SAN DIEGO, Sept. 14 /PRNewswire/ — SG Biofuels, Inc., a bioenergy crop company developing and producing elite seeds of Jatropha, today announced it has completed a $9.4 million Series A financing with proceeds from Flint Hills Resources, a privately held company based in Kansas, Life Technologies Corporation, a biotechnology tools company based in Carlsbad, Calif., and participation from existing investors. The financing will support the company’s efforts to advance Jatropha as a high-yielding, low cost feedstock for diesel, jet fuel and petrochemicals.
SG Biofuels also announced that Anthony Sementelli, chief financial officer of Flint Hills Resources, and Nathan Wood, vice president of Life Technologies’ Genomics Technologies business segment, have joined the company’s board of directors.
“We are very pleased to complete this financing with high-caliber partners that bring strategic value to our business model, and to have the round oversubscribed further validates our approach,” said Kirk Haney, president and chief executive officer at SG Biofuels. “Our integrated platform of breeding, biotechnology and agronomy provides a significant opportunity for SG Biofuels and our partners to create a thriving global market for crude Jatropha oil.”
Jatropha curcas is a non-edible shrub that is native to Central America. Its seeds contain high amounts of oil that can be used for a variety of bio-based materials and feedstock substitutes. It can be effectively grown on marginal lands that are considered undesirable for food crops.
Earlier this year, SG Biofuels and Life Technologies formed a strategic alliance to further accelerate the development of Jatropha through use of Life Technologies’ biotechnology and synthetic biology tools. The companies recently announced they have completed the sequence of the Jatropha genome.
SG Biofuels has assembled the world’s largest and most diverse library of Jatropha genetic material and developed a crop improvement platform that has doubled the yield of Jatropha, while reducing input costs for growers.
The company’s integrated breeding and biotechnology approach forms the foundation for its JMax Jatropha Optimization Platform, providing research agencies, growers and plantation developers with access to the company’s germplasm library, the genome sequence, molecular markers and advanced biotech and synthetic biology tools to optimize elite Jatropha cultivars for unique growing conditions around the world. The company has also introduced JMax 100, an elite Jatropha cultivar optimized for growing conditions in Guatemala, with projected yields 100 percent greater than existing commercial varieties, resulting in a 300 percent increase in profits for growers.
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