Solazyme, Inc. (NASDAQ: SZYM), a biofuels company which also makes dietary supplements and skin care products, opened for trading today at $18 per share and jumped to more than $21 by mid-day. The company completed its initial public offering of 10,975,000 shares Thursday.
Solazyme describes itself as a “renewable oil” company because its proprietary technology transforms a range of low-cost plant-based sugars into high-value renewable oils that can replace or enhance oils derived from the world’s three existing sources—petroleum, plants and animal fats.
In its offering prospectus, Solazyme said its expects to sell products into three target markets: fuels and chemicals; nutrition; and skin and personal care. Near-term revenue will be comprised almost entirely from the sale of products into the skin and personal care market because this market provides the highest gross margin of the three target markets, the company said.
Since it was founded in 2003, the company has raised $129.3 million in private equity. Strategic investors included associate companies of global agribusiness giant Bunge Limited (NYSE: BG), Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) and Unilever N.V. (NYSE: UN).
Solazyme, based in South San Francisco, California, lists major post-IPO shareholders as the Roda Group, 24.6%; Braemar Energy Ventures and associates, 13.4%, Solazyme co-founder Harrison Dillon, 7.3%; Solazyme CEO Jonathan S. Wolfson, 7.1%, the Fiddler Group, 6.4%; and Lightspeed Venture Partners, 5%. Investors with less than 5% of the company include Harris & Harris Group, VantagePoint Venture Partners, and Zygote Ventures.
The company said it lost $7.32 million on revenues of $16.4 million during Q1 2011 (ended March 31, 2011). During 2010, the company lost $16.4 milion on revenues of $37.97 million. At March 31, 2011, Solazyme had cash and short-term investments of $67 million.
Photo credit: Solazyme
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