Scale-up deal October 2021

Vertoro, a startup that develops a liquid lignin technology with multiple potential applications, secured Series A funding for a demonstration plant. The round was led by SHIFT Invest together with Maersk Growth, the venture arm from shipping giant Maersk, and existing seed investors Brightlands Venture Partners and LIOF. Vertoro is a spin-off from Chemelot InSciTe and based in Geleen.

The funds are earmarked to scale up the proprietary Goldilocks liquid lignin technology and to build a demo plant. Goldilocks is a platform fuel that can be used for a variety of applications such as fuels, chemicals and materials. The output of the demo plant will be used to develop marine fuel in partnership with Maersk as well as other Goldilocks applications, according to the press release published by Vertoro.

Series A funding

Series A funding deals for the development of demonstration plants in resource intensive industries are always interesting to see as it signals that the technology justifies relatively high capex investments at an early stage.

Will Vertoro distinguish itself?

Moreover, we are excited to see that the technology can potentially be used for marine fuels. Maritime shipping accounts for a significant share of global CO2 emissions and viable solutions are needed to decarbonize the shipping industry and to meet the International Maritime Organization’s GHG (greenhouse gas) reduction target for 2050. We are curious to see if and how Vertoro’s solution will be able to distinguish itself between the large variety of alternatives fuels such as LNG (although under pressure for the methanol slip problems, especially after the COP26 pledge), ethanol, LPG, biodiesel, blue/green methanol, ammonia and hydrogen.

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