Sapphire Energy, a privately held developer of algae-based crude oil production technology, announced on Monday it has raised $144 million in its third round of venture capital, bringing the total raised by the company so far to over $300 million. Investors in the latest funding round include Arrowpoint Partners, Monsanto, and other undisclosed participants. The financing will support Sapphire’s commercial demonstration project in Luna County, N.M., knows as The Green Crude Farm, which purports to be the world’s first commercial demonstration scale, “algae-to-energy” facility, integrating the entire chain of algae-based fuel production, from cultivation to production to extraction of ready-to-refine “green crude.”
Founded in 2007, Sapphire is developing production methods that are based solely on photosynthetic microorganisms (algae and cyanobacteria), using sunlight and CO2 as their feedstock. Its products are designed to enhance and replace petroleum-based products and are compatible with the existing fuel refinery and distribution infrastructure, according to the company.