Opower makes IPO plan public

Mon Mar 3, 2014 1:17pm EST

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(Reuters) - Opower Inc, which provides software to utilities to help customers reduce their power bills, said it will raise $100 million in an initial public offering of its common stock.

Opower had filed confidentially for an IPO with U.S. financial regulators earlier this month under the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, which allows companies with less than $1 billion in annual revenue to start the IPO process without disclosing their finances.

News of the Arlington, Virginia-based company filing confidentially was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

The $2.2 trillion utility industry in under pressure from regulators to build fewer power plants, find cleaner sources of fuel and keep rates low, and to accomplish these demands, utility companies implement energy efficiency programs, that reduce overall and peak usage.

Opower partners with utilities to help homeowners reduce energy use by first comparing their energy consumption with that of their neighbor's and then providing personalized energy saving recommendations.

Opower, founded in 2007, said it has helped save more than 1,900 gigawatt hours of energy last year, which equated to $234.1 million in savings at average electricity prices in the United States.

Opower's revenue jumped 72 percent to $88.7 million in the year ended December 31, 2013. Its net loss widened to $14.1 million from $12.3 million a year ago, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday. (link.reuters.com/dyr37v)

The company had 93 utility customers in eight countries, including 27 of the 50 largest U.S. utilities, as of December 31.

Opower is backed by venture capital firm New Enterprise Associates, which owns about 22 percent of the company. It is also backed by Accel Partners.

The company plans to list on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "OPWR".

Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs are the lead underwriters to the offering, Opower said.

The amount of money a company says it plans to raise in its first IPO filings is used to calculate registration fees. The final size of the IPO could be different.

(Reporting by Tanya Agrawal in Bangalore; Editing by Savio D'Souza)

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