Green bucks are here

Alright, I’m back from my drinking binge in Germany (just kidding!). I wish the world is hooked on wifi for free so I can tweet and blog to my heart’s content! Or ICIS will just give me a portable internet connection (crossing fingers…) = )

Anyway, here’s an announcement from Genomatica last Thursday about their recent $15m fund raising coming from TPG. The company says the investment will accelerate their development and scale-up of Genomatica’s flagship process for commercial-scale production of 1,4 butanediol (BDO).

Genomatica researchers have already achieved a 20,000-fold increase in the concentration of BDO produced by the microbes. The company plans to scale into a fully integrated demonstration facility, where it will finalize the engineering of its process for commercial-scale production of BDO.

So far, interests seem to have been rising from the investment community in industrial biotech processing. Aside from Genomatica’s announcement, this year alone produced new funding announcements from Segetis, Cereplast ($20m in January); and from the newly created green chemistry company Reluceo.

By the way, in a survey from tax and advisory firm KPMG, 67% of the 200 venture capitalists, investors, entrepreneurs and bankers that responded expect that venture capital investment will increase this year compared to 2009. 77% of those surveyed say venture investment in green technology will increase in 2010 compared to 2009, including 15% who project investment to jump by more than 20%.

“We have certainly seen an increase in venture funding directed toward storage and efficiency, as investors look to maximize their returns on energy that is already here,” said Packy Kelly, KPMG partner based in Silicon Valley and co-leader of its venture capital practice. “But renewables will also command attention, given the government’s emphasis on these technologies that are advancing rapidly.”

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