Biofuels Energize This Nanotech VC Firm


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An eternal optimist, Liu-Yue built two social enterprises to help make the world a better place. Liu-Yue co-founded Oxstones Investment Club a searchable content platform and business tools for knowledge sharing and financial education. also provides investors with direct access to U.S. commercial real estate opportunities and other alternative investments. In addition, Liu-Yue also co-founded Cute Brands a cause-oriented character brand management and brand licensing company that creates social awareness on global issues and societal challenges through character creations. Prior to his entrepreneurial endeavors, Liu-Yue worked as an Executive Associate at M&T Bank in the Structured Real Estate Finance Group where he worked with senior management on multiple bank-wide risk management projects. He also had a dual role as a commercial banker advising UHNWIs and family offices on investments, credit, and banking needs while focused on residential CRE, infrastructure development, and affordable housing projects. Prior to M&T, he held a number of positions in Latin American equities and bonds investment groups at SBC Warburg Dillon Read (Swiss Bank), OFFITBANK (the wealth management division of Wachovia Bank), and in small cap equities at Steinberg Priest Capital Management (family office). Liu-Yue has an MBA specializing in investment management and strategy from Georgetown University and a Bachelor of Science in Finance and Marketing from Stern School of Business at NYU. He also completed graduate studies in international management at the University of Oxford, Trinity College.

by Tyler McKee, Forbes Blog,

The venture capital industry has enjoyed a significant resurgence of late. Social media darlings Facebook, Groupon, LinkedIn (LNKD) and Zynga have either filed S-1s or created fevered IPO speculation. Publicly-traded Harris & Harris Group (TINY) operates far outside the bright spotlight of Silicon Valley—but it has similarly invested in home run tech investments that are now trading on the Nasdaq.

Harris & Harris Group is a publicly traded venture capital firm exclusively focused on investing in companies enabled by nanotechnology and microsystems. It has invested in more than 30 nanotechnology companies and is one of the most active nanotech investors in the world. Its portfolio companies are leaders in industries ranging from cleantech (Nanosys) to electronics (Cambrios) to life sciences (Biovex).

As of March 31, 2011, the company reported net assets of $146.63 million, with a Net Asset Value (NAV) per share of $4.73. Due to the difficulty in replacing the company’s unique private portfolio, the stock has historically (but not always) traded at a premium to its NAV.

Investors should expect the firm’s NAV to significantly increase in the coming quarter–and that should be welcome news for TINY’s stock price. Why?

Harris & Harris Group’s single largest holding is algae biofuels developer Solazyme (SZYM), which went public on the Nasdaq in May. The firm was an early private investor in Solazyme and now owns 2,304,149 shares. Harris & Harris Group’s first quarter carrying value on its SZYM shares is conservative and far below its current trading price. At today’s $24.30 price, TINY’s Solazyme holding is valued at nearly $56 million (more than 1/3 of its most recent NAV).

Goldman Sachs (GS) recently initiated coverage of Solazyme with a Buy rating and a $31 price target, optimistic that the company has become less risky with the commercialization of new oil products and partnerships with corporations like Bunge. If Solazyme keeps moving higher, expect TINY to set fresh 52-week highs.

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