Cascade Biocatalysts raises USD 2.6Mln to Scale Enzymes for Biomanufacturing

Cascade's co-founders (left)Alex Rosay, CEO and (right)James Weltz CSO
Cascade's co-founders (left)Alex Rosay, CEO and (right)James Weltz CSO

Cascade Biocatalysts, a biomanufacturing company catalyzing green chemistry, raised an oversubscribed $2.6 M pre-seed led by Ten VC with participation from Amplify.LA, Boost VC, Range Ventures, Spacecadet, and the Cool Climate Collective. Cascade aims to use the raised funds to scale its impact from the lab bench to pilot scale and to support its initial wave of customers.

Cascade’s vision is to make the industrial use of enzymes more affordable to accelerate the transition to greener chemical manufacturing. At the heart of Cascade Biocatalysts’ breakthrough lies its proprietary technology, the patent-pending Body Armor for Enzymes™, which drives more cost-effective and sustainable chemical reactions by improving enzyme performance.

Cascade Biocatalysts

For billions of years, nature has relied on enzymes to efficiently make useful molecules. Cascade is moving nature’s catalysts out of the cell and into the factory, transitioning chemical manufacturing away from energy-intensive, petrochemical-based processes. By doing so, the company aims to address the three gigatons of greenhouse gas emissions generated by the chemicals industry. Overcoming the current barrier of enzyme cost is a crucial step toward making this a reality.

Cascade’s technology uses readily available and cost-effective materials to keep expensive enzymes lasting significantly longer. So far, Cascade has worked on 15 different enzymes and is 100% successful at improving stability under tough industrial conditions, including for multiple paying customers at the lab scale. Find more data in this article that highlights Cascade’s potential in creating molecular factories. The company’s initial projects span diverse applications, including carbon dioxide capture, fragrance manufacturing, and wastewater treatment, highlighting the broad commercial potential of biocatalysts.

The company’s co-founders, Alex Rosay and James Weltz, bring together chemical engineering backgrounds, industry expertise, and scientific innovation.

The inventor and his creation James Weltz, Cascade's CSO, with his novel enzyme immobilization solution
The inventor and his creation James Weltz, Cascade’s CSO, with his novel enzyme immobilization solution

James invented the technology while doing his PhD in the field of enzyme immobilization. “I had tried all other solutions, and they were inconsistent,” said James Weltz, Cascade’s Chief Scientific Officer (CSO). “When I developed our novel approach, I transformed immobilizing enzymes from a trial-and-error process into an engineering discipline.”

“From the moment I met James, I knew his technology would revolutionize biomanufacturing,” said Alex Rosay, CEO and industry veteran. “From my time as a product manager at Zymergen, I saw a billion dollars go towards precision fermentation unsuccessfully, and I realized cell-free and enzyme processes were the future of the industry, though too expensive today. James’s technology solves this.”

With its headquarters in Denver and a presence in California and New York, Cascade Biocatalysts is well-positioned to spearhead the cell-free biomanufacturing revolution.


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