Monday, June 1, 2009

HCL CleanTech raises $5.5m from Khosla Ventures and Burrill & Company

HCL CleanTech Ltd., a biofuels start-up based in Tel Aviv, announced today a $5.5 million Series A financing led by Khosla Ventures, Burrill & Company, and angel investor Zohar Gilon.

HCL CleanTech has developed a proprietary technology to make an old, industrially proven German process converting lignocellulosic biomass to fermentable sugars economically attractive. According to the company, it is these fermentable sugars which are considered the gateway to advanced biofuels (biobutanols, biodiesel, jet fuel etc) and biochemicals (bioplastics etc).

"Accessing cheap sugar locked in biomass is one of the greatest challenges now faced by those pursuing renewable fuels and chemicals. HCL CleanTech's technology represents a step change in accessing these sugars, and drops into the pretreatment step of any fermentation-based process or chemical reforming technique which starts with oligosaccharides," said Burrill & Company Director, Greg Young. "We are eager to see this proven at scale, at which point it becomes immediately relevant to adjacent industries aiming to use biomass as a feedstock."

HCL CleanTech was founded in 2007 by Prof. Avram Baniel, Prof. Ari Eyal and Eran Baniel.

The Series A funds will be used for R&D in Israel and for construction of a pilot plant in the United States schedule to be completed in 2010.

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