30 investors in total from 13 different states have now committed $3.2 million in equity capital to the venture.
“We raised some capital, accomplished some milestones and when we did, we decided we needed to raise some more capital,” said Founder and CEO Eric Fitch. “We were at a good point and there was a lot of interest so we took advantage of some of it.”
Purpose Energy recently installed their first Biphase Orbicular Biodigester (BOB) system at Margic Hat Brewing Company in South Burlington Vermont. The BOB takes brewery waste and converts it into a re-usable gas which provides energy back to the brewery.
The company broke ground at Magic Hat in November of 2009 and completed installation in July of 2010. However, Fitch made the decision to shut down the system in December in order to make critical upgrades and improve the performance.
And according to Fitch, Purpose Energy has begun commissioning the newly upgraded system at Magic Hat and will continue to slowly test its limits over the next three to six months.
“It is a biological system, so you can’t just slam it all at once,” Fitch said.
Once the system is running smoothly, Fitch plans to take on additional projects with other breweries.
“There are a lot of people who have an eye on what we are doing, but everyone wants to see Magic Hat be successful first – including us,” Fitch said. “Once we get to the point where it is smooth sailing, then we will explore other options.”
Fitch could not immediately confirm if this would be the final round of investing.
“There are a lot of different ways that our company could go and it is too early to project if we are going to raise more capital,” he said. “We could run just the way we are, but that might not necessarily be the best strategy for us.”
Fitch said that another strategy might be to raise a large sum of money, bring on industry veterans from both the bio-digester space and brewery space and grow faster.
“We want to have enough capital in the bank so that we can run the company with our personnel and get to the point where Magic Hat is operating smoothly,” he said. “Then we sign our next brewery customer, and I am really looking forward to that.”