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Smart grid networking company Silver Spring Networks announced on Wednesday that it plans to acquire startup Detectent, which has developed data analytics for utilities. Utilities have slowly been adopting data tools over the years, from companies like Opower, C3, Silver Spring and others, to help manage their smart meter data, engagement with customers, energy efficiency programs, grid reliability and protection from theft.
Silver Spring Networks said it would spend $12 million in cash on the deal, which will close this quarter, and the acquisition is estimated to be neutral to earnings this year but accretive next year. Silver Spring has been working with Detectent as a partner since May 2014.
Silver Spring’s stock dropped slightly on the news this morning and is down just under 1 percent at $7.28 per share. Silver Spring went public at $17 per share in 2013.
The company’s stock sank considerably over the past year due to issues like a delay in closing several big utility deals — the company is dependent on securing large many-year deals from utilities, and these deals can be difficult to get and close in a predictable manner. For the nine months ended September 30, 2014, Silver Spring generated revenue of $113.88 million, compared to $229.69 million for the same period in 2013. Net loss over the same period grew to $89.67 million in 2014, up from a loss of $67.17 million in 2013.
Companies selling smart grid services to utilities are racing to develop and acquire the best data analytics tools out there. Grid company EnerNOC acquired Pulse Energy last month. Data analytics company Tendril recently teamed up with solar giant SunPower as an investor and a partner. After a decade of discussion about the “smart grid,” energy companies are finally becoming data companies.