Brewery waste-to-power firm raises capital

PurposeEnergy's tagline is

PurposeEnergy's tagline is "Saving the Earth. One beer at a time."

PurposeEnergy Inc., the Walthan, Mass. company looking to turn brewery waste into power, has raised $652,000 in a new funding round, federal documents show.

The new fundraising has a planned top end of $1 million, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, making it the most ambitious round for the startup so far. In total, 21 backers participated in the financing, although they are not identified in the SEC filing. Listed as a related person in the filing is John Keane Jr., the founder of King Hill Capital, a cleantech investing firm that lists PurposeEnergy as a portfolio company.

On its website, PurposeEnergy also lists as financial partners the Vermont Department of Public Service and Green Mountain Power, also in Vermont. The company’s most recent funding round came in August, when it bumped up a previous round from $587,000 to $750,000.

With a total of five financing rounds, PurposeEnergy has now raised approximately $3.9 million in institutional funding. The company was founded in 2007 by MIT graduate and company CEO Eric Fitch. Among the early users of the company’s technology is Magic Hat Brewery in South Burlington, Vt.

Fitch said that the new funds would be used for “continued platform development and as a runway to get our next customers. We have been developing a platform at our beta site in Vermont for a while and that is closing up now and the results are looking really favorable.”

Magic Hat has been transitioned to a revenue-generating customer, Fitch said, and the funding will keep the lean company with less than 10 employees running through the process of finding a second brewery for its power plant platform and the year or more it will take to get it up and running. Eventually, PurposeEnergy will expand past breweries to other processors in the food and drink industries, Fitch said.

Read more in Mass High Tech.

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