Mascoma Gets $50M More for Ethanol

Mascoma LogoMascoma, the Cambridge, Mass.-based cellulosic ethanol company, has raised $50 million in Series C funding, PEHub reports. This round was led by General Catalyst Partners, and included return investors Khosla Ventures, Atlas Venture, Flagship Ventures, Kleiner Perkins, Pinnacle Ventures and VantagePoint Venture Partners. The round consisted of Mascoma $30 million in equity and $20 million in debt. Previously, Mascoma had raised $40 million.

Mascoma, a company spun out of Prof. Lee Lynd’s decades of research at Dartmouth College, was making big moves at the end of 2007. Besides bringing on several new executives, the company unveiled its plans to build the nation’s first switchgrass biorefinery, Mascoma’s third biorefinery. Scheduled for completion in 2009, the facility is forecast to produce five million gallons of ethanol per year.

With two other biorefineries also under construction — one using wood as feedstock and the other processing multiple cellulosic feedstocks — Mascoma has quite a few irons in the fire, but, like everyone else, is still waiting for that laboratory breakthrough to combine the processes of breaking down cellulose and fermenting the sugars into one step.