Silver Spring Networks raising $30M, despite planned IPO

Smart grid company Silver Spring Networks is raising a $30 million round of debt and options, according to a filing. The company, which filed to go public this summer, has closed $24 million of that planned round and is looking to bring in another $6 million.

Silver Spring Networks has been planning a potential $150 million IPO, but the public markets haven’t been all that friendly this year. The third quarter of 2011 was one of the weakest IPO markets since the end of 2009, says a report released by the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA). In August it seemed like the IPO window slammed shut due to macroeconomic conditions like the European crisis and has remained difficult since then.

The company, which sells wireless networking products to utilities for smart meter deployments and other smart grid services, has seen a lot of growth in 2010 and 2011. According to Silver Spring’s latest amended S-1, the company brought in revenues of $175.72 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2011, with a $76.20 million net loss for the same period. In 2010 Silver Spring generated revenues of $70.22 million, $3.30 million in 2009 and just $58,000 in 2008. To date Silver Spring Networks has contracts for 17 million connected smart grid devices and has utility customers like Pepco Holdings, Constellation Energy, Florida Power & Light and PG&E.

However, the company says in its amended S-1 that:

Billings decreased sequentially for the three months ended June 30, 2011 primarily due to a reduction in hardware products shipped, and decreased sequentially for the three months ended September 30, 2011 due to changes in the mix of hardware products shipped. Additionally, we expect billings for the three months ended December 31, 2011 to decrease compared to the three months ended December 31, 2010, and decrease sequentially compared to the three months ended September 30, 2011 primarily due to the reduction in hardware products shipped for one customer that is nearing the completion of its networking platform and advanced metering solution deployment.

Silver Spring’s IPO has been a long time coming, and was expected back in 2010. If the company does go public, it could give a much-needed boost to smart grid deployments, new smart grid companies, and VCs investing in smart grid innovation.