Los Angeles Business Journal

NexSteppe Raises $14 Million

By Deborah Crowe Originally published December 21, 2011 at 10:48 a.m., updated December 21, 2011 at 11:25 a.m.

EDITOR'S NOTE: After the initial posting of this story, NexSteppe issued press release correcting the amount raised in the round to $14 million.

NexSteppe, a Malibu bioenergy company, on Wednesday said it raised $14 million in a Series B round of venture funding.

The company said it would use the proceeds to scale up its sorghum and switchgrass breeding programs, and move its first products toward commercialization.

NexSteppe’s cultivated feedstock is designed for processing into products ranging from fuels to plastics to cosmetics, the company said.

The new round of funding was led by Braemar Energy Ventures, a New York venture capital firm specializing in alternative energy and energy efficiency. Dennis Costello, a Braemar partner, has joined the company’s board.

“We have long believed that feedstock is a critical component in the value chains for biofuels and biobased products,” said Costello in a statement. “We view NexSteppe’s strategy of focusing on dedicated crops produced from seed … as a winning one.”

Among those participating in the round were existing investors CYM Ventures, an Asian firm; and Zygote Ventures of San Raefel.