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GE Energy joins North Bridge in investment in CoolPlanetBiofuels

GE Energy Financial Services, a unit of GE, has joined a USD8m funding round for CoolPlanetBioFuels, a start-up company developing a technology that converts low-grade biomass into high-grade fuel and carbon that can be sequestered.

The venture capital investment was led by North Bridge Venture Partners, which had also led CoolPlanet’s financing round last year.

Additional financial details were not disclosed. CoolPlanet’s research and development facilities are located in Camarillo, California.

"GE’s technical and market resources could accelerate our development well beyond the impact of the company’s financial investment," says Mike Cheiky, CoolPlanet’s president and chief technology officer.

"CoolPlanet’s low-capital process yields high-value products, including gasoline," says Kevin Skillern, managing director of venture capital at GE Energy Financial Services. "That approach, coupled with Mike Cheiky’s entrepreneurial record, positions this company to succeed."

Basil R. Horangic of North Bridge Venture Partners adds: "We’ve been very impressed by the progress CoolPlanet has made since we initially backed it one year ago and are pleased to have GE on board. The fuel market is one of the world’s largest at about USD4trn per year. Today, biofuels are only a tiny portion of that market, but are poised for rapid growth based on concerns about global warming and importing oil. CoolPlanet’s technology could be a major driver in expanding the use of low carbon footprint and locally sourced fuels."

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