Solazyme, Inc., an algal biotechnology company that produces renewable oils and biomaterials in standard fermentation facilities, announced that Unilever has joined its Series D financing round (earlier post) as a strategic investor. The strategic investment by Unilever adds to the previously announced Series D round.
This strategic investment leverages the development potential of both companies in the personal care and nutritionals markets, incorporating Solazyme’s renewable oil technology platform within Unilever’s broad product portfolio and market access. Unilever, which has an existing R&D agreement with Solazyme, is working with Solazyme’s tailored renewable oils and has successfully tested these oils in current product formulations.
Unilever has been working closely together with Solazyme for two years now and this investment will help us to broaden our partnership in new application areas. It will also help us to plan for how future developments in Solazyme's technology platform will contribute to Unilever’s supply options and assist us in our sustainability vision.—Phil Giesler, Innovation Director at Unilever Corporate Ventures
Unilever joined other strategic investors in the round including Bunge, a leading global agribusiness and food company; CTTV Investments LLC, the venture capital arm of Chevron Technology Ventures LLC; San-Ei Gen, a major Japanese manufacturer and distributor of food ingredients; Jay Precourt and Family; and Sir Richard Branson via the Roda Group. Braemer Energy Ventures and Morgan Stanley led the round, with all major existing investors from previous rounds participating, including Lightspeed Venture Partners, The Roda Group, Harris and Harris Group, VantagePoint Venture Partners and Zygote Ventures.