Cobalt Biofuels Raises $25 Million

Cobalt Biofuels, a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based developer of biobutanol, has raised $25 million in Series C funding. New backer LSP and returnee Pinnacle Ventures co-led the round, and were joined by Harris & Harris Group and existing shareholders Vantage Point Venture Partners, The Malaysian Life Sciences Capital Fund and @Ventures. 



Cobalt Biofuels announced today it raised $25 million in equity to accelerate the commercialization of biobutanol, an advanced biofuel. The Series C equity round was co-led by LSP and Pinnacle Ventures and included both new and existing investors.


“With this round of funding Cobalt Biofuels will move aggressively toward commercial production of cost effective, non-food based biobutanol,” said Pamela Contag, President and CEO of Cobalt Biofuels.


The Series C round had strong participation from Cobalt Biofuels’ existing institutional investors, including Pinnacle Ventures, Vantage Point Venture Partners, The Malaysian Life Sciences Capital Fund and @Ventures. New investors included LSP and Harris and Harris. Fouad Azzam, General Partner of LSP, will be joining the Board. Cobalt Biofuels’ investor group provides the company access to deep expertise in process scale up and the commercialization of biofuels.


“Closing a funding round of this size in this economic environment is a testimony to the strength of Cobalt Biofuels’ technology and the tremendous potential that biobutanol has as a next generation biofuel,” said Ken Pelowski, Founder and Managing Partner of Pinnacle Ventures and a Cobalt Biofuels director.


“We looked at many biofuels opportunities before deciding to invest,” said Fouad Azzam, General Partner of LSP, a leading international life sciences venture capital firm with offices in Amsterdam, Munich and Boston. “We are firmly convinced that with this funding, Cobalt Biofuels is on a clear path to be the first next generation biofuels company to successfully commercialize biobutanol.”


Biobutanol is a next generation biofuel that can be used as a standalone transportation fuel, as an additive to gasoline or diesel fuel and as an additive to improve the properties of ethanol. Biobutanol can be used at full strength in today’s automobile engines and can be distributed through existing pipelines, in both cases unlike ethanol. Butanol can also be sold into the industrial chemical market, where it has numerous applications. Cobalt’s unique technology allows it to profitably produce biobutanol from a diverse range of non-food feedstocks. As a result, Cobalt Biofuels has the flexibility to site its facilities in a wide range of geographies and use the feedstock available locally. These advantages reduce the cost of the fuel and also increase environmental sustainability across the Cobalt Biofuels value chain.


About Cobalt Biofuels


Based in Mountain View, California, Cobalt Biofuels is leading the development of biobutanol, a next generation biofuel. Cobalt has proprietary technologies in microbial physiology, strain development, fermentation and low-energy fuel separation, which make possible a new generation of fuels that burn cleaner, are more cost-effective, and enhance environmental sustainability.


To learn more about the benefits of Cobalt Biofuels approach to producing sustainable biofuels, visit