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Biotech Chemical Company Raises $41.5M in Venture Funds

Money stack (Andrew Magill/Flickr)Genomatica, a developer of chemicals from renewable feedstocks in San Diego, raised $41.5 million in series D financing, the fourth cycle of venture funding after start-up. The round includes the Italian chemical company and new corporate partner Versalis, with existing investors Alloy Ventures, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Mohr Davidow Ventures, TPG Biotech, VantagePoint Capital Partners, and Waste Management.

Genomatica develops production processes based on biotechnology that convert renewable feedstocks into a number of existing chemicals that meet industry specifications for established markets. The company says its platform combines computational modeling with experimental laboratory methods and process engineering to identify efficient biochemical pathways and select the most effective microorganisms to convert feedstocks into target chemicals.

Last week, Genomatica signed an agreement with Versalis and Novamount, a developer of biodegradable plastics, to devise a process for production of polymer-grade butadiene from biomass. Versalis will hold a majority interest in the joint venture holding company and aims to be the first to build commercial plants using the process technology.

In August 2011, Genomatica said it began producing butadiene from renewable feedstocks in marketable quantities. Butadiene is a basic chemical in the industry and a key raw material in the production of tires, engineering polymers, and latex products.

Genomatica also withdrew its registration statement for an initial public offering (IPO) filed last August with the Securities and Exchange Commission. “After evaluating all of our financing options, we determined that this private financing was the most attractive option for Genomatica and in the best interest of our shareholders,” says Christophe Schilling, Genomatica’s CEO.

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Hat tip: Fortune/Term Sheet

Image: Andrew Magill/Flickr

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