The chemical company and darling of the Texas startup industry has raised $635.2 million to date, according to Crunchbase data. The 6-year-old company previously raised $350 million in Series C funding from Baillie Gifford and GIC last year. Per Bloomberg, Solugen is expected to rake in more than $100 million this year, and is valued at around $2 billion.
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Most clean energy startups have garnered funding based on the fluctuating prices of fossil fuels. But Solugen has been able to succeed because it can replicate its chemical engineering process with other materials and provide value to more than one industry, investors told Bloomberg.
Venture funding in the clean energy space hasn’t taken a hit since the economic downturn — we’ve seen around $4.1 billion pumped into the industry, per Crunchbase data. Funding went from the hundreds of thousands to $5.6 billion in 2021 and has stayed relatively put since then.
The reason has little to do with climate change and more to do with energy efficiency and logistics. The war between Russia and Ukraine has throttled the fertilizer market in Europe, (which Solugen plans to address) and has hampered access to gas across all industries as countries place energy sanctions on Russia.
As a result, funding has poured into the sector. TerraPower, a nuclear energy startup, nabbed $750 million in funding from Bill Gates and SK Group in August. Palmetto, a clean energy company focused on energy for housing, raised $375 million from Social Capital in February.
Illustration: Dom Guzman
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Author: Keerthi Vedantam