LS9, Creator of Synthetic Microbes to Make Biofuel, Edges Toward Moment of Truth

LS9, Creator of Synthetic Microbes to Make Biofuel, Edges Toward Moment of Truth

June 15, 2010

Every hot startup has to put up or shut up at some point. This is when it’s time to stop talking about the gee-whiz founding idea and scientific progress. It’s the point when a company needs to prove it can operate a disciplined, sustainable business. The moment is fast approaching for LS9.

LS9, the South San Francisco-based maker of renewable biofuels, has been hot stuff in the cleantech world for a few years. The company counts a trio of star scientific founders in UC Berkeley’s Jay Keasling, Chris Somerville of the Energy Biosciences Institute, and Harvard University’s George Church. It has deep-pocketed venture capitalists on both coasts in Cambridge, MA-based Flagship Ventures and Silicon Valley’s Khosla Ventures and Lightspeed Ventures, who have pumped in $45 million since the company was founded in 2005....