Tim Zenk says Sapphire Energy will license Earthrise Nutritionals’ blue-green algae in an effort to expand its inventory of algae strains used to create ‘green crude’ oil, which can replace fossil fuels.

Tim Zenk says Sapphire Energy will license Earthrise Nutritionals’ blue-green algae in an effort to expand its inventory of algae strains used to create ‘green crude’ oil, which can replace fossil fuels.

SAPPHIRE ENERGY INC.

CEO: Jason Pyle.

Financial information: More than $100 million in venture funding raised, plus a U.S. grant exceeding $104 million.

No. of local employees: 100.

Investors: Monsanto Co., Arch Venture Partners, Wellcome Trust, Cascade Investment and Venrock.

Headquarters: Torrey Pines area of San Diego.

Year founded: 2007.

Company description: The privately held company focuses on what it calls ‘green crude’ production — using synthetic biology to transform algae into gasoline, diesel and jet fuel.

Key factors for success: Sapphire has been able to demonstrate that its crude oil could be used as a drop-in replacement for fossil fuels.

San Diego biofuels company Sapphire Energy Inc...

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