The New Zealand Superannuation Fund has made a US$60 million equity in leading gas fermentation company LanzaTech. Founded in New Zealand in 2005 and now headquartered in Chicago, LanzaTech turns waste gas from steel mills into ethanol and other high value fuels and chemicals. (Earlier post.) LanzaTech’s first commercial plant is targeted for operation in 2016.
The $60-million investment brings the total raised in Lanzatech’s Series D to $112.6 million. The funds will be used to continue to develop the company’s core gas fermentation technology. Development continues on two commercial facilities at two steel plants in China, and other projects are under way elsewhere in the world.
The LanzaTech investment is one of a series of expansion capital investments made by the NZ Super Fund in recent years, providing capital to privately-owned, early-stage companies that are seeking to grow, but are not yet ready to list on the public markets.
Previous NZ Super Fund expansion capital investments include stakes in United States companies Bloom Energy and Ogin, Inc. In New Zealand, the Fund invests in expansion capital via investment managers Pencarrow Private Equity, Pioneer Capital Partners and Waterman Capital.
Silicon Valley-based Khosla Ventures remains the largest shareholder in LanzaTech. Other New Zealand investors include Sir Stephen Tindall’s K1W1 fund.