Uki2s Backs HutanBio, Further Recognising Biology’s Role in Tackling Climate Change

Published: June 2024

  • UKI2S joins Clean Growth Fund, advancing seed round total to £3 million. UKI2S is investing from its engineering biology portfolio and HutanBio joins its portfolio of high-impact companies demonstrating the power of biotechnology.
  • HutanBio identified as pioneering innovator with potential for significant societal impact.
  • HBx Biofuel developed to address the £billion long-distance decarbonisation challenge and has been designed as a ‘Drop In’ low carbon fuel solution to support existing supply chains.

Hot on the heels of the recently announced key hire and strategic growth plans, HutanBio seed round advances to £3 million with investment from UKI2S. This additional investment demonstrates the growing interest in low-carbon fuel technologies to support the drive to NetZero in the complex and more challenging Maritime and Aviation sectors.

HutanBio

UK Innovation and Science Seed Fund (UKI2S) will join existing lead investor, Clean Growth Fund.

The commitment from UKI2S, a publicly funded organisation specialising in early science and knowledge-based innovations that have high-impact potential – managed by impact-led Future Planet Capital (Ventures) Limited – further bolsters the growing confidence in HutanBio’s technology and its future potential. Recognising the valuable contribution advanced biology could have in combating climate change.

Through the development of its innovative HBx biofuel platform – the culmination of 10 years of research and the world’s largest-ever marine microalgae bioprospecting programme, HutanBio has not only addressed a series of social and environmental challenges faced by other biofuel developments but has identified ways to utilise harmful carbon emissions from high polluting industries such as cement and steel production. Further increasing its global impact and future valuation by bolstering energy security and providing a major economic stimulus whilst reducing carbon emissions.

Having been optimised through directed evolution to thrive in high salinity and grown in purpose designed enclosed photobioreactors, HutanBio’s patented algae, HBx, will be grown on barren, desert like land along coastal regions in areas of the world that benefit from high solar radiation. Avoiding prime agricultural land and removing deforestation incentives.

Oliver Sexton, Investment Director at UKI2S said:

“UKI2S is committed to investing in technologies that have a significant positive environmental impact. HutanBio’s innovative use of biology for low carbon fuel production aligns perfectly with our vision. We believe in its mission to make sustainable fuels and are excited to support its efforts in the battle against climate change.”

Paul Beastall, CEO of HutanBio, comments:

“We are delighted to have secured funding from UK12S. This investment is not just a financial boost, but a strong vote of confidence in our mission to harness advanced biology to produce low carbon fuels.”

“Bolstered by this additional investment, we can accelerate our strategic growth plans and bring our innovative solutions to market quicker.”

HutanBio

Dr Jonathan Tudor, Investment Partner at Clean Growth Fund said:

“We’re really pleased to see UKI2S joining the round as HutanBio makes great strides, including growing its team of experts. The positive impact that HBx can have on today and tomorrow’s world is important. After over a decade of research and development, and with the maritime fuels market committing to stopping the use of fossil fuels by 2050, HutanBio has the potential to be a major disruptor in the fuel supply market and could make a huge contribution to the decarbonisation of transport and the hard-to-abate heavy industries.”

This increased strength of investment partners, including HutanBio’s legal advisers, Mishcon de Reya, reinforces HutanBio’s position as a leader in the development of sustainable biofuel technologies. The combined expertise and resources from HutanBio and its investors are set to drive significant advancements in the sector, propelling the company towards its goal of contributing meaningfully to global NetZero targets through the decarbonisation of long-distance transportation.