Dealflow | February 17, 2023

Deal spotlight: An old-fashioned IPO with a climate twist

Jessica Pothering
ImpactAlpha Editor

Jessica Pothering

ImpactAlpha, February 17 – A climate tech company has scored the biggest IPO so far in 2023. Fremont, Calif.-based Nextracker, which optimizes solar panels as the sun moves, listed on Nasdaq last week, raising $638 million – almost 20% more than the company’s target.

The deal underscores investors’ appetite for climate tech and energy-transition solutions, a bright spot in the slump in venture capital and public listings.

Enlight Renewable Energy, a publicly-traded company in Israel, also went public in the U.S. last week, raising $252 million in its own IPO.

Notably, both listed “the old-fashioned way,” eschewing the SPACs, or special purpose acquisition vehicles that were so hot in 2021. SPACs have had mixed success, particularly for deep tech and climate tech companies.

Path to IPO

Nextracker launched in 2013 when total global solar capacity was less than 137 gigawatts. Nearly twice that amount of capacity was installed in 2022 alone (the global total stands at about 1.1 terrawatts). Nextracker accounts for 30% of the solar tracking market.

Impact funds helped Nextracker grow. SJF Ventures and DBL Investors participated in the company’s Series B round in 2014. TPG Rise Climate invested $500 million last year.

Climate clamor

ImpactAlpha’s dealflow feed is overflowing with climate investments. Solar, battery storage and EVs are the big winners, but emerging sectors, such as green buildings and refrigeration, and geographies like India and Africa, also are attracting capital. Investors are getting behind companies using climate tech as a driver of social equity, such as ChargerHelp in South L.A., which this week raised $17.5 million to build a new class of green jobs with good pay.