The primary focus for algae development in the 21st century was biofuel production, which is not surprising given that the global fuels industry is worth hundreds of billions of dollars. As companies found themselves unable to scale production to volumes necessary for commercial fuel production, many pivoted to the low-volume but high-value functional food and nutraceutical market, but often too late. Euglena, one of Japan's most high-profile startups, bucked the trend by focusing on the food and cosmetics industry from the very beginning and only started expanding to the fuels industry 15 years after inception.
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