Enphase Energy’s solar microinverters, which are small devices that sit on a solar panel and convert direct current from the solar panel into alternating current for use, clearly aren’t as sexy as, say, web-based coupons (Groupon), online music (Pandora) or job-based social media (LinkedIn) (s lnkd). But all these companies have one thing in common: They’re having public debuts. Enphase Energy filed for a $100 million IPO on Wednesday.
But unlike these social media companies, Enphase is manufacturing actual devices (though also software) — buying goods from various suppliers — and that takes a lot of funding to scale up. It has designed a type of inverter that’s distributed for each panel — in contrast to the traditional single central inverter for a solar system — and Enphase says its microinverters are more efficient, safer, and can allow better monitoring. Here’s a look at Enphase Energy’s numbers via its just-filed S-1:
Proposed Maxium Aggregate Offering. $100 million.
Volume. Enphase says it has shipped 750,000 units through May 31, 2011, which represents over about 25,000 solar installations.
More reliable. Enphase says microinverters are 45 times more reliable than central inverters.
Background. Enphase was founded in March 2006 as PVI Solutions.
Financials. For the three months ended March 31, 2011, Enphase generated $18.07 million in revenues, up slightly from $11.59 million in revenues from the same quarter a year earlier. For the full year 2010, Enphase brought in $61.66 million in revenues, up from $20.20 million in 2009. However, Enphase has continued to lose money and has never been profitable. The company lost $9.29 million for the latest quarter, $21.78 million for the full year 2010, and as of March 31, 2011, had accumulated a deficit of $65.8 million.
Growth trajectory. While Enphase continues to lose money, it has been on a growth trend throughout 2010. The company shipped 11,000 units in 2008, 126,000 in 2009, and 414,000 in 2010. For the first three months of 2011, Enphase has shipped 123,000 units, or almost the same as it shipped for the entire year of 2009.
IPO proceeds. Enphase says the $100 million from the IPO will be good for funding the company’s activities over the next 12 months, but Enphase says it may need to raise more after the IPO for R&D, expansion, and acquisition. It’s a rather competitive market for Enphase, competing with large suppliers and sometimes the panel makers themselves.
Installer partners. Enphase says it works with 2,500 installers in North America as of May 31, 2011, and is adding new installers at the rate of about 100 per month.
Manufacturing and suppliers. Enphase works with Flextronics, which assembles and tests its microinverters; Phoenix Contact, which makes the AC cable for its third-generation M215 microinverter system; Fujitsu, for its ASIC; Epcos, for magnetic cores; Cree, for diodes; and TDK-EPC for magnetic components.
Funds raised to date. The company closed a $63 million private round in June last year, bringing the total private money raised to $104 million by the end of 2010.
Who will do well in the IPO? Third Point owns 19.10 percent of shares before the offering; RockPort Capital owns 18.10 percent; Madrone Partners owns 14.80 percent; Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers owns 7.70 percent; Applied Ventures owns 6.30 percent; and Bay Partners owns 5.50 percent.