Finally! Silver Spring Networks goes forward with its IPO
By: SGN Staff
By Jesse Berst
Quick take: After roughly two years of delay, smart grid pioneer Silver Spring Networks (SSN) has finally announced the terms of its initial public offering. The IPO will raise $60-70 million, less than half the $150 million originally expected, according to a story in SiliconBeat.com.
SSN's competitors claim that it loses money on every sale - that it has priced its deals so low that it cannot make money on them. Yet SSN's aggressive pricing and constant innovation have allowed it to become a clear mind-share leader in a sector that today is dominated by much larger competitors. But even SSN's biggest rivals will be rooting for the success of its IPO, I predict. A successful offering will be a signal that the sector is strong enough to deserve additional attention from investors. It's one of those self-fulfilling prophecies. If they think it's worth their time, more money will flow in, boosting the sector and fulfilling their expectations.
GigaOm analyst Katie Fehrenbacher speculates the offering will get a boost from some of SSN's venture investors, who have committed to buy stock at the IPO price, a tactic previously used by SolarCity. For my part, I'm watching and wondering if SSN can translate its North American success to Europe when (should I say if?) the UK, France and Germany finally roll out smart meters countrywide.
Earlier SGN coverage on SSN's IPO plans ...
Jesse Berst is the founder and chief analyst of Smart Grid News.com, the industry's oldest and largest smart grid site. A frequent keynoter at industry events in the U.S. and abroad, he also serves on advisory committees for Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the Institute for Electric Efficiency. He often provides strategic consulting to large corporations and venture-backed startups. He is a member of the advisory boards of GridGlo and Calico Energy Services.