Biofuels Firm Coskata, Backed by Boston VCs, Files for IPO

Here’s another data point for New England cleantech investors. Coskata, a Warrenville, IL-based developer of cellulosic ethanol, has filed paperwork for an initial public offering. The proposed maximum offering is $100 million, but as usual, that doesn’t mean much at this point.

Coskata is backed by a couple of Boston-area venture firms—Advanced Technology Ventures and Greatpoint Ventures. ATV (owning 17.7 percent) and Greatpoint (15.6 percent) are the third and fourth largest stakeholders in the company, behind Khosla Ventures and Blackstone Group. General Motors is also an investor in the company. Coskata has raised more than $80 million in VC funding since 2008 but isn’t making money yet.

It’s a difficult climate for biofuels companies. Nevertheless, Coskata isn’t the only one testing the IPO market. Lebanon, NH-based Mascoma filed to go public in September. Mascoma, which is building a cellulosic ethanol refinery in Michigan, is backed by another pair of Boston-area VC firms, Flagship Ventures and General Catalyst, as well as Khosla Ventures.

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