Joule today announced the closing of a $70 million third round of funding, supporting its aggressive timeline to commercialization and bringing its total to $110+ million raised to date. The round included investments from both new and prior undisclosed institutional and private sources that joined Flagship Ventures, Joule's founding venture capital investor. The news was released in conjunction with Joule's participation at the World Future Energy Summit, where President and CEO William J. Sims will present on the company's behalf.
The proceeds will be applied towards the build-out and operation of a Joule facility located in Hobbs, New Mexico and slated for commissioning in the summer of 2012. The facility is designed to test and optimize Joule's Helioculture™ process and SolarConverter® system at incrementally larger scales, with the potential to expand to 1,000 acres for initial commercial production. This will also show the ease with which Joule's process can scale from hundreds to thousands of acres, advantaged by a modular system design and lack of feedstock or resource constraints. Proceeds from the round will also support Joule's global expansion plans and on-going technology development.
"2011 was a year of milestones for Joule, including the groundbreaking at our first production site, the expansion of our pilot plant, the issuance of additional patents; now totaling 11, the transition to our new world-class headquarters and labs, and the successful close of our largest funding round to date," said Mr. Sims. "Our goal since inception has been to enable large-scale, renewable fuel production at unprecedented costs and volumes in the near term, without the obstacles and slow pace of biofuel progress. On the heels of our latest funding round and technology advancement, we're in a very strong position to make it happen as planned."
"Joule is among the most innovative and transformative companies to have emerged from our VentureLabs unit, encompassing numerous breakthroughs in a highly-efficient, scalable process that represents a new paradigm for liquid fuel production," said Noubar Afeyan, Founder and Chairman of Joule and Managing Partner and CEO of Flagship Ventures. "Joule has now successfully moved beyond the research phase to prove the industrial viability of its approach, with a clear path to global implementation."
The World Future Energy Summit is one of the world's foremost annual meetings dedicated to advancing future energy, energy efficiency and clean technologies by engaging political, business, finance, academic and industry leaders to drive innovation, business and investment opportunities. Mr. Sims will present during the Technology Leaders in Future Energy session taking place on Wednesday, January 18. Additional information about the event is available at http://www.worldfutureenergysummit.com/.
Joule is advancing a technology platform for Liquid Fuel from the Sun™, expected to eclipse the scale, productivity and cost efficiency of any known alternative to fossil fuel today. Its transformative Helioculture™ platform directly and continuously converts sunlight and waste CO2 to infrastructure-ready diesel, ethanol or commodity chemicals with no dependence on biomass feedstocks, downstream processing or precious natural resources. This process can yield renewable fuels and chemicals in unprecedented volumes with a fraction of the land required by current methods, leapfrogging biomass-dependent approaches and eliminating the economic and environmental disadvantages of fossil fuels. Founded in 2007 by Flagship VentureLabs, Joule is privately held and headquartered in Bedford, Massachusetts. Additional information is available at www.jouleunlimited.com.