Gevo, A Branson-Backed Biofuels Maker, Goes Public And Nets $95.7 Million

A Richard Branson- and Khosla Ventures-backed biofuels and biochemicals maker, Gevo, raised $107 million, netting an estimated $95.7 million after expenses and underwriting discounts, in an initial public offering yesterday.

The company’s technology and chemical processes use yeast biocatalysts to make isobutanol from sugar. Gevo’s biofuels and biochemicals will offer an alternative to petroleum-derived butanol, and in some cases, other biofuels like ethanol.

Gevo’s isobutanol, according to the company website, could be used: as fuel that’s compatible with gas tanks, in jet biofuels for military and commercial use, blended fuels, and to manufacture industrial coatings, solvents, textiles, fibers and plastics.

In September 2010, Gevo acquired a Luverne, Minnesota ethanol production facility, and expects to begin commercial production of isobutanol there in the first half of 2012.

The company is now trading on NASDAQ as GEVO. Shares were up 11% at mid-day trading following the IPO.