Elevance(TM) Renewable Sciences, Inc., a new specialty chemical company based on groundbreaking, proven technology, is harnessing the potential of natural oils to produce a portfolio of commercial products across multiple markets. Elevance was formed to institutionalize work started in 2004 in collaboration between Cargill, one of the world's largest producers of agricultural oils, and Materia, a leading edge technology organization leveraging patents from the California Institute of Technology (CalTech), to catalyze the commercial production of renewable chemicals.
A $40M round of funding was led by TPG Growth and TPG Biotechnology Partners to scale this existing and commercially proven technology already sold in the performance wax market, functional oils and antimicrobials, soon to be followed by lubricants, additives and other chemicals. The company already has a strong foundation producing commercial grade waxes that are sold on a global basis today, often under the name NatureWax®.
The company has recruited a world class management team and board led by K'Lynne Johnson, who most recently lead a $3B division of Innovene and has held executive positions within BP and Amoco. Cargill and Materia will remain involved as a commercial partners as well as investors. Elevance expects to continue to establish collaborative partnerships in the marketplace to accelerate the development of novel products, facilitate their cost effective manufacture and rapidly take them to market.
“Elevance was founded to create a next generation specialty chemical company that can leverage multiple feedstocks such as soy, canola and corn,” said K'Lynne Johnson, CEO, Elevance. “Our technology is not a single solution, but a broad, enabling one that allows Elevance to create a wide range of performance advantaged specialty chemicals based on renewable raw materials that also are friendlier to the environment than the existing crude oil derivatives.”
At the heart of Elevance is olefin metathesis chemistry driven by Nobel Prize winning technology being developed by Materia and Nobel Laureate Dr. Robert H. Grubbs of the California Institute of Technology. The next generation catalyst technology allows the carbon atoms in natural oils to “swap” places, thereby enabling new chemical compounds and manufacturing processes once thought to be impossible. The technology is efficient, stable and predictable and is already being applied commercially by Elevance. The sophisticated catalyst technology enables relatively simple processing using widely available industrial equipment.
“Elevance is based on cutting edge yet well established technologies and is quickly moving new products into the marketplace,” said Mike Giardello, CEO of Materia. “In addition, Elevance has the advantage of four years of process improvement and commercialization experience with tremendous potential for further advancement within the specialty chemicals industry.”
Elevance has been created on the premise that a high performance, renewable, asset light, partnership based business model will provide it with a unique market position with a defensible advantage in the $500 billion dollar specialty chemical market. The company aspires to achieve $1B in revenues by 2016.
“We produce valued products with superior performance that also happen to be ‘green' in both feedstock and manufacturing processes, which ultimately improves consumer solutions,” said Andy Shafer, EVP, Sales and Market Development, Elevance. “We are currently engaged in discussions with partners across several markets and are very optimistic that we will finalize several relationships. We have a history of close collaboration beginning with the original grant from the U.S. Department of Energy back in 2004 and culminating with the creation of the company as it stands today. We look forward to expanding our platform into new alliances.“