U.S. venture capital firms raised $5.6 billion last quarter and $29.8 billion for the year, making 2014 the richest year for venture fundraising since 2007, the National Venture Capital Association said.
A handful of large funds, including Andreessen Horowitz’s $1.5 billion fund announced in the first quarter, helped bump the total up almost 70 percent over the previous year’s total of $17.7 billion.
Z Energy has started construction on a south Auckland plant to convert meat waste into biofuel.
Privahini Bradoo is working to help solve the world’s waste problems through her company which aims to extract reusable metals from electronic waste.
Bradoo is the chief executive of BlueOak, a company she co-founded in 2010 with Bryce Goodman at the Nasa Ames campus in California. The startup company is targeting the 40 million tonnes of discarded computers and mobile phones (e-waste) every year to process at specially built mini-refineries to extract the precious materials, reducing the need to mine.
The biotech industry shattered records for venture investment, IPOs, and M &A in 2014 as growing enthusiasm for breakthrough technologies and rising stock prices drove investment. Overall, the global life sciences industry raised a total of $104.2 billion, up from $92.9 billion in 2013.
It was the second biggest year for total fundraising in the industry’s history, bested only by 2009 when the industry raised $108.6 billion. The 2009 numbers, though, were driven by a total of $83.1 billion in global debt financings, much of which was tied to large acquisitions made that year.
Some high-tech companies say government-funded research is a waste of time and it needs to be more focused on their needs, according to Manufacturing New Zealand.
The government’s first national science strategy, published last May, set out its priorities for the next 10 years.
But Manufacturing New Zealand says it is not focused enough on business.
Anna Campbell will take over as managing director of Dunedin-based agribusiness consulting company AbacusBio in April.
Neville Jopson, who has been in the position for nearly five years, will remain with the company but the time was right for someone with a ”fresh perspective” to take over, he said.
Teresa Ciprian has become the first woman to be appointed to the board of kiwifruit export entity Zespri.
Ms Ciprian’s appointment as an independent director recognised her expertise in global brand marketing and business development, Zespri chairman Peter McBride said.
NZ Super Fund Makes US$60 Million Investment in Lanzatech
Auckland, New Zealand: The New Zealand Superannuation Fund has made a US$60 million equity investment in leading gas fermentation company LanzaTech (www.lanzatech.com).
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.
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Pacific Edge [NZX: PEB], the non-invasive bladder cancer test developer, has launched its second cancer test in New Zealand and flags a US launch early next year.
The Dunedin-based company launched Cxbladder Triage in New Zealand, its second commercialised cancer diagnostic test which sits alongside its first product, Cxbladder Detect, it said in a statement. The product seeks to screen the majority of patients to potentially avoid more intensive testing and care.