Green

Nearly profitable smart grid developer Silver Spring Networks files for IPO

Smart grid hardware provider Silver Spring Networks filed to go public on Thursday. The company lost $1.3 million in the first quarter this year, compared to $22.2 million in the first quarter a year earlier, according to the company’s S-1 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The company wants to raise up to $150 million in its initial public offering.

Silver Spring creates the equipment that creates wireless networks that transmit energy consumption data between meters, consumers and utilities. All that data can feed into a computerized network that lets individuals tweak appliances and other systems in real time — like shutting down lights in unused areas of a building or turning off an appliance that isn’t in use.

Silver Spring Networks also has its own web-based portal for consumers. The software takes the data from its relay points and gives consumers a personalized report of their energy usage and the amount of money spent on electricity. The software also indicates how much money users can save by switching to more energy-efficient modes within the system.

The company brought in $70 million in revenue in 2010, up from $3.3 million in revenue in 2009. It also lost $50 million in 2010, up from $36.7 million in 2009. The company brought in $46.7 million in revenue in the first quarter this year, up 229 percent from $14.2 million in the same quarter a year earlier.

The company is one of several that are developing “smart grid” technology — that is, managing an electrical power grid with advanced computer algorithms to promote better energy efficiency and reduce electricity waste.

Silver Spring Networks is backed by Northgate Capital, Foundation Capital, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and Google. Foundation capital owns 41.5 percent of the company’s existing shares, according to the filing, followed by Kleiner Perkins’ 9.7 percent. Foundation Capital invested $8 million into the company in 2003, and when the company ran out of cash in 2005 the venture capital firm kept it afloat for more than a year.