LanzaTech praised by Forbes

By Ben Chapman-Smith

LanzaTech chief executive Jennifer Holmgren. Photo / Supplied
LanzaTech chief executive Jennifer Holmgren. Photo / Supplied

New Zealand-founded biotech company LanzaTech has been included in a Forbes Top 100 list of America's most promising privately held companies.

The clean energy and renewable chemicals technology company was ranked 48th and was the only clean energy or bioscience firm in the top 50.

Headquartered in Illinois but with its scientific base in Auckland, LanzaTech was founded in early 2005 and raised funding through grants and New Zealand-based angel investors.

US business magazine Forbes said it compiled the Top 100 most promising list based on variables including growth, quality of management, team and investors, margins, market size and key partnerships.

Alongside its ranking, LanzaTech was described as having 125 employees and revenue of $4 million in the year ended December 31, 2012.

Forbes said the company raised US$56 million in venture funding from Khosla Ventures, Malaysian Life Sciences Capital Fund and others in January 2012.

LanzaTech chief executive Jennifer Holmgren said the ranking was validation of the firm's approach to reducing emissions "through innovative technology and solid partnerships with major players in industries around the worlds".

LanzaTech's technology converts waste and low-cost resources into sustainable, valuable commodities. It uses a microbe to convert gas from industrial sources like steel mills, processing plants and agricultural waste into fuels and chemicals.

Last year, LanzaTech was ranked number three on the list of the "50 Hottest Companies in Bioenergy" by Biofuels Digest, an industry website in the US.

The firm also made number seven on the list of the "30 Hottest Companies in Renewable Chemicals".

In October, LanzaTech secured another US$15 million (NZD$18.3m) in funding from a Silicon Valley investment firm, which brought its total capital raised to date to more than US$100 million.

The company has indicated it may list on the NZX at some point.

Forbes Magazine claims to reach 4.5 million readers fortnightly.

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