Renewable Chemicals Producer Allylis Seeks $15 Million
to Realise Produce Pipeline
Interview with Clean Energy Pipeline
Nov. 15, 2011
Allylix Inc., a San Diego, CA-based renewable chemicals company focused on the production of naturally occurring organic compounds known as terpenes, is seeking $15 million to accelerate commercialisation of its suite of seven chemicals.
“We are raising $15 million now and are engaging with venture capital and strategic investors,” Carolyn Fritz, CEO of Allylix, told Clean Energy Pipeline. “We will use the capital to support adoption of our two chemicals that are on the market and to bring a further five
chemicals to the market.”
To date, Allylix has secured $15 million since its inception in 2002. Existing investors include Bluegrass Angels, Tech Coast Angels, Cultivian Ventures, Avrio Ventures and Tate & Lyle Ventures.
Allylix specialises in producing terpene products and their derivatives, which exhibit properties that are of high value to the flavor and fragrance, food ingredient, pharmaceutical, agricultural and biofuels markets. These chemicals have to date only been available in
extremely small quantities as they have historically been extracted directly from plants.
Allylix’s patented metabolic engineering and fermentation technology platform is capable of producing natural terpenes at high volume, high quality and at low cost. Fritz did not divulge specific information, but did say that the company’s technology enables terpenes to be
produced at a stable rate at a fraction of the cost of conventional processes.
Fritz emphasised that these products will be produced in low volumes relative to the wider chemicals industry. “A lot of chemicals firms have moved into bulk chemicals, effectively producing low-margin products at high volume,” she said. “We are focused on the speciality
chemicals market, in which we will produce high-margin products at low volume.”
Allylix is currently producing two terpene products at industrial scale. These are nootkatone, a long-lasting citrus flavor and fragrance used in the food, beverage and personal care industries, and valencene, an orange flavor and fragrance used in similar industries. The company’s product pipeline includes terpenes with tick repellent properties, in addition to chemicals with desirable characteristics for the food ingredients and biofuels markets.
While Allylix is seeking to raise financing from the venture capital community many of its competitors that are at an equally early stage have announced plans to raise funds on the public markets. Yesterday US renewable biochemicals producer BioAmber filed plans to
raise $150 million through an IPO.
Biochemicals and biofuels firms including Gevo, KiOR and Solazyme have all listed in 2011, while a host of others including Elevance, Mascoma and Fulcrum BioEnergy have filed to do so.
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