GlycosBio closes series A round of $5 million

By | April 15, 2009
Glycos Biotechnologies, Inc. (GlycosBio) announced the closing of a $5.0 million Series A round of financing led by venture capital firms Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ) and DFJ Mercury, both leading investors in early-stage clean technology companies. Proceeds from the Series A financing will be used to hire key technical talent and to commercialize GlycosBio technology to manufacturing scale.

GlycosBio is pioneering an innovative, sustainable and cost-efficient approach to chemical processes and products using microbes and fermentation technologies as an alternative to petrochemical-based manufacturing. GlycosBio's core technology for glycerin conversion was originally developed at Rice University in Professor Ramon Gonzalez's Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Lab. This new technology is focused on converting low-value, low-purity carbon sources into high-quality, non-petroleum-sourced chemicals that are molecularly identical to current petrochemical-based chemicals.

GlycosBio's technologies will bolster economics of the ethanol and biodiesel industries by upgrading glycerin-rich co-products to a variety of chemical intermediates. The company's technologies enable the rapid implementation of a biorefinery business model by leveraging existing infrastructure to increase process efficiencies and improve profits.

"We are enthusiastic about both GlycosBio's technology and team," said Dan Watkins, managing director at DFJ Mercury. "We believe their microbial technologies open up whole new markets by using low-value, low-purity feedstocks to dramatically reduce the cost of chemical manufacturing. The combination of lower cost and significant CO2 reduction versus petrochemical processes gives GlycosBio a compelling value proposition."

In connection with this transaction, Steve Jurvetson of Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Dan Watkins of DFJ Mercury will serve on the GlycosBio board. Richard Cilento will join the board as Chairman.

"We are pleased to have received financing from a leading clean tech investor like DFJ," said Walter S. Burnap, chief financial officer of GlycosBio. "By developing technologies that rely on microbes to create chemicals, we can untether chemical manufacturing from the volatile petroleum market. Not only can GlycosBio offer customers price stability and overall cost savings, but we can also do it in a sustainable way that is good for the environment. GlycosBio will truly transform the biodiesel and ethanol industries by providing new product streams and biorefinery revenue opportunities for their existing facilities."

To link to a feature article on GlycosBio from Biodiesel Magazine, visit

About DFJ

Draper Fisher Jurvetson ("DFJ") backs extraordinary entrepreneurs anywhere who set out to change the world. DFJ achieves its mission through its DFJ Global Network of Partner Funds managing over $6B on four continents. Since its founding in 1985, DFJ has been proud to back over 500 companies across many sectors including such industry changing successes such as Hotmail (acquired by MSFT), Baidu (BIDU), Skype (acquired by EBAY), United Online (UNTD), Overture (acquired by YHOO), Athenahealth (ATHN), EnerNOC (ENOC), TicketsNow (acquired by TicketMaster), Feedburner (acquired by Google), Interwoven (IWOV), Four11 (acquired by YHOO), Parametric (PMTC), and Digidesign (acquired by AVID).

About DFJ Mercury

DFJ Mercury is a seed and early-stage venture capital firm. Headquartered in Houston, Texas, DFJ Mercury invests in compelling and novel start-up opportunities in the information technology, advanced materials and bioscience sectors. DFJ Mercury seeks to partner with extraordinary entrepreneurs to build globally competitive businesses, focusing on investments in Texas and targeted regional tech clusters in the MidWest. The firm has a particular focus on university spin-outs and incubation, often investing prior to a business plan or management team being formed. DFJ Mercury is an active partner in the DFJ Global Network of venture capital funds. For more information visit

About Glycos Biotechnologies, Inc.

Glycos Biotechnologies, Inc. is a Houston-based biotechnology company started with technology initially developed at Rice University. GlycosBio is pioneering the metabolic engineering of microbial strains for the production of sustainable chemical intermediates, advanced ethanol and bioprocesses that will deliver lower costs and price stability to the chemical and biofuel industries. For more information, visit
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