Algae Startup GreenFuel "Weeks" From Finishing Turnaround Plan

GreenFuel Technologies, a startup that uses recycled CO2 to grow algae, which can be turned into biofuel, says it is weeks away from completing the goals of its “7-step” turnaround plan. The company had hit a few speed bumps over the past year, resulting in layoffs, CEO switches, and the shutting down of a greenhouse in Arizona after discovering that its algae tech was more expensive than first planned.

The goals of its turnaround plan had previously included closing a Series C round of funding and hiring a permanent CEO to replace interim CEO (and Ethernet inventor) Bob Metcalfe (whom we interviewed here).

This afternoon the company announced that it had raised $13.9 million of a Series B round from existing investors, and “in the coming weeks” will announce details of a strategic Series C round. The company also says in the coming weeks it will announce deals for scaling the company’s technology, and will name a CEO that will help the company scale.

It should be noted that the company had previously intended to complete its 7-step interim plan in December, but then pushed the deadline back to March then June, reported Xconomy.

The extension of GreenFuel’s Series B round was led by Access Private Equity, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, and Polaris Venture Partners. Metcalfe says in the release that the round included $6.3 million of debt and $7.6 million of new capital to help the company build its algae farming projects.

The company was already reported to have reached an agreement to build its first fuel plant — worth $92 million — in Europe, according to Xconomy. And while GreenFuel says its algae farming technologies are advancing in its 100m2 bioreactors, they “are not yet fully developed or scaled.”

GreenFuel says in the coming weeks after these announcements they will have successfully completed the “7-step Interim Plan” that was started in June 2007. Xconomy published Metcalfe’s 7-step letter last July, which included: raising interim cash in the next 30 days, hiring a new CEO by November 2007, and closing GreenFuel’s next round of funding by the end of 2007. OK, so progress has been slow, but the company seems like its finally on its way.

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