SG Biofuels Raises $17M in Move Toward Agricultural Production

1/17/12Follow @bvbigelow

San Diego’s SG Biofuels, an agricultural biotech developing the Jatropha plant to produce biofuels, says today it has raised $17 million in a Series B round of financing led by Thomas, McNerney & Partners. San Diego-based Finistere Ventures also joined the round, along with existing investors, Carlsbad-based Life Technologies (NASDAQ: LIFE) and Flint Hills Resources, the Kansas refining and chemicals business owned by Koch Industries.

Thomas, McNerney partner Pratik Shah, who moved his office to San Diego from San Francisco last year, has joined SG Biofuels’ board, along with Jerry Caulder, Finistere’s managing director and the former CEO of Mycogen, an agricultural biotech founded in San Diego.

SG Biofuels says it will use the additional capital to expand its research and development, advance commercialization efforts, and scale global operations. The company says it is working with an airline industry consortium to plant 250,000 acres of Jatropha. The agricultural biotech has focused on improving the jatropha plant to optimize its productivity in various climate zones. The shrub’s golf ball-size seeds produce oil that can be processed into jet fuel, biodiesel, and other fuels.

In a statement from the company, SG Biofuels CEO Kirk Haney says, “The funding comes at a time when we’re experiencing significant commercial adoption of our hybrid Jatropha and will be instrumental as we continue to expand our global footprint.”

Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at bbigelow@xconomy.com or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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