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The Biomass Backers

The Biomass Backers
October 5 2020

Biomass is a renewable organic material that comes from plants and animals. Biomass was the largest source of total annual U.S. energy consumption until the mid-1800s. Biomass continues to be an important fuel in many countries, especially for cooking and heating in developing countries. The use of biomass fuels for transportation and electricity generation is increasing in many developed countries as a means of avoiding carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel use. In 2019, biomass provided nearly 5 quadrillion British thermal units (BTU) and about 5% of total primary energy use in the United States.

Biomass contains stored chemical energy from the sun. Plants produce biomass through photosynthesis. Biomass can be burned directly for heat or converted to renewable liquid and gaseous fuels through various processes.

Recently, oil majors such as BP have identified opportunities in the area and are going into it. However several startups already are ahead of the majors. It is an increasingly competitive space and is consolidating fast. 

Biomass fuels provided about 4 percent of the energy used in the United States in 2010. Of this, about 46 percent was from wood and wood-derived biomass, 43 percent was from biofuels (mainly ethanol), and about 11 percent was from municipal waste. Researchers are trying to develop ways to burn more biomass and fewer fossil fuels. Using biomass for energy cuts back on waste and greenhouse gas emissions.

Biomass offers other significant environmental and consumer benefits, including improving forest health, protecting air quality, and offering the most dependable renewable energy source.

In the Spotlight - Direct Listed:

Sierra Energy is a privately owned waste-to-energy gasification company. The company claims that its FastOx gasification technology can take virtually any trash and turn it into clean energy, without burning. Sierra Energy is a division of Sierra Railroad.

Enexor’s renewable energy system converts nearly any type of organic waste, such as cardboard or animal waste, into energy, Jestings said. The units are modular, about the size of a storage pod, and installed on-site in about a day. The system can generate 75 kilowatts of power per hour and runs continuously.

Enerkem is a Montreal-based cleantech company. Founded in 2000, the Enerkem technology converts pretreated municipal solid waste into transportation fuels and chemicals.

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Since last week, PrivCo has added:
2030 Companies | 249 Funding Activities | 68 M&A Deals

Funding & Deal Highlights:

LB Pharmaceuticals, Inc., an NYC-based biotechnology company focused on developing and commercializing novel and improved versions of CNS treatments, closed a $10 MM convertible note offering through a private placement to existing and new investors.

New Jersey American Water announced the awarding of $950,000 in Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit (NRTC) funding to Interfaith Neighbors of Asbury Park and The Cooper Health System of Camden. The funding will be used for projects aimed at improving housing and economic development opportunities in both cities.

Koneksa, the leader in developing and implementing patient-centric digital biomarkers for drug development, announced today the completion of a $16 MM Series B financing round. The company plans to use the investment to expand the development of its digital platform for integrating wearables, sensors, and other patient-facing technologies into clinical research.

Allbirds just closed on $100 MM in Series E funding at roughly the same $1.6 BN valuations it was assigned after closing on $27 MM in Series D funding earlier this year, and blank-check companies have been calling, says co-founder and CEO Joey Zwillinger. He talked with us earlier this week in a chat that has been edited for length and clarity.

Curtiss-Wright Corporation today announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire the stock of Pacific Star Communications, Inc. for $400 MM in cash. PacStar, a private company, is a leading provider of tactical communications solutions for battlefield network management, including commercial off-the-shelf (COTS)-based rugged, small form factor communications systems, and its proprietary “IQ-Core® Software” integrated network communications management software.

Magaya Corporation, the leading provider of end-to-end logistics and supply chain automation software, today announced that it has acquired Catapult, a leader in freight rate management software. The acquisition provides a perfect complement to the Magaya ecosystem, delivering technology built around the specific rating and quoting needs of freight forwarders, NVOCCs, carriers, and others in the logistics industry.

Epic Games, the creator of the popular video game “Fortnite”, said on Friday it acquired UK-based SuperAwesome, a platform for developers to include kid-safety tools in their products.

E.W. Scripps has reached a deal to acquire Ion Media for $2.65 BN in a deal that will be partially financed by a $600 MM investment from Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway.

Snappr raised $10 MM in Series A funding to further develop its photographer and visual content marketplace. Basis Set Ventures led the round, with participation from YesVC and Y Combinator. This new cash infusion gives the 4-year-old San Francisco-based company a total of $13 MM in total funds raised, which included $3 MM in previous seed and angel rounds.

UPshow, which develops interactive digital signage for brick-and-mortar brands, added $4.8 MM in funding led by 4490 Ventures to close out its $14 MM Series A funding round.

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