Bloom Energy raises $270M in NYSE listingBloom Energy Corporation, which sells clean energy power generators based on solid oxide fuel-cell technology and founded by K R Sridhar, an alumnus of Regional Engineering College (REC), Trichy, has raised $270 million by offering 18 million shares at $1 apiece, the high-end of the $13-$1 range, in an initial public offering (IPO) on the New York Stock Exchange ().

’s shares rose 47% to $22.10 at 2:09 p.m. in New York and closed at $25, a 66.7% surge, giving the company a market capitalisation of about $2.65 billion. Sridhar, who did his schooling in Chennai, hogged the limelight in 2010 when it was disclosed that companies including Google, Walmart and Bank of America were using his company’s fuel-cell based electricity generating boxes.

He then moved to the US to do his master’s in engineering and PhD. Sridhar, who initially worked on some space projects, went to the University of Arizona as a professor where he did Mars missions and was working on ways to make the red planet sustainable for human life.

Despite skepticism about the environmental and energy efficiency of the boxes, the number of big global names that are using his is growing and now include Morgan Stanley, Caltech and AT&T. The company has also launched its in India. Intel is said to be powering its building in Bengaluru with Bloom’s boxes.

“Bloom Boxes are not back-up power, we are not a substitute for generators, we are not a substitute for the grid, we are a complete solution. We generate 24×7 reliable, high quality power. You shouldn’t have flickering lights, that doesn’t belong in the 21st century,” Sridhar had told TOI in a September 2016 interview.

“A big monsoon or a hurricane that affects a part of your state will affect your power. Soon, someone will get into cyber space and take down the grid. On the contrary, we offer power at your location, distributed power that is personalised for your needs,” he had said.

Bloom, which had revenues of about $376 million at the end of 2017, however is yet to turn profitable. Its net losses stood at a staggering $263 million in December 2017. Sridhar has only 3.64% stake in Bloom, which has come down to 3.56% after the IPO. His stake in the company is valued at around $80 million.

Venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins is Bloom’s largest shareholder with about 15.9% stake while the Kuwait Investment Authority with a 10.74% stake is the second largest shareholder. “We have incurred significant losses in the past and we do not expect to be profitable for the foreseeable future,” Bloom said in a SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) filing.

“Since our inception in 2001, we have incurred significant net losses and have used significant cash in our business. As of March 31, 2018, we had an accumulated deficit of $2.3 billion. We expect to continue to expand our operations, including by investing in manufacturing, sales and marketing, research and development, staffing systems and infrastructure to support our growth,” the company said.

Read: How Bloom Energy is trying to change the rules of power generation & distribution



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