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Houston’s Solugen Wants to Make Greener Chemicals — and Profits

The Texas startup, now worth more than $2 billion, is raking in money from its genetically engineered substitutes for petrochemicals.

Solugen’s Texas plant.

Solugen’s Texas plant.

Photographer: Todd Spoth/Solugen

Solugen, a Houston chemicals startup, is one of several companies trying the replace the dirtiest ingredients in common industrial materials—like fertilizer, cleaning products and cement—with cleaner natural materials. 

Unlike many businesses entering this field, which have struggled to find commercial traction, Solugen says it’s making serious money. Chief Executive Officer Gaurab Chakrabarti says his company’s on track for more than $100 million in revenue this year. Last week, the company raised $200 million in financing, just a year after taking $357 million from investors. That puts Solugen’s valuation “well north of $2 billion,” says Chakrabarti.