Energy software startup Opower has confidentially filed for its long-anticipated IPO, the Wall Street Journal reports. Stealth IPOs are becoming the norm following the Jumpstart Our Business Startups law, which says companies with less than $1 billion in revenue can start the IPO process confidentially.
Opower, founded in 2007 by entrepreneurs Alex Laskey and Dan Yates, works with utilities to make energy efficiency products like itemized energy bills, emailed energy efficiency tips, and thermostat software. The company is essentially a big data and behavior analytics play, and Opower uses utility data to craft the best ways to convince utility customers to reduce their energy consumption.
Utilities work with Opower because it’s a low cost way to better manage and reduce the energy load, compared to building new power generation. Many utilities also have to engage in energy efficiency programs according to various state laws, like the ones in California. Opower’s products generally shave just a few percent off of each person’s energy use, but the company has been looking at ways to boost that percent in recent years.
Over the past few years Opower has grown dramatically and now says it’s collectively reduced 3.7 billion kilowatt hours, which is a savings of $416 million, and 5.7 billion pounds of carbon emissions abated. Opower products are delivered to 22 million homes.
When more details emerge after the company goes on its road show we’ll know more about the valuation and share price. Opower has raised at least $64 million from venture capitalists including NEA, Kleiner Perkins and Accel Partners.
A successful Opower IPO would be a rare win in the difficult cleantech space, and would be another win for Kleiner, following Nest’s acquisition by Google. These two exits also show how digital energy startups are promising to provide exits for venture capitalists, compared to the lack of exits by materials-heavy and manufacturing-focused energy startups.