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Venture Capital News: Heliae Shines with $28.4M Funding Round

GILBERT, AZ, Platform technology company that produces high-value products from algae, today announced it has raised $28.4 million in funding from existing and new investors.
Heliae, a platform technology company that produces high-value products from algae, today announced it has raised $28.4 million in funding from existing and new investors. Existing investors include select members of the Mars family and the ASEAN-based global conglomerate Salim Group, through one of its subsidiaries, Agri Investments Pte Ltd. Heliae welcomed a new investor to this round of financing, Mr. Thomas J. Edelman, a private investor who has worked extensively with Heliae's President and CEO Dan Simon. The funding will be used to support the operation and expansion of Heliae's first commercial facility in Gilbert, Ariz. The facility will be operational in September of 2013, supplying high-value personal care and nutraceutical products to existing customers.

'With Heliae's first commercial plant on schedule for startup in the third quarter, the company is in the final stages of proving the viability of our flexible Volaris™ production platform and demonstrating economics at a commercial scale,' said Dan Simon, president and CEO of Heliae. 'It's an exciting time for Heliae and the sustained support of existing investors, as well as the addition of new investors, demonstrates our momentum and continued success in scale-up.'

Heliae's flexible Volaris platform combines the best of existing algae production models, utilizing both sunlight and low-cost carbon feedstocks to optimize output. Volaris is a mixotrophic algae production platform, a hybrid of known phototrophic and heterotrophic models, which affords decreased capital costs, reduced contamination and increased productivity and product optionality.

Heliae's commercial facility is being constructed in two phases corresponding to the customer supply agreements already in place. With the ability to tailor the Volaris production platform for specific algae strains and target products, Heliae's commercial facility will showcase flexibility to produce a range of products and ingredients for multiple markets on one site. Phase one will deliver a high-value nutraceutical product, derived from a strain that demands high light conditions. Phase two targets a personal care product with a strain that necessitates lower light conditions. These two versions of Volaris will demonstrate the platform's unmatched flexibility in meeting customer needs in multiple sectors.

'With our first commercial plant coming on line and this latest round of funding, the company is on track to deliver high-quality, algae-based products to the therapeutic, nutraceutical, agroscience and personal care industries,' said Frank Mars, co-founder and chairman of the board. 'Heliae is delivering against our mission to advance the future of algae.'

About Heliae
Heliae is a platform technology company that uses sunlight and low-cost carbon feedstocks to produce high-value products from algae. Based in Gilbert, Ariz., Heliae is leveraging its core production technology into four target markets: nutrition, therapeutics, health & beauty and agrosciences. With a seasoned management team and world-class science, Heliae is advancing the future of the algae industry by delivering novel algae-based products to dynamic markets around the world.
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