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Posts Tagged ‘codexis’

Here is some IPO news from SFgate.com

“Codexis Inc., a Redwood City startup that makes designer enzymes for pharmaceuticals and biofuel production, sold its shares for the first time Thursday on the Nasdaq exchange, the first of what could be a flurry of IPOs this year from Bay Area clean-tech companies.

Codexis shares opened at $13, the low end of the $13 to $15 range predicted by the company last week, and closed at $13.26. The initial public offering brought Codexis $78 million.

After a drought in clean-tech IPOs last year, several green companies have already announced their intention to go public, and many more are thought to be waiting in the wings. Codexis’ premiere, therefore, was closely watched in the industry, even as analysts cautioned against reading too much into it. One IPO isn’t enough to gauge investors’ appetite for clean-tech stocks.

“There’s definitely a hunger – I’m not sure that people are starving, though,” said Joel Makower, executive editor of GreenBiz.com. “There’s a lot of temptation to read into the first clean-tech IPO of the year, but I don’t think this tells us much.”

Tesla Motors, the Palo Alto maker of electric sports cars, has also announced its intention to go public. So has Amyris, a biofuel startup in Emeryville, and Solyndra, a Fremont firm whose solar panels look like fluorescent light tubes painted black. IPO rumors have swirled around BrightSource Energy in Oakland, which is developing large solar power plants in Southern California, and Redwood City’s Silver Spring Networks, which makes hardware and software for smarter electrical grids.

The pent-up interest in IPOs isn’t confined to clean-tech startups. Five other companies – with products ranging from software to pharmaceuticals – premiered Thursday, making it the busiest day for IPOs since November 2007.”

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Here is some interresting thoughts from CNET.

“With investors getting smarter and start-ups getting bought, the mood is brightening in green tech. But the high-profile companies seeking to go public this year have some industry watchers talking bubbles.

For proof, investors point to the spate of planned initial public offerings, including electric car maker Tesla Motors, solar company Solyndra, and biofuels maker Codexis. Smart-grid company Silver Spring Networks and biofuels maker Amyris are rumored to be on deck.

Long-term trends may favor innovative green companies, as concerns about energy resources and the environment grow. But that doesn’t mean this year’s leading companies can navigate the complex regulatory and financial environment to become successful companies, said Jack Robinson, founder of Winslow Management, which focuses on environmentally oriented public companies.

“Valuations seem to be ahead of themselves,” Robinson said. “Some of the people [in venture-backed green-tech companies] don’t have the history and don’t understand the pitfalls that need to be addressed from a technology, market, regulatory, and political point of view.”

An example of a company he considers highly valued is lithium ion battery maker A123 Systems, which went public last September. In addition to raising $371 million, it raised the hopes of many other young energy companies.

Investor Rob Day of Black Coral Capital did an analysis of four recent IPO filings in the green-tech area and was concerned when he found that their unofficial revenue numbers were far below the amount of money put into them.

Nonetheless, even early misfires don’t mean investors should write off the whole sector. The high-profile companies that have filed to go public aren’t the best indicators of what’s to come as many other companies could raise funding through private equity sources, rather than tapping the public stock market, Day argued.

“My worry is that if these IPOs are perceived later on this year as having been unsuccessful, it’ll once again set back the entire clean tech venture industry, because of the example it sets in terms of lack of (financial) exits,” he wrote.

Netscape moment ahead?
Even with the worries over financial returns for investors, there’s a reason that IPO hopefuls have gotten as far as they have. It’s widely recognized that Tesla Motors and Solyndra, for example, have developed innovative technologies. Tesla’s $109,000 Roadster has become a darling among the well-heeled and its planned Model S sedan, priced at about $57,000 before tax credits, has legions of fans even though it won’t be built for two more years.

Solyndra has developed a solar collector designed specifically for flat commercial rooftops. In its first installations, the company touts how quickly these collectors, which use curved thin-film solar cells, can be installed, which brings down the overall system cost.

As with many green-tech upstarts, though, both companies have big-time challenges. Solyndra and Tesla borrowed hundreds of millions of dollars from the U.S. Department of Energy to build manufacturing facilities and they face powerful competition, in the form of incumbent automakers and low-cost Chinese solar panel producers.”

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I think that we last week saw a start of a new boom, A123 soured on the IPO, and many candidates are waiting in line. Here is piece on the issue from Reuters.

“SAN FRANCISCO, Sept 24 (Reuters) – A 50 percent leap in the shares of lithium-ion battery maker A123 Systems Inc (AONE.O) on their first day of trading looks likely to jumpstart the market for clean-tech share offerings.

The Watertown, Mass.-based A123 Systems is now worth over $1.9 billion, a striking valuation for a company that has yet to make a profit and still needs large-scale commercialization.

Industry executives and experts said A123’s success shows investors have an appetite for green technology companies that lose money, but have tremendous potential.

So the stock’s first day jump, which is the second-best performance for a debut stock in 2009, should encourage more venture capital-backed clean technology companies to go public, they added.

“This is an interesting time for the market because there are several (clean-tech) companies that have been growing very nicely,” said Faysal Sohail, managing director of venture fund CMEA Capital, which is an investor in A123.

Sohail declined to comment specifically on A123, but said the whole environment is creating opportunities for clean-tech companies and expects 2010 to be a busy year for green IPOs.

“They are real companies with substantial revenue and growing at a very fast clip,” he said.

CMEA Capital also backs companies such as Silicon Valley solar manufacturer Solyndra and biofuel company Codexis, which many see as likely candidates for the IPO market.

Other green companies deemed ripe for an IPO include smart grid network company Silver Spring Networks, electric carmaker Tesla Motors and solar thermal company BrightSource Energy.”

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Here is an article I found at cleantech.

“San Francisco, Calif.-based CMEA Capital is on the hunt for the best and brightest cleantech investments. But if the investors can’t find what they are looking for, founder and Managing Director Tom Baruch told the Cleantech Group they’ll create their own company.

The venture capital firm usually invests anywhere from $10 million to $15 million per company, over the life of its involvement with the company, he said. And these days, renewable fuels and chemicals from cellulosic precursors as well as algae are catching the attention of CMEA investors. Baruch said they are working on a stealth project in collaboration with a university in San Diego to genetically modify algae to produce chemicals.

“We’re working to see if we can build our own company,” he said. “We’re shopping for the right technologies and supporting some small research projects.”

CMEA has also invested about $15 million to date in Codexis, which makes producing biofuels, pharmaceuticals and industrial products faster through its next-generation biocatalytic chemical manufacturing processes. CMEA was involved in spinning Codexis out of Redwood City, Calif.-based biotech company Maxygen (Nasdaq:MAXY).

Codexis, which filed its S-1 in 2008 (see Codexis files for $100M IPO) and then pulled it due to market conditions (see Codexis withdraws IPO), has attracted significant private equity investment with IPO plans on the horizon again come 2010.

In March, global energy giant Royal Dutch Shell NYSE:(RDS.A) and Codexis expanded an agreement to develop better biocatalysts, with Shell increasing its equity stake in Codexis. The companies first announced the partnership in 2006 to investigate other biofuels, researching new enzymes to convert biomass directly into components similar to gasoline and diesel, with Shell taking a stake in the company in 2007 (see Shell partners with Codexis for next generation biofuel research and Shell, Codexis in biofuels agreement).

Baruch said he expects Codexis to turn a profit by the end of this year.

“We want to be involved in companies that are truly transformative—that change the way people do things and think about things, that have cost and performance characteristics that are a leap apart from what’s currently available,” he said.  “And frankly, if it’s not transformative I don’t want to do it.”

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