Welcome back to Baby Breakerdom! This week's quest to find budding Rule Breakers reveals new technology for tree cloning and a comeback for IT investments.
First up this week is CellFor, which may have the strangest business we've yet encountered in these digital pages. It seems the company -- which closed its Series C round Tuesday with $32 million in new financing, according to VentureWire -- is the "leading supplier of high technology seeds to the global forest industry."
But don't let that fool you. CellFor isn't creating genetic super-seeds to repopulate the world's forests so that our children can enjoy them and the trees can enjoy the right to a long, healthy life. It's creating trees that can be cut down again quicker and provide tons of better wood in the process.
Ethical questions aside, the technology is obviously Rule Breaking. Allow me to explain. CellFor clones seeds. Really. It uses a process called somatic embryogenesis, in which one cell is split into two or more in a special culture. That, in turn, produces a massive harvest of genetically identical seeds, which are then stored cryogenically until they are needed.
Interesting, huh? I'd say so. It almost reminds of the work being done by stem cell researchers like Aastrom Biosciences (Nasdaq: ASTM ) , Geron (Nasdaq: GERN ) , and StemCells (Nasdaq: STEM ) . Almost.
Next, it's on to IT and venture investing. It seems those enriched by the dot-com days and then paupered by the dot-bomb bust still see a future in chips and software. VentureWire reports that IT deals accounted for $3.11 billion of the $5.49 billion invested by American VCs during the third quarter. That's an 11% increase from the $2.81 billion booked this time last year.
But this isn't necessarily reflective of increased faith in the sector, because VCs are hedging their bets by placing money in later-stage companies. A full 40% of money invested was in firms with a developing track record, up from 36% a year ago. In other words, VCs aren't just hoping to find the next Google (Nasdaq: GOOG ) , Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL ) , or Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT ) . Instead, they're betting on those that already fit the titanic shoes that come with that description.
Sadly, there were no Baby Breaker public offerings this week, which means it's time to say goodbye for now. See you back here next Friday when we continue the quest for the next ultimate growth stock.
For more Rule-Breaking Foolishness:
- Which are the Rule Breakers among this year's Halloween tricks and treats?
- If you've got the guts, investing glory awaits.
- Akamai (Nasdaq: AKAM ) is the kind of Breaker I like -- it makes wishes comes true.
Netflix. Marvel. AOL. Starbucks. Find out how David Gardner landed these and other multibaggers by taking a risk-free trial to Motley Fool Rule Breakers today. Your portfolio will thank you.
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Fool contributor Tim Beyers wonders whether he can get genetic supertrees for the park across from his house. Tim owns shares of Akamai. You can find out what else is in his portfolio by checking Tim's Fool profile. The Motley Fool has an ironclad disclosure policy.