Arlington-based energy efficiency company Opower files with SEC to start IPO process

Opower, an Arlington company that partners with utilities to encourage customers to conserve energy and save money, has filed confidential papers to go public.

The company’s filing comes as several other local firms have gone public or appear to be preparing to offer shares, buoyed by the relative stability in the financial markets and investors’ renewed appetite for stocks.

Hilton Worldwide, for instance, went public late last year, following Tysons Corner-based Cvent, which creates event-management software. Eloqua, another Northern Virginia technology company, went public in 2012.

The appetite for IPOs appears to be continuing. Ballston-based Applied Predictive Technologies, which crunches big data for Fortune 500 clients, recently hired a chief financial officer experienced in taking companies public.

Opower’s confidential filing comes under the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, which allows companies with less than $1 billion in revenue to start the IPO process with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission without disclosing their finances. The JOBS Act has encouraged several companies to file in a similar fashion, including K2M Group Holdings, a Leesburg company that bills itself as the world’s largest privately held maker of spinal implants and is preparing to go public.

Opower declined to comment. The company’s filing, reported earlier by the Wall Street Journal, was confirmed by sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the confidential process.

Opower, formerly known as Positive Energy, was founded in 2007 by Alex Laskey and Daniel Yates.

The company teams with utilities to crunch customers’ energy usage data for customized monthly reports offering information on how customers’ consumption compares with their neighbors’ and what they might do to conserve.

The firm started with about $1 million in funding from Silicon Valley investors who had made money from the sale of Edusoft, an educational testing software company that Yates sold a decade ago to Houghton Mifflin for about $40 million.

Opower has since collected investments from the likes of New Enterprise Associates, Accel Partners and Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers.

Capital Business is The Post’s weekly publication focusing on the region’s business community.

Thomas Heath is a local business reporter and columnist, writing about entrepreneurs and various companies big and small in the Washington Metropolitan area. Previously, he wrote about the business of sports for The Post’s sports section for most of a decade. He has also covered local news, including the Maryland General Assembly and investigative work in Fairfax county. He has served as a correspondent for Newsweek and The Post, participating in coverage of the Oklahoma City bombing, the Unabomber and the O.J. Simpson trial. Heath was born and raised in Syracuse, N.Y., where he attended Catholic schools. He is a graduate of Fordham University and was a 2001-2002 fellow at Columbia University’s Knight/Bagehot business fellowship program.
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