Agriculture & foodtech Clean tech and energy Startups

Solugen Raises $200M As Clean Energy Basks In Funding Spree

Illustration of paper airplane made from money

Solugen raised $200 million in mid-October, the company told Bloomberg last week.

The chemical company and darling of the Texas startup industry has raised $635.2 million to date, according to Crunchbase data. The 6-year-old company previously raised $350 million in Series C funding from Baillie Gifford and GIC last year. Per Bloomberg, Solugen is expected to rake in more than $100 million this year, and is valued at around $2 billion. 

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Solugen makes chemicals out of sugar and corn syrup that can replace industrial processes that require fossil fuels. The company sells to businesses in agriculture, defense and cosmetics. 

The chemicals could be considered carbon-negative in some use cases, depending on the industry and what those chemicals will be used for. 

The rise of clean energy

Most clean energy startups have garnered funding based on the fluctuating prices of fossil fuels. But Solugen has been able to succeed because it can replicate its chemical engineering process with other materials and provide value to more than one industry, investors told Bloomberg. 

Venture funding in the clean energy space hasn’t taken a hit since the economic downturn — we’ve seen around $4.1 billion pumped into the industry, per Crunchbase data. Funding went from the hundreds of thousands to $5.6 billion in 2021 and has stayed relatively put since then.

The reason has little to do with climate change and more to do with energy efficiency and logistics. The war between Russia and Ukraine has throttled the fertilizer market in Europe, (which Solugen plans to address) and has hampered access to gas across all industries as countries place energy sanctions on Russia. 

As a result, funding has poured into the sector. TerraPower, a nuclear energy startup, nabbed $750 million in funding from Bill Gates and SK Group in August. Palmetto, a clean energy company focused on energy for housing, raised $375 million from Social Capital in February. 

Illustration: Dom Guzman


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