Ecoppia raised NIS 440 million on its Tel Aviv Stock Exchange IPO

The Israeli Ecoppia, which manufactures autonomous robots designed to clean solar panels, announced Tuesday morning that the Israel Securities Authority has approved the listing of the company’s share for trade on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. According to the company’s announcement, the proceeds from the IPO is expected to amount to NIS 282 million, along with another NIS 157 million following the exercising of options. According to a prospectus recently submitted by the company, its backlog now stands at $ 42 million.

Ecoppia has developed a family of robots that clean solar panels automatically using microfiber and without the use of water. Regular cleaning of the panels is important for generating high output, as dust and dirt accumulation may reduce their power output by dozens of percent. Ecoppia’s robots operate autonomously and clean the panels at night, removing about 99% of the dust that has accumulated on them during the day. One robot is capable of cleaning about 1,200 panels a night.

To date, Ecoppia’s robots have cleaned more than 2 billion solar panels. The company collaborates with leading companies in the solar sector, including the French Engie Group and EDF, the Indian NTPC and Adani Power, Actis Group from the UK, unEdisson/TerraForm from the United States, and the Finnish Fortum.

The hottest sector in the stock market

In a presentation to its investors, Ecoppia reported that it experienced an average annual increase of 248% between 2014-2020, and that its robots are currently cleaning panels at a total capacity of 5,200 megawatts. The company estimates that the solar panel maintenance market is valued at about $4-5 billion, and is expected to grow in the coming years along with the growth of the entire solar market.

In 2018, the company’s revenues totaled at $4.9 million, and in 2019 they spiked to $8 million. However, Ecoppia’s revenues so far during the first half of 2020 totaled only at $673,000, partly due to a stagnation in the Indian market, which is the company’s main market and is responsible for more than half of its revenues.

Solar stocks have seen significant momentum in world markets over the past year, against the backdrop of the global solar market’s growth, and as many countries adhere to multi-year plans meant to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and dependence on electricity generated from polluting sources. Joe Biden’s election to the presidency of the United States has also added to the momentum of the solar sector, given the president-elect’s commitment to combat the climate crisis and promote renewable energies. For example, the TAN ETF, which contains shares of leading solar companies, including the Israeli Solar Edge, has risen by about 150% since the beginning of the year.

Ecoppia received $40 million investment for Solar Panels Cleaning Robots

CIM Group has made a $40 million investment in Herzliya-based Ecoppia, a provider of robots for automatic cleaning of solar panels, and became the largest shareholder in the company. Ecoppia’s VP of marketing, Anat Cohen-Segev, told Techtime that CIM’s evolving ecosystem in the solar market will drive business expantion. “They have established extensive activity in the solar market.”

Ecoppia’s robots clean the solar panels automatically using only microfiber and without the use of water. Regular cleaning is vital, as dust and dirt may dramatically reduce their power output. These autonomous robots clean the panels every night, removing about 99% of the dust that has accumulated during the day. One robot is capable of cleaning 1,200 panels a night.

Ecoppia robots have their own on-board dedicated solar module, allowing batteries to quickly charge in between operations. A cloud-based platform enables remote management via any connected device, while data arriving from smart sensors and AI platform can independently initiate cleanings, based on weather conditions and other parameters.

Founded in the early 1990s by the two Israelis, Avi Shemesh and Shaul Kuba, CIM Group currently manages assets worth of $60 billion. Its portfolio company, Sky Power from Canada, manages solar projects with a total capacity of 2,500 megawatts worldwide. Earlier this year CIM has begun developing the Westlands Solar Park, a 20,000 acres solar park in California, planned to produce 2,700 megawatts.

COVID-19 had a Positive Impact

Ecoppia collaborates with leading Energy companies such as the French Engie Group and EDF, the Indian NTPC and Adani Power, Actis Group from the UK, unEdisson/TerraForm from the US. It says that its activities have grown annually by 200% in the last 6 years. Big financial backer is crucial in the energy market: agreements demand long-term commitment, sometimes for decades, and the ecosystem prefer a strong financial soundness. Thus, CIM Group’s investment helps Ecoppia to meet the financial standards needed in the market.

Unlike many technology companies, the COVID-19 crisis had a positive impact on Ecoppia’s businesses. Cohen-Segev: “It made our advantage clearer. Due to the quarantine and social distancing, maintenance works were stopped at many solar sites, and the panels accumulated dust and dirt that damaged performance. However, in the case of our customers, cleaning works continued as usual, since the cleaning is performed by automatic robots. We have always believed in automation, and COVID-19 has accelerated this understanding among energy companies as well.”