From Fortune Magazine's Term Sheet blog:
Bloom privately reports $32 million Q3 loss.
FORTUNE -- For years, the knock on fuel cell maker Bloom Energy Corp. has been that its boxes cost more to make than they cost to buy. Not exactly the sort of dynamic that would help Bloom make it up on volume.
But perhaps things are finally about to change, after 10 years and nearly $1 billion in venture capital funding.
Fortune recently obtained confidential documents sent by Bloom to its "significant investors," detailing third quarter earnings and the company's broader financial position. We also have managed to learn some broader context around the numbers, and have received what is believed to be the company's first on-the-record statement about its top-line projections for 2013 (all prior requests for information had gone unanswered).
For the uninitiated, Bloom was founded by K.R. Sridhar in 2001 to translate a NASA science experiment into self-generating energy boxes for commercial customers like warehouses and data centers. The idea is basically to place solid oxide fuel cells on a company's premise, which convert air and natural gas into electricity via an electrochemical process. After several field trials, it shipped its first boxes to Google (GOOG) in July 2008 and since has secured paying customers like Wal-Mart (WMT), Federal Express (FDX) and AT&T (T). It also has expanded the business model to include box rentals (where customers pay on a consumption basis, kind of energy-as-a-service), and also is rolling out advanced boxes that can operate independent of the gas grid if needed (the new module also can be added onto existing boxes).
Despite the customer wins and technological advancements, however, Bloom has a reputation for burning money.
Since its founding, Bloom has raised nearly $974 million in venture capital funding from firms that include Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, New Enterprise Associates, DAG Ventures and Goldman Sachs (GS).
Included in that figure is a $150 million Series F round led in 2009 by Advanced Equities, which later was accused by the SEC of misleading investors and ordered to "locate purchasers" for Bloom shares that misled investors want to unload. Bloom itself was not party to the case, and has shown little outward interest in helping out those shareholders -- most of whom fall below the company's "significant" investor threshold. Also worth noting that Advanced Equities tried twice more raising money for Bloom, including earlier this year. Neither of those fundraises were authorized nor accepted by Bloom.Previously:
So $974 million in venture capital, which makes Bloom one of the five largest recipients of VC funding in history. And, through Sept. 30, the company's retained earnings stand at negative $873 million.
According to its investor letter, Bloom generated approximately $101 million in pro forma Q3 revenue. Its pro forma cost of goods was nearly $106 million, plus another $26 million in operating expenses. That works out to a Q3 pro forma loss of nearly $32 million, which expands to more than $42 million on a GAAP basis. The company also reports that it had a net cash loss of approximately $80 million in the quarter, leaving it with just around $113 million....MORE
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