Solar panel installer SolarCity had a difficult time going public recently, but the IPO is viewed as successful given the current bumpy state of the green energy industry.
The IPO was delayed by a day and the initial anticipated share price was cut from $13 to $15 to $8 when the offering was finally made, mainly due to investor anxiety about the poor performance of solar stocks in general.
Despite pouring billions of dollars into solar, smart grid, and other energy technology companies over the last few years, venture capitalists have little to show for the investments. The few IPOs that have taken place over the past few years have fared poorly because of a weak global economy, competition from cheap competitors, and slow adoption of green tech on both the consumer and commercial levels.
SolarCity went through with the $8 offering, and several investors made plans to buy shares in the offering. The stock climbed nearly 50 percent on its first day of trading.
This is seen as good news for similar start-ups eyeing IPOs.
Sources say Opower, a company that helps utility customers cut energy bills, is likely to go public next year. Silver Spring Networks, a smartgrid company that previously delayed an IPO, will resurrect an offering in early 2013.
Bloom Energy, a company that creates fuel-cell boxes to power big data centers is predicted to try an IPO in late 2013 or early 2014, says Scott Sandell, a general partner with Bloom investor New Enterprise Associates.
Finally, SolarCity competitor SunRun says that while it has no immediate plans to go public, SolarCity’s IPO has educated investors about areas of the industry that are booming.
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