7 Comments

Summary:

GreenFuel is encountering even more hurdles in its path to producing algae, fed with recycled CO2, that can be turned into biofuel. This time it’s the battered economy throwing up roadblocks, and the company has cut nearly half its staff, according to XConomy. One of the […]

GreenFuel is encountering even more hurdles in its path to producing algae, fed with recycled CO2, that can be turned into biofuel. This time it’s the battered economy throwing up roadblocks, and the company has cut nearly half its staff, according to XConomy. One of the recently laid off folks confirmed the news in an email with us this morning. Update: GreenFuel also confirmed the layoffs with us as well.

The layoffs are yet another setback for the Massachusetts-based firm, which also did layoffs in 2008, and had set out a seven-step turnaround plan to help get it back on track. GreenFuels’ previous problems have included struggling to find a replacement CEO to take over for Polaris Ventures Bob Metcalfe (former Dow Chemical executive Simon Upfill-Brown became its CEO in July), and shutting down a greenhouse in Arizona after discovering that its algae-growing technology was more expensive than expected.

One part of the company’s seven-step plan was to raise a Series C round of financing. Last May, the company raised a $13.9 million Series B round from existing investors, including Access Private Equity, Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Polaris Venture Partners. We never heard that the company completed that funding, and if the company is cutting spending, then financing is clearly a problem.

The former employee also said that the company had lost an important customer. Update: A GreenFuel spokesperson says that “the Aurantia project is still underway.” We’re waiting to hear back from GreenFuel if its deal with Spanish engineering company Aurantia is still intact. More when we know more.

Related research

Subscriber Content
?
Subscriber content comes from Gigaom Research, bridging the gap between breaking news and long-tail research. Visit any of our reports to learn more and subscribe.
By Katie Fehrenbacher
  1. [...] No Comments Posted January 12th, 2009 at 3:29 pm in Startups With the economy in the tank, and layoffs happening across the cleantech sector, the next-generation of technology to fight climate change has been losing a lot of financing [...]

    Share
  2. I review alt. energy companies
    http://optimism.thorscave.com/?cat=73

    GreenFuel is one of my favorites and I see a lot of potential in algae based biofuels and products. I hope this is simply another setback and that the company will recover.

    Share
  3. [...] week GreenFuel, which produces algae from recycled CO2 that can be turned into biofuel, said it has cut almost half of its staff, and doesn’t appear to have been able to close a crucial series C funding [...]

    Share
  4. [...] pretty daring production estimates until it overestimated costs, struggled to raise funding and cut nearly half its staff recently. As Martin Tobias, former CEO of biodiesel maker Imperium Renewables and now CEO of Kashless.org, [...]

    Share
  5. [...] next generation biofuel companies, filed for bankruptcy in March, and algae startup GreenFuel cut nearly half of its staff in January amid difficulty raising a third round of financing for its plan to capture carbon [...]

    Share
  6. [...] by Katie Fehrenbacher No Comments Posted May 13th, 2009 at 4:27 pm in Uncategorized After cutting nearly half its staff in January, algae producer startup GreenFuel is closing up shop. GreenFuel investor Duncan McIntyre at Polaris [...]

    Share
  7. [...] demonstration proves successful. Algae startup GreenFuel, which finally shut down last week after cutting almost half its staff in January, said last year that it would use up to $92 million to build an algae-based fuel plant in [...]

    Share

Comments have been disabled for this post