Monday, August 11, 2008

What we can learn from A123

He points out a variation of our old friend from the study of indexes, survivor bias.
From Greentech Media:

The big news over the last few days has been the IPO filing of lithium ion battery innovator A123, who’s looking to go public on NASDAQ sometime soon.

Much will be written elsewhere about the prospects for the company’s IPO, by those who follow the public markets more closely (and to reiterate the disclaimers, don’t get your investment advice from this column, it would be the blind following the blind and we take no responsibility for your investment decisions, good or bad). But there’s also a lot of information in the company’s S-1

I thought it might be good to go through some of this info as a means of illustrating what a “successful” (still to be proven, but so far so good) cleantech venture investment of a certain type (energy storage, using a capital-intensive “build them ourselves” business model) might look like.

Funding history (note: all of the below are extrapolations and over-simplifications which are intended to be illustrative, but in fact may be quite wrong):

2001 - Founded out of MIT. Unclear what seed capital may have been provided.

2001-2004 Raised $12.7mm in Series A ($1/sh) and Series A-1 ($1.50/sh) funding...MORE