Sapphire Energy Scores $50M In New Funding

San Diego-based Sapphire Energy, which develops technology for producing gasoline using algae, said Wednesday that it has raised an additional $50M in funding from its existing and new investors. Sapphire says the Series B round came from ARCH Venture Partners, Wellcome Trust, Venrock, and Cascade Investment, the investment holding company of Microsoft's Bill Gates. Sapphire said the round will go to scale up the firm's production facilities to full commercial feasability, and brings the company's total raised to $100M. The firm says that it is using algae, sunlight, CO2, and non-potable water to produce petroleum alternatives similar to light sweet crude, which can be refined into gasoline, jet fuel and diesel products.