The successful IPOs of Codexis, Amyris, Solazyme, Gevo, and KiOR headlined a busy year and a half for alternative fuel investing. Finally, the $6.4 billion invested in these companies brought favorable returns, but there were notable failures amidst the successes. In 2010, investment in alternative fuel technologies totaled $929.8 million, a 5.4% drop from the year prior. As the space matured, and the effects of the recession lingered, investors dished out larger amounts for fewer companies. Investors rewarded flexibile technologies and waste-to-fuel conversions the most, and favored companies making both fuels and chemicals. While the companies nearest to scale pull in larger and later-stage funding, they will leave their less-qualified peers unable to raise money, driving more companies over to chemicals or into the grave in the coming months.
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