Israel-based startup SolarEdge recently raised $126 million in its IPO, with it arguably being the most high-profile cleantech IPO of the year so far*. Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank were the lead managers on the offering and there were three co-managers. There were seven venture capital supporters as well.
MJ Shiao, GTM’s Director of Solar Research, said: “We believe that SolarEdge’s transition into the commercial space will be smoother. The firm is leveraging the 3-phase string inverter architecture, which is ubiquitous in Europe and is taking off in the US, and the firm is able to offset the power optimizer premium through internal savings via its fixed-voltage inverter, as well as with electrical BOS savings via string-stretching.”
In the last 6 months of 2014, SolarEdge had $5.9 million in profits. 1.3 million power optimizers were shipped in fiscal year 2014. The company has shipped 601 MW of inverters and 4.5 million optimizers. Its market share in the US residential sector in the third quarter of 2014 was 26%. SolarEdge was founded in 2006, but only began shipping products about five years ago.
The US residential market could grown 50% per year until the federal Investment Tax Credit (potentially) expires in 2017.
SolarEdge’s success is impressive and important because the solar power industry is clearly not just solar panels. The electronics that comprise solar power systems are of equal importance. Actually, any supporting aspect such as electronics and finance are of such significance that they can impact the whole solar industry. Even though solar panels seems to get the most press and general discourse, the solar industry has emerged into something vast and complex.
That solar power electronics companies like SolarEdge and Enphase traffic in millions of products seems to reference the colossal size of the solar power industry… which is still in its infancy. In other words, we appear to be witnessing the beginning of what will become a huge industry on a global scale.
(Note: the large solar power installer and financier Sunrun is expected to go public this year too.)