Manta Biofuel recently secured $1.3M – $1.07M through its Republic crowdfunding campaign (with $175K on the waitlist), and the remaining capital from angels, including Eric Uhrhane (investor in C16 Biosciences and Prometheus Fuels, among other cleantech startups) and Jonathan Defoy (CEO of FoodHero). Manta Biofuel is using algae to make a cost-competitive, renewable replacement for crude oil.
Why does this matter?
- The US consumes 1 billion gallons of fossil fuel every single day, emitting 300 trillion pounds of CO2 annually.
- The marine shipping, automotive, trucking, aviation, and manufacturing industries are heavily dependent on oil – 0.1% of transportation is powered by electricity, with the remainder being powered by liquid fuels.
- 2.75 billion metric tons of CO2 emissions could be avoided every year in the United States by using crude oil made from algae.
- The farming and use of fuels made from algae crude oil is carbon neutral.
- Algae grows fast – it can double or triple its biomass in a single day, and it requires less land for it to grow.
- Local farmers and landowners will be able to produce oil independently, allowing Manta Biofuel to scale production.
- The Department of Energy determined that 106 million acres of non-arable land in the United States are available for production of algae.
- Manta Biofuel has secured two letters of intent to sell 240,000 gallons of renewable oil to the University of Maryland and the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science.
Manta Biofuel is beating competition by farming algae, rather than manufacturing algae. Their successful fundraise, traction with customers and partners, and strategy are compelling. The cherry on top is that their oil can be used in existing equipment and processes. Scaling production will be the primary bottleneck Manta Biofuel needs to focus on solving.
About The Author
Daniel currently works at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. His original assignment was to maintain and update facility safety documentation for all facilities on-site, and perform risk analysis. Over time, his role has expanded to leading continuous improvement efforts through product management.
Concurrently, Daniel volunteers with Techstars, helping organize startup weekends, and with the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, organizing events on the local and national levels of the organization. He also volunteers with One World, and previously with Powerhouse Ventures, to source and screen startups for potential investment.
Daniel holds a BS in Chemical Engineering from UC Davis, and recently completed coursework in energy innovation from Stanford. His passion is at the intersection of sustainability, innovation, and business.