Algae oil company Solazyme goes public

I got up early to watch Solazyme CEO Jonathan Wolfson ring the opening bell at Nasdaq this morning.

I've been covering the South San Francisco-based company since 2006 when it was just another biofuels company with big dreams about renewable transportation fuels that could compete on cost with petroleum fuels. And Wolfson was the first biofuels guy I ever interviewed as a "cleantech reporter."

So today was particularly poignant for me, having watched this company grow up and actually capture the elusive public offering that has evaded so many of the other biofuels companies that lived and died over the previous decade. What is clear is that much of Solazyme's success can be attributed to a biotech platform that can make all kinds of things.

Solazyme began as an algae fuels company focused on the holy grail transportation fuels market, but the company has broadened its product markets in recent years to include food, cosmetics, chemicals and other products.

The company launched its own skin care line at cosmetics retailer Sephora in March. It has partnerships with a range of companies to take its products to market including personal care products company Unilever, and it sells algae-derived food products to food manufacturers.

Read more from Lindsay Riddell in the San Francisco Business Times.

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