Death Valley Days: The Biofuels Financing Saga
by Jim Lane (Biofuels Digest) As bio-based companies race across the Valley of Death, in the dash for scale, who’s getting financing now, and how?
The path to financing success in bio-based project development used to be a little less complicated.
Raise seed money from friends and family. Series A and B with your friendly local VC, to prove the concept and build a pilot. Bring in a strategic for the Series C and D and the demo plant, then over to NASDAQ for plant one at commercial scale.
These days, financing comes with plot twists and a cast of characters that Charles Dickens would have been proud of, as “Great Expectations” have given way to a plaintive “more please, Sir?” right out of Oliver Twist, or a “bioenergy is a humbug!” right out of A Christmas Carol.
Yet we’ve seen a number of creative financing efforts getting traction. From the story of Myriant’s unrated bonds, to Gevo leaping into the secondary share offering market. Over in California, Pacific Ethanol is working on a new issue of shares, notes and warrants; yesterday, the DOE announced its Phase II SBIR grants; meanwhile, the USDA is beginning to unveil its strategy of integrated public-private supports.Let’s take a look. READ MORE and MORE (Biofuels Digest) and MORE (Biofuels Digest July 11, 2012)