Bloom Energy, the Silicon Valley fuel cell maker with an estimated $800 million in VC and backers like John Doerr, T.J. Rogers and Colin Powell, is on a short list of green technology startups voted most likely to IPO someday soon, though the company has remained consistently mum on the topic. But what’s the value of the San Jose, Calif.-based startup to its investors? The answer depends on who’s selling.
Take last week’s report from VentureWire on Felix Investments, a firm that has been charged by the Securities & Exchange Commission for allegedly misleading investors. Those charges center around hot tech IPOs like Facebook and Zynga, but in a recent email pitch to customers, company representative Frank Mazzola was offering Bloom Energy shares at a price of $20.50, as compared to the $25.76-per-share price reported from its most recent $150 million round in June.
Consider the source of the information, of course. KR Sridhar, principal co-founder and chief executive of Bloom Energy, told VentureWire that Bloom has no relationship with Felix Investments. Even so, it’s an interesting target price for the company’s shares, falling as it does in between two other reported valuations in the past few months.
The first comes from Advanced Equities, believed to be one of the largest investors in Bloom, which led the company’s most recent round. The Chicago-based investment firm, which ousted CEO Dwight Badger in June amidst an SEC investigation, set a value for its Bloom offering at the aforementioned $25.76 per share, for a pre-money valuation of $2.7 billion for the company. That’s up significantly from a $1.8 billion valuation pegged to a June 2011 investment, and is the figure most often quoted as of late as a stand-in for the company’s potential value on the public market.