Viridos, Inc., the leading algae biofuel company dedicated to creating sustainable, low-carbon, algae-based jet and diesel fuel, announced that it has raised a $25M Series A equity investment. The Series A was led by Breakthrough Energy Ventures (BEV) and joined by Chevron U.S.A. Inc. and United Airlines Ventures. The funding will be used for R&D to further increase algae oil productivity to reach commercially deployable levels.
Globally, diesel and jet fuel account for over a third of the liquid fossil fuel used. The heavy transportation sector comprising aviation, shipping, and long-distance trucking relies on these fuels with demand expected to continue to grow for decades, creating major decarbonization challenges. Viridos aims to solve this challenge by leading the bioengineering of microalgae and has already achieved seven times the oil productivity compared to wild algae. This sets the stage for the scalable and sustainable production of algae oil as the feedstock of choice for sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and renewable diesel (RD). In fact, SAF and RD made from Viridos algae oil are expected to have a 70% reduced carbon footprint.
Viridos’ bioengineering technology consists of genetically engineering algae, combined with optimized production processes and systems to enable large scale production. The company’s unique approach combines several important and unique attributes contributing to scalability and sustainability, including:
- Surface area oil productivities of Viridos algae far exceed any traditional oil crop, achieving high algae oil output on comparatively small areas
- Viridos algae are grown in vessels containing seawater. This allows contained deployment in hot and dry locations without taxing scarce freshwater and arable land resources, while eliminating runoff
- Viridos algae have extremely high oil contents facilitating downstream processing to algae oil
“By establishing production sites to grow Viridos-engineered microalgae in saltwater, we are creating the foundation for a biofuel future that moves away from fossil fuels without competing for precious resources such as fresh water and arable land. We are excited to have the support from BEV, the leading energy transition venture capital fund, Chevron, and United Airlines. Together we can build the ecosystem needed to bring algae biofuels to the market,” said Oliver Fetzer, Viridos Chief Executive Officer.