First Bight has announced its participation in the latest seed round for Visolis, which was touted as one of the “next 50 companies to disrupt the world.” The California-based company has developed a proprietary technology, which combines new-age synthetic biology and traditional chemical catalysis to produce a portfolio of bio-based chemicals with large application potential.
“Visolis is the perfect example of how Industrial Biology will deliver solutions for us to achieve our sustainability goals and re-establish humanity’s balance with our planet,” First Bight Founder Veronica Wu said.
Visolis currently maintains facilities in Hayward, CA and Libertyville, IL. It has commercial products and partnership with leading chemical and skincare brands. It has developed ways of producing key molecules that serve as chemical feedstocks for polymers, solvents, and resins, with an emphasis on scaling this type of production.
“We are able to produce a variety of key ingredients at a lower price, with reduced environmental impact, and more reliably, compared to conventional alternatives.” Founder Deepak Dugar, PhD, explained. “Our facilities demonstrate that Visolis’ technologies can be scaled to reach commercial volumes,” he added.
“We use biology to make platform molecules. And then we use chemistry to turn them into a lot of different products. Because of this unique combination, we have an advantage both in terms of market as well as cost of technology development,” said Dugar.
The company has received grants and funding from many leading agencies like USDA, US DoE, and The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. BlueYard Capital led the current round, and other co-investors in the round include Zeon Ventures, Global Brain, and Acequia Capital.