HydRegen, an Oxford-based biotechnology company enabling sustainable chemical manufacturing, has secured a £2.6 million investment as part of its latest fundraising, led by Clean Growth Fund, a commercially run clean technologies venture capital fund.
Following HydRegen’s spin-out from the University of Oxford in 2021, Dr Holly Reeve (CEO) and Dr Sarah Cleary (Chief Scientific Officer) have been focused on pioneering the production of bio-based catalysts that enable cleaner, safer and more energy-efficient manufacturing processes for the global pharmaceutical and chemicals industries.
In these applications, HydRegen aims to deploy its innovative biotechnologies to enable the transition to a low-carbon economy with more sustainable and efficient chemical manufacturing processes: a key reason for Clean Growth Fund’s investment.
The new investment from Clean Growth Fund, alongside a group of existing investors, will support the commercial development and deployment of HydRegen’s technologies through the next 18 months.
HydRegen plans to license its technology to companies manufacturing pharmaceutical and chemical products around the world by expanding its team over the next 12 months.
HydRegen can reduce the carbon footprint and operating costs of the chemical manufacturing and pharmaceutical industries by replacing toxic metal catalysts with high economic, environmental and social costs with environmentally and economically friendly bio-based alternatives.
In doing so, HydRegen also lowers the environmental impact of chemical manufacturing by reducing the temperatures and pressures required in chemical syntheses.
Analysis by Clean Growth Fund suggests that replacing a first target process, Paracetamol production, with HydRegen’s biotechnology approach would save hundreds of thousands of tonnes of CO₂e anually. If broadly adopted by the pharmaceutical and chemical manufacturing industries, its technology would save millions of tonnes of CO₂e annually.
Dr Jonathan Tudor, Investment Partner at Clean Growth Fund, said: “The potential for HydRegen to revolutionise and decarbonise the chemical and pharmaceutical sectors is off-the-scale, and we are understandably excited about the company’s future.”
“HydRegen is in Clean Growth Fund’s investment sweet spot: a proven clean-technology – originated in the UK, with huge potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions – millions of tonnes of CO₂ can be saved per year if adopted in multiple processes, a sizeable market opportunity and a first-class team, led by Holly Reeve and Sarah Cleary.
“With the support of Carbon Limiting Technologies, our sister company, Clean Growth Fund is looking forward to working with the HydRegen team in realising their ambitions.”
Dr Holly Reeve, CEO of HydRegen, said: “The HydRegen Team are hugely excited to embark on the next stage of our journey and to add Clean Growth Fund’s considerable expertise in cleantech to our commercial strategy.
“This funding will speed up the development of our greener and less wasteful bio-based manufacturing technologies, allowing us to help chemical companies to reduce their environmental impact and carbon footprint whilst also reducing their costs.
“HydRegen’s vision is to become part of the ‘advanced manufacturing toolbox’ across the global chemical manufacturing industry, enabling companies to meet their Net Zero goals.”
Launched in May 2020, Clean Growth Fund is a £101 million venture capital fund targeting the UK’s most promising early-stage “clean growth” companies pioneering carbon emission reductions in power and energy, buildings, transport and waste.