Qteros Raises $22M More, Signs Deal to Commercialize Biofuels

1/5/11Follow @gthuang

The biofuels industry is still chugging along in Massachusetts. Marlborough, MA-based Qteros said today it has closed $22 million in the first tranche of its Series C financing. The investors in the round were not disclosed, but Qteros said both new and existing ones participated. The company’s previous backers include Battery Ventures, Venrock Associates, Long River Ventures, Soros Fund Management, Camros Capital, Valero Energy, and BP.

Qteros, formerly known as SunEthanol, had raised nearly $30 million before this latest financing round. The company has developed an experimental process for making ethanol from plant waste and other non-food sources—corn stalks, sugar cane leftovers, wood chips—that could someday make the cost of biofuels competitive with fossil fuels.

The cellulosic ethanol industry still faces many challenges, but here’s one promising bit of news: Qteros also said this week it has formed a strategic partnership with India’s Praj Industries, a major ethanol producer that has installed plants in more than 50 countries. Financial details weren’t given, but the deal exemplifies Qteros’s technology licensing approach—and it could be a big step forward for the firm.

Gregory T. Huang is Xconomy's Deputy Editor, National IT Editor, and the Editor of Xconomy Boston. You can e-mail him at gthuang@xconomy.com or call him at 617-252-7323. Follow @gthuang

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