If you need more proof of how hard the market is for biochemicals and biofuels, just look at Amyris, once considered one of the leading next-gen biofuel new-comers. The company scaled back its biofuel ambitions recently dramatically, and announced on Monday morning that it has secured $84 million in funding to help it shore up its business and continue to try to scale up its technology. The company went public back in Fall 2010.
The new funding will come from investors including investment firm Temasek Holdings, energy giant Total Gas & Power USA, SAS, NAXOS Capital Partners, HH Sheikh Abdullah bin Khalifa Al-Thani of Qatar, an entity affiliated with Kleiner Perkin’s John Doerr, and an entity affiliated with Amyris director Fernando Reinach. So clearly the company’s existing investors are willing to keep giving, which can be a good sign.
Amyris stock rose 8.33 percent in morning trading to $6.50, after plummeting below $5.80 last week — it’s lowest trading since its IPO in 2010. At one point after its public debut the company traded in the $30’s, and priced its debuted at $16.
Amyris uses genetic engineering to turn biomass into chemicals and fuels, and its first product turns sugarcane syrup into Biofene, a form of the industrial chemical farnesene, which is a fragrant hydrocarbon that’s used to make cosmetics, lubricants and other materials.
Amyris will announce its fourth quarter 2011 and year end results at the end of the day.