Green IPOs Have Been Mixed

Tesla Motors (TSLA) at around $18.50 remains above its pricing ($17), although below its opening ($19), and so does JinkoSolar (JKS), which at around $23 has soared above its $11 pricing, but the rest of the green IPOs over the past year have been trading underwater. The rare earth company Molycorp (MCP) came out in late July, priced below its expected range, dropped the first day, and has rebounded since, selling a bit over its offer price.

SeekingAlpha runs a story by GreentechMedia that the riskier bets have come out first, and better ones are to follow. The next run of IPOs, however, look more like public venture finance that classic IPO liquidity events for investors – greentech as closer to pharma style IPOs, where the public provides long-term project finance. These too may stink up the room.

After those comes some really interesting candidates, including the fuel cell company Bloom Energy and the solar-thermal firm BrightSource (in which I have a small indirect stake). Other interesting companies are Enphase, which makes a micro-inverter to turn solar cell output into usable electricity; Silver Springs Networks, which uses a mesh network to interconnect meters to the smart grid; and Solar City, which assists home and small business solarization. Rather than funding science projects, these IPOs will fund real businesses.

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About Duncan Davidson 228 Articles

Affiliation: NetService Ventures

Duncan is an advisor to NetService Ventures, where he focuses on digital media and the mobile Internet.

Previously he was at four start-ups: Xumii, a mobile social service based on a Social Addressbook; SkyPilot Networks, the performance leader of wireless mesh systems for last-mile access, where he was the founding CEO; Covad Communications (Amex: DVW, $9B market cap at the peak), the leading independent DSL access provider, where he was the founding Chairman; InterTrust Technologies ($9B market cap at the peak), the pioneer in digital rights management technologies, now owned by Sony and Philips, where he was SVP Business Development and the pitchman for the IPO.

Before these ventures, Duncan was a partner at Cambridge Venture Partners, an early-stage venture firm, and managing partner of Gemini McKenna, a joint venture between Regis McKenna's marketing firm and Gemini Consulting, the global management consulting arm of Cap Gemini.

He serves on the board or is an adviser to Aggregate Knowledge (content discovery), Livescribe (digital pen), AllVoices (citizen journalism), Xumii (mobile social addressbook), Verismo (Internet settop box), and Widevine (DRM for IPTV).

Visit: Duncan Davidson's Blogs

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