Google invests in biofuels start-up


21 Mar 2011

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Google Ventures has invested in CoolPlanetBiofuels, a start-up which develops technology to produce fuel from inedible biomass, such as grass and wood chips.

The process also produces a byproduct that can capture carbon and it can be added to soil to improve crop yields.

“The company has come up with an innovative solution to one of the world’s biggest problems,” said Wesley Chan, partner at Google Ventures. “The technology is a win-win as the company is developing a sustainable and renewable energy source that also helps reduce the amount of carbon in the atmosphere.”

Google did not reveal the amount it contributed to the Series B funding. Last month, Google Ventures invested US$20m in power-saving energy conversion technology firm Transphorm.

Mike Cheiky, chief executive of Camarillo, California-based CoolPlanet, said in a statement, "While we have made significant progress over the past couple of years, this new infusion of capital, coupled with the expertise of the Google Ventures team, enables our team to scale even faster".

CoolPlanetBiofuels previously raised $8m in a round led by North Bridge Venture Partners with participation from GE Energy Financial Services.