Solazyme Files for $100M IPO

Algae company Solazyme filed for a $100 million initial public offering (IPO).

The San Francisco-based company follows the lead of biofuel companies Gevo and Amyris, which completed successful IPO’s in recent months. But Solazyme will be one of the first companies using algae to list on a major stock exchange. 

Solazyme’s microalgae produce oils and biomaterials that can be tailored not only for biofuel production, but also as replacements for fossil petroleum and plant oils in a range of products running from clean fuels and chemicals to cosmetics and foods. 

Unlike other algae-based biofuel companies, Solazyme does not grow algae with photosyntheses. Rather, they use a genetically modified strain that feeds on sugar in a fermentation process.

Earlier this month, Solazyme announced a joint development agreement with The Dow Chemical Company (NYSE: DOW) to advance the development of Solazyme’s algal oils for use in next generation, bio-based dielectric insulating fluids used in transformers and other electrical applications.

The company also is developing jet fuel in collaboration with Australian airline Qantas. It supplies the U.S. Navy with renewable shipboard fuel; and it is working with investor Unilever (NYSE: UN) to develop oils for consumer products.

According to the S-1 form, filed with the SEC, the company is losing money. But the same was true for both Gevo and Amyris.

Solazyme reported 2010 revenues of $38 million and a net loss of $13.7 million.

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