-facing health, wellness and sustainable living companies. Physic specializes in working with exceptional teams to help them achieve rapid scale and impact by bringing breakthrough products, services and technologies to market. Physic was formed in early 2007 through the evolution of Great Spirit Ventures and the spin-out of Unilever Technology Ventures. In 2007 Physic has led the series B financing of Dreamerz foods and the series D financing of Elixir Pharmaceuticals.


About Flagship Ventures
Flagship Ventures ( is a leading venture capital firm focused on creating, financing and building innovative companies. Founded in 2000, Flagship operates from its offices at Kendall Square in Cambridge, Mass. With an active portfolio of over 40 companies, the firm’s strategy is to balance its investments across three principal business sectors: Life Science / Diagnostics Tools, Energy & Technology Platforms, and Therapeutics. Through its unique venture creation and seed investing programs, Flagship actively participates in developing new ventures that are commercializing many of the leading breakthroughs of our times. Prior to its founding, Flagship’s principals were involved as founders or investors in over 100 firms including: Aspect Medical, Celera Genomics, ChemGenics Pharmaceuticals, Color Kinetics, Cytyc, DataSage, IDEXX, PerSeptive Biosystems and TripAdvisor.