Aviation tycoon Declan Ryan has invested in a firm that is seeking to make fuel from algae.
The multi-millionaire has backed a second round fund raising at Dublin biotechnology company, Aer Sustainable Energy Ltd, which trades as Aer Bio. Ryan, the chairman of Irelandia Aviation and a former director of Ryanair, joined the board of Aer Bio, which is based in University College Dublin, last year. Ryan was a member of the board of Tiger Airways from 2005 to 2010 and founded the charity, The One Foundation.
Aer Bio has been up and running for about two years. The company makes enzymes which are used to create biofuels. John Teeling, chairman of Petrel Resources and founder of the whiskey makers Cooley Distillery which was taken over by the US drinks company, Beam, in 2011, is another director of Aer Bio. International energy expert, John Travers, is also on the board. David Hynes, a director of the insulation company Leonort, is an alternate director of Aer Bio.
Aer Bio also has some well-known shareholders including the Tedcastles Group, which own Top Oil, and Jim Finn, a director of Petrel.
Donal MacNioclais, a former commercial manager with the renewable energy technology developer, Aquamarine Power, is chief executive of Aer Bio.
The Sunday Independent understands that Ryan was among those backers who invested in the recent second round of financing for Aer Bio – and that Ryan's investment was made through his private investment company, Irelandia Investments. This paper also understands that Declan Ryan's investment is no more than 10 per cent of the value of the company.
Aer Bio also secured finance from Enterprise Ireland.