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Summary:

Silver Spring Networks, one of the largest smart grid infrastructure firms, has raised another massive round of funding to keep on expanding. This morning the 7-year-old Redwood City, Calif.-based company announced that it has raised $100 million in equity funding, bringing the company’s total funds raised […]

Silver Spring Networks, one of the largest smart grid infrastructure firms, has raised another massive round of funding to keep on expanding. This morning the 7-year-old Redwood City, Calif.-based company announced that it has raised $100 million in equity funding, bringing the company’s total funds raised to $275 million. As we’ve pointed out, the bigger the better in the utility world, and the smart grid firm is clearly looking to ramp up its utility deals.

The funding puts Silver Spring into the over $200 million in financing club, a group that not many venture-backed startups, particularly web firms, reach, but an increasing amount of cleantech firms are joining. Solar thin film firm Solyndra has become one of the most capitalized startups to date with close to $800 million. Silver Spring closed the round, which included Google Ventures, Foundation Capital, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Northgate Capital, last Friday.

Silver Spring told us that today’s funding and the company’s expansion plans reflect the fact that “our technology is being accepted,” said Chief Financial Officer Warren Jenson. Jenson specified that Silver Spring is getting a foothold in Australia, and seeing “strong interest from other parts of the world.” Warren noted that “early inquiries” are coming from Latin America, while opportunities in Europe and Asian markets are “right on the horizon.”

The funding could go toward building new applications as well, said Jenson. Potential new smart grid applications could include demand response, home area networks, EV tech, and distribution automation. Silver Spring branched into home energy management back in September when it bought startup Greenbox.

By ramping up funding, the company is hoping to compete head to head with firms like Cisco, which built the Internet networking industry, has been a public company for years, and has said it has an unlimited budget for the smart grid. There’s been a lot of speculation about if Silver Spring will go public in 2010, but Jenson wouldn’t comment on the firm’s future market plans.

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  1. Terrence Murray Tuesday, December 15, 2009

    I guess my question — why are clean energy companies capital requirement so big? Also, is this the last VC funding before an IPO. It seems that the company could have raised more doing an IPO.

  2. @Terrence

    It is not uncommon for cleantech firms to raise equity of this magnitude. One of the reasons is that a lot of money goes into the manufacturing operations. Recently listed A123Systems also managed to raise capital in excess of US$200m. Another battery manufacturer Boston-Power has raised around US$125m so far.

    Regarding the IPO, though the company didn’t mention it in the news release, this was the Round E funding. Silver Spring raised Series D US$75m funding in October 2008 and another US$15m early this year as an add-on. Looks pretty much on the verge of an IPO. In any case, US$100m is huge amount for VC funding. Makes me think, it might be a mezzanine as well.

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