Houston startup ranks as a top innovative company in the world
A Houston biotech startup is now in rarified air.
Solugen ranks second on Fast Company’s 2022 list of the 50 most innovative companies in the world. It also sits at No. 1 on the magazine’s list of the world’s most innovative manufacturers.
Solugen’s process converts corn syrup into industrial chemicals, cutting down on carbon emissions generated by traditional production of chemicals. Carbon dioxide from chemical production is one of the biggest contributors to industrial greenhouse gas emissions.
“Right now, the $6 trillion chemicals industry relies on oil, natural gas, and coal to make ingredients used in everything from laundry detergent and running shoes to fertilizer. It’s a dirty process,” Fast Company reported last December.
According to Fast Company, Solugen’s process for producing a chemical uses nearly all of the feedstock put into it.
“The carbon-negative process and Solugen’s ability to sell flexible amounts of chemicals to companies looking to lower their own footprint have helped the company make inroads in a traditionally slow-moving industry,” the magazine says.
Fast Company notes that Solugen launched in 2016 with four chemicals and another 17 in development. The chemicals are being used in water treatment, in concrete production to reduce cement use, and in agriculture to deliver nutrients to crops, the magazine says.
Last year, Solugen announced it raised $357 million in a Series C round, catapulting it to “unicorn” status. The Series C round bumped up the startup to a valuation of $1.8 billion, pushing it well past the $1 billion mark required for a unicorn designation.
“This fundraising round allows us to continue expanding the footprint of our Bioforge technology to give industries the products they need to reduce emissions in their existing supply chains, without compromising on performance or economics,” Sean Hunt, co-founder and chief technology officer of Solugen, said in a news release about the $357 million round.