Aurora Algae lands $22 million in finance round

By Bryan Sims | August 25, 2011

Vertically-integrated algae developer Aurora Algae has received $22 million in funding in a round led by Oak Investment Partners and other existing investors, along with an undisclosed foreign strategic investor. With the latest round of funding, Aurora Algae has raised a total of $72 million.

According to Aurora Algae, the funding in its latest round will help the company execute plans for construction of its commercial facility in Maitland, Western Australia, for which the company secured 610 hectares (approximately 1,500 acres) of land earlier this year—and expand operations at its laboratory located in Hayward, Calif., including its 20-acre demonstration-scale site in Karratha, Western Australia.  

Earlier this year, Aurora Algae completed construction of its demonstration-scale facility in Karratha and is fully operational. The company says its ponds have been specifically designed to be energy efficient, thereby increasing the economical feasibility of algae production. The demonstration-scale facility in Karratha features six one-acre raceway ponds, four 400-square meter ponds and four 50-square meter ponds.

In June, the MWH and John Holland were awarded the winning bidders for the initial engineering contract for design and construction of Aurora Algae’s commercial facility in Maitland. When built and operational, the company anticipates the site to be the largest commercial-scale photosynthetic algae facility in the world. Aurora Algae’s commercial facility will be equipped to manufacture algae-based biomass for production of sustainable products in the nutraceutical, pharmaceutical, aquaculture and renewable energy markets.

“This strategic investment, along with the continued support from our existing investors, shows profound confidence in our unique balance of science, technology and a financial model based on business fundamentals,” Aurora Algae CEO Greg Bafalis said in an email correspondence. “These achievements are vital to our impending success as we approach commercialization of the next generation of algae-based products that will feed and fuel the world.”


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