Thursday, August 30, 2007

Propel Biofuels

Extremely pleased [self-promotion alert] to share the announcement that Propel Biofuels has raised a $4.75mm Series A round (see Propel's pdf press release here), with funding provided by @Ventures and Nth Power. The investment round also included participation by several leading Seattle-area businesspeople, including Andrew Stout (founder of Full Circle Farms), Barry Barr (founder of KAVU), and Jack Rafn (founder of RAFN Construction). Also coming onto the board alongside Peter Mills of @Ventures and Nancy Floyd of Nth Power will be Arthur Rubinfeld, previously Exec VP at Starbucks, where he was responsible for building out the company from 100 locations to over 3,800 stores worldwide.

There are around 200,000 gas stations across the United States, but only 750 biodiesel refueling stations and 1,200 E85 refueling stations. And most of these locations aren't convenient or accessible to most drivers. As automakers bring clean diesel autos and flex fuel vehicles to market, and as venture-backed biofuels producers ramp up their volumes, the ability of most Americans to easily find locations to fuel their cars with biofuels remains a huge bottleneck in the market's development.

Propel's BDS Unit directly addresses these challenges, with a low-risk, no-upfront capital system for independent gas station owners, green-minded retailers and others who want to offer biofuel choices to their customers.


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