The future of Japan's biofuel industry may be pond scum. Or more specifically, green algae that's swirling around in tanks on a tropical Okinawan island.

That's what Mitsuru Izumo and his company Euglena Co. are counting on anyway. After 10 years developing the algae as a nutritional supplement that feeds the company's ¥4.6 billion in annual revenue, Euglena has been teaming up with corporate giants including All Nippon Airways and a unit of Chevron Corp. for its next phase.

Excited investors have driven up the shares more than 2,400 percent since its 2012 initial public offering, the best performance of any IPO that year or since.