Khosla Ventures and BIOeCON Form KiOR Inc.

Technology Development for the Conversion of Biomass to Bio-oil

MENLO PARK, California and HOEVELAKEN, The Netherlands, November 1

Nov 01, 2007, 01:00 ET from BIOeCON

/PRNewswire/ -- Khosla Ventures and BIOeCON announce today the formation of
 their joint venture KiOR Inc. Khosla Ventures, will provide the Series A
 funding, whereas BIOeCON will bring its knowledge and intellectual property
 for the 'Biomass Catalytic Cracking Process' (BCC). KiOR Inc. will focus on
 the further development and commercialization of the BCC technology as well
 as prepare for raising significantly more capital in the next two to three
     BCC technology converts lignocellulosic biomass, found in grass, wood,
 and various agricultural and forestry wastes, into a bio-oil product that
 can be further upgraded to transportation fuels. The conversion of
 cellulosic biomass to bio-oil represents a significant commercial
 opportunity that also offers important benefits, including using
 post-harvesting waste rather than competing with food crops; promoting
 environmental sustainability; reducing reliance on fossil fuels such as
 crude oil; and enabling economic development and job creation in rural
     "The key technical problem in the conversion of cellulosic biomass into
 usable fuels is how to open up the inaccessible solid fibrous 'woody'
 material, so that it can be effectively transformed. Most of the existing
 processes to unlock the woody structures are quite costly and intensive of
 energy or chemicals," says Paul O'Connor, founder and president of BIOeCON.
 "BIOeCON has developed a simple non-energy intensive way to make the woody
 biomass accessible to catalysts and convert to a bio-oil product with
 significantly improved product properties compared to other
 thermal-chemical processes.
     Doug Cameron, Khosla Ventures' Chief Scientific Advisor: "BIOeCON has a
 strong R&D network and solid scientific fundamentals. We have done a
 thorough evaluation of the technology and research programs and believe
 this can be a breakthrough technology."
     "Securing funding from a strategic and visionary venture capital
 company like Khosla Ventures is a major step forward", says Rob van der
 Meij, CEO of KiOR Inc." Khosla's experience and expertise in technology
 startups is unmatched in the industry and we are looking forward to the
 acceleration that Khosla Ventures no doubt will bring."
     KiOR's concept and approach is unique and has the potential to become a
 large scale, widely applied technology, that can improve energy
 availability and sustainability to both the developed and developing world.
 The BCC technology unlocks the energy of vast amounts of biomass waste and
 converts it into a high valued energy product. This will not only reduce
 net carbon dioxide emission, but can also improve the energy independence
 of many countries.
     About BIOeCON
     BIOeCON was founded in 2006 by Paul O'Connor with the aim to develop
 new, large scale technology to convert biomass, particularly the
 recalcitrant polymeric biomass residue, in a more efficient and
 cost-effective way to valuable molecules which can be utilized by the
 chemical and energy industry. BIOeCON is a privately funded company, which
 operates through an international network of top-scientists and
 institutions to bring together know-how, expertise and experience from
 heterogeneous catalysis, biomass processing, process development and
 technology commercialization. BIOeCON is based in Hoevelaken, the
     About Khosla Ventures
     Khosla Ventures offers venture assistance, strategic advice and capital
 to entrepreneurs. The firm helps entrepreneurs extend the potential of the
 Internet to new markets such as mobile and supports breakthrough scientific
 work such as bio refineries. Vinod Khosla founded the firm in 2004 and was
 joined in 2006 by two partners. The partners have been involved in founding
 or growing billion dollar businesses such as Sun Microsystems, Juniper
 Networks and AOL. Vinod has been labeled the #1 VC multiple times by Forbes
 and Fortune recently labeled him as one of the nation's most influential
 ethanol advocates, noting "there are venture capitalists, and then there's
 Vinod Khosla." The firm's capital comes entirely from its own partners and
 a portion of all profits are donated to charitable causes, with an emphasis
 on micro-finance, education, the environment and affordable housing. Khosla
 Ventures is based in Menlo Park, California, USA.