When Khosla Ventures and Netherlands-based biofuel startup BIOeCON announced their joint biofuel venture KiOR earlier this month, the partners kept the size of the Series A investment hush-hush. But according to a regulatory filing picked up by PEhub.com, KiOR has raised just over $1.4 million. It’s a small amount compared with the dozen-plus biofuel investments in which Vinod Khosla has already put his money.
KiOR’s CEO Rob Van Der Meij told us earlier this month that KiOR’s “biomass catalytic cracking process” — a thermochemical process that produces biocrude from grass, wood and plant waste that can then be refined — has significantly lower capital costs compared with other biomass conversion technologies. In 2008, the company hopes to prove the economics of its technology with a pilot plant. Ultimately the hope is to license the technology to customers like oil refineries and feedstock owners.