NexSteppe Raises $14 Million In Series B Funding Round

Posted on December 21st in Press Releases

NexSteppe Raises $14 Million In Series B Funding Round

Braemar Energy Ventures Leads Round

Malibu, Califórnia – December 21, 2011 – NexSteppe, a company dedicated to pioneering the next generation of sustainable feedstock solutions for the biofuels, biopower and biobased products industries, today announced raising $14M in its second round of funding.

The biobased industries that NexSteppe’s products serve are experiencing rapid growth driven by volatile fossil fuel prices, a desire for energy security, and growing concerns about the environmental impacts of fossil fuel use. Sugars and biomass from NexSteppe’s tailored crops can be processed by biorefineries, sugar to ethanol mills, and coal or biomass-fired power plants into a myriad of products ranging from fuels to power to plastics to cosmetics. While each application has its unique feedstock requirements, they all require scalable, reliable and sustainable feedstocks that won’t negatively impact the environment or the world’s food supply. Dedicated crops, optimized for these applications, hold the promise for bioenergy and biobased products to become mainstream, sustainable solutions. NexSteppe is focused on developing these crops, as well as the supply chains that will enable their widespread adoption.

The company will use the proceeds from the round to scale up its sweet sorghum, high biomass sorghum and switchgrass breeding programs, and to advance its first products toward commercialization. According to NexSteppe founder and CEO, Anna Rath, “NexSteppe has assembled a world class team that brings to this industry a new level of operational experience and commercial orientation. We look forward to working with our customers to solve their feedstock problems and meet their feedstock needs.”

The new round of funding was led by Braemar Energy Ventures, a leading energy venture capital firm with a strong portfolio of investments in alternative energy and energy efficiency. In connection with Braemar’s investment in NexSteppe, Dennis Costello, Partner at Braemar Energy Ventures, has joined the company’s Board of Directors.

”We have long believed that feedstock is a critical component in the value chains for biofuels and biobased products. We view NexSteppe’s strategy of focusing on dedicated crops produced from seed, some of which can offer drop-in solutions in existing value chains, as a winning one,” said Dennis Costello. “The combination of the management team’s experience and focus makes the company attractive. We are excited about the prospects for growth in this sector and are pleased to be on this path with NexSteppe.”

Braemar was joined by returning investors CYM Ventures and Zygote Ventures among others. CYM Ventures is the investment company of a third generation, family-owned and operated agricultural business in Asia. CYM is committed to the belief that agriculture will play a vital role in the coming years, to provide for the needs of an ever growing world. Zygote Ventures is a privately held seed/angel venture capital fund that invests very early in innovative technology enterprises. Zygote is run by principal Jerry Fiddler, Chairman of Solazyme and founder of Wind River.

About NexSteppe
NexSteppe is dedicated to pioneering the next generation of scalable, reliable, cost-effective and sustainable feedstock solutions for the biofuels, biopower and biobased products industries. Through the development and commercialization of tailored crops and fully-integrated feedstock solutions, NexSteppe is laying a foundation for a more secure and sustainable future for our economy, our environment, and our energy supply. For more information, please visit www.nexsteppe.com.

About Braemar Energy

Braemar Energy Ventures is a venture capital fund making early to mid-stage investments in the energy technology sector. The firm’s principals have invested in more than 50 companies in the sector and have significant technical, operational and financial experience in energy and energy-related industries. Through offices in New York and Boston, the firm targets a wide range of energy technologies that impact stationary power, transportation and portable energy applications. Additional information is available at www.braemarenergy.com.

The NexSteppe logo and NexSteppe™ are trademarks of NexSteppe.

Media Contact:
(650) 887–5700
media@nexsteppe.com

Vu Chung
Braemar – CJP Communications
(212) 279-3115 ext 205
vchung@cjpcom.com