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Nextracker just had the year's biggest IPO

Illustration of golden solar panels.

Illustration: Gabriella Turrisi/Axios

Nextracker, the Fremont, Calif.-based solar tracker and software provider, raised $638 million in its IPO — crowning it the biggest since last fall.

Why it matters: Sure, it's only February, the IPO market is lousy, and $638 million is a fraction of the largest IPOs last year.

  • But a solar-components supplier topping the list is yet another reflection of just how far the renewable energy sector has come.

Details: Nextracker targeted a share price of $20-$23. It ended up selling 3.3 million more shares than anticipated, at a price of $24 per share.

  • That puts the company's fully diluted market value at $3.4 billion when it begins trading on Nasdaq.

Of note: Nextracker's parent is Flex, which retains control of the company. TPG is among Nextracker's backers.

State of play: Nextracker held a leading 37% of U.S. market share in 2021, per data from Wood Mackenzie.

  • That's down from 58% in 2017.
  • The company has faced increasingly fierce competition from Array Technologies, which in 2021 matched Nextracker's domestic market share.

Yes, but: Nextracker commanded 30% of the global market in 2021, compared to Array's 18%.

Zoom out: Other areas in climate tech have generated some of the biggest IPOs in recent years.

  • LG Energy Solution, the South Korean battery maker, raised $10.8 billion in its IPO in January 2022.
  • Rivian, the now-troubled California electric pickup and SUV manufacturer, raised $11.9 billion in its IPO in November 2021.

Context: There have been 13 U.S. IPOs so far this year and just 71 last year — down from the huge peak of 397 in 2021.

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