News Article

Agrivida gets $15M round to develop biofuels
Date: Sep 12, 2012
Author: Don Seiffert
Source: Mass High Tech ( click here to go to the source)

Featured firm in this article: Agrivida Inc of Woburn, MA

Just weeks after announcing a partnership with a national ethanol producer, Agrivida Inc. in Medford has picked up $15 million of a Series C round to develop genetically-engineered corn that is easier to turn into fuel.

According to a statement from the company, the round was led by Bright Capital Partners, with participation from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, DAG Ventures, Prairie Gold, Presidio, Gentry Venture Partners, Northgate Capital, Alexandria Real Estate Equities, and Syngenta Ventures. The company has been working since it was founded in 2003 to create a type of corn in which the leaves and stalks can be converted into biofuel after the edible part is removed. The company's technology is based on a patented peptide attached to an enzyme which can be turned off to allow the corn to grow normally, then turned on later to allow for the cell walls to be broken down more easily.

"The financing will enable us to continue the development and commercialization of our proprietary INzyme platform, which will allow our partners to produce non-food biomass with properties customized to enhance specific chemical processes, including generation of cellulosic biofuels and other related products, within existing infrastructure," said Mark Wong, CEO of Agrivida, in a statement.

Last month, the company announced a partnership with POET Research Inc. in Sioux Falls, S.D., a subsidiary of POET LLC, to allow Agrivida's technology to be tested on a large scale. The companies plan to work on a proof-of-concept study over the next year or so.

The 45-employee company received its first round of financing of $600,000 in 2007, and later received another $2 million in June 2011.