SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - Jul 26, 2012) - Siluria Technologies has announced the closing of its Series C financing. The company, which has developed technology that converts natural gas into value-added fuels and chemicals, raised $30 million in this round.
New investors Bright Capital and Vulcan Capital led the round. All of the company's existing investors -- ARCH Venture Partners, The Wellcome Trust, Alloy Ventures, Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, Lux Capital, Altitude Life Science Ventures and Presidio Ventures -- participated in the round. The Series C financing will help fund the construction of a commercial demonstration the plant and support the commercialization of the company's technology. To date, Siluria has raised $63.3 million.
Rather than break down the complex mixture of hydrocarbons in oil to produce usable fuels and chemicals, Siluria's technology builds these products from methane, the world's most abundant hydrocarbon and the principal component of natural gas. The process is fully scalable and uses commercially available equipment. Siluria has already built two functional pilot-scale reactors based around its technology that convert methane into higher-value chemicals and will start work on the commercial demonstration facility next year.
"Siluria's technology truly unlocks the potential of natural gas. Currently, the use of natural gas is largely limited to heating and the production of electricity. Oil is more valuable, because it can be converted into wide array of transportation fuels and industrial chemicals," said Mikhail Chuchkevich, Managing Partner at Bright Capital. "Siluria opens new, more lucrative markets for the producers and distributors of natural gas."
Fuels and chemicals manufactured via Siluria's process and natural gas are indistinguishable from products made today from oil. The difference is cost. On energy-equivalent basis, natural gas is more than four to five times less expensive than oil in North America and nearly half the price of oil in Europe, where far less natural gas is produced, according to the BP Statistical Review of Energy. By leveraging the abundance and wide availability of natural gas, Siluria's technology lowers the expense of producing fuels and chemicals.
"Siluria provides an answer to one of the world's greatest challenges: the ability to produce commodity chemicals and transportation fuels from a resource that is a cheaper and more abundant than oil. With Siluria's technology, natural gas can become a fundamental building block for a number of industries," said Steve Hall, Managing Director at Vulcan Capital. "The compatibility of Siluria's process with the existing infrastructure paves the way for widespread adoption."
"Expanding industrial feedstock base to natural gas will have a positive effect throughout the global economy," said Dr. Alex Tkachenko, President and co-founder of Siluria. "Natural gas producers and commodity manufacturers will generate greater returns on their investments and overall emissions can decline."
About Siluria Technologies:
Siluria Technologies is commercializing its process technology for the conversion of natural gas to higher value chemicals and fuels. Siluria's energy efficient process and cost-advantaged feedstock provide a compelling alternative to reliance on oil. With a world-class technical and commercial team, Siluria Technologies is based in San Francisco, California.
About Bright Capital:
Founded in 2010, Bright Capital invests globally in advanced materials, energy efficiency, telecommunications and information technology. The firm is based in Moscow and provides its portfolio companies with direct access to the markets of Russia and CIS through its network of connections to leading industrial companies in the region.
About Vulcan Capital
Vulcan Capital was formed in 2003 and is headquartered in Seattle, WA. The firm serves as the investment arm of Vulcan Inc., the organization founded by Paul G. Allen in 1986 to manage his personal and professional endeavors. Vulcan Capital invests across all stages of corporate development through leveraged buyouts, growth capital, distressed/turnaround, and early-stage venture capital as well as public equity value investing. The firm's portfolio spans a range of industry sectors, including media and communications, energy and natural resources, financial and information services, technology, and life sciences. For more information, please visit http://capital.vulcan.com.