How The Deal Between Synthetic Genomics, Exxon Fell Part

It all looked good at the time: oil company Exxon needed to develop a more earth-friendly way to produce oil, and San Diego startup Synthetic Genomics needed funding to get its technology off the ground. But then, ExxonMobil cut back its original investment--worth up to $600M--in Synthetic Genomics. What happened? According to Bloomberg, after Synthetic Genomics failed to perform on a milestone, ExxonMobil pulled back on its contract, leading to layoffs of more than half of Synthetic Genomics' employees back in 2011.