In what appears to be the biggest alternative energy investment in the region so far this year, San Diego-based Sapphire Energy, a developer of biofuels technology aimed at crude oil production, said today that it has raised $144M in a Series C funding round. Sapphire Energy said the funding came from Arrowpoint Partners, Monsanto, and other, undisclosed investors, along with all of its Series B investors. Sapphire Energy says its funding now "substantially exceeds" $300M. Sapphire Energy is developing algae-to-energy technology, which uses photosynthesizing algae and cyanobacteria to create biofuels. The firm said the funding will go towards the commercial demonstration of its products at a facility in New Mexico.