Riverside, California, United States
Industry: Renewables & Environment
Region: US 🇺🇸
Expected Valuation: $190 million
IPO Date: 2023 (expected)
SolarMax Technology, Inc.
Key Company Facts
|Headquarters||Riverside, California, US|
|Sector||Renewables & Environment|
|Industry||Solar Design and Installation|
|Number of employees||251-500|
|IPO Date||2023 (expected)|
|Number of investors||N/A|
|Total funding||$19.5 million USD|
|Valuation estimate||$190 million USD|
Company Overview & History
SolarMax Technology is a leading provider of solar energy solutions. Established in 2008, the company has pioneered various innovations to make solar energy more accessible and affordable to Californian homes and businesses.
SolarMax designs and assembles its top-rated solar panels in its 165,000 square foot facility in Riverside, California, from where it has executed more than 12,000 custom installations.
Noteworthy achievements of the company include being the first Californian solar installer to design, engineer, and assemble its own premium brand of solar panels in 2016, the launch of its proprietary FLEX Energy Storage System in the same year, and receiving a top-tier ranking for the reliability of its SMX Panels in 2017/2018.
Founders David Hsu and Ching Liu received the “Spirit of the Entrepreneur” award in 2015, credited largely to their innovative approach to financing.
Apart from its local operations, SolarMax began its expansion into Asia in 2015 following a sweeping anti-pollution program championed by the Chinese government.
It has since become the largest U.S.-based solar developer in China, providing end-to-end development solutions that include design, engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services, operations and maintenance (O&M), as well as project development.
The company has secured rights to develop and provide ongoing maintenance and operations support for several utility-scale projects in the inland province of Guizhou, China.
SolarMax Technology has raised a total of $19.5M over two funding rounds.
Its latest funding round was a Reverse Merger on October 28, 2020, with Alberton Acquisition as the investor.
The company had also raised $99M in an unattributed round in 2016, indicating a strong financial performance and backing from its investors.
SolarMax Technology has a multi-faceted business model. As an industry-leading designer and installer, the company has completed over 4,000 solar installations in Southern California alone. Its operations extend to both residential and commercial solar projects.
Furthermore, SolarMax is the exclusive distributor of the FLEX Energy Storage System, which is the solar industry’s first and only all-inclusive solar panel system with battery backup.
The company aims to deliver affordable, high-quality solar panels, solar energy systems, and fully-integrated battery backup systems, making clean, renewable energy accessible to a wide range of consumers.
SolarMax Technology, like many businesses operating in multiple countries, faces certain risk factors due to regulations and market conditions. One of these risks comes from their operations in the People’s Republic of China (PRC).
The company’s PRC subsidiaries’ ability to distribute dividends is regulated by PRC accounting standards and regulations.
These regulations require subsidiaries to set aside at least 10% of their after-tax profits each year to fund a statutory reserve until it reaches 50% of their registered capitals. These reserves cannot be distributed as cash dividends.
Moreover, there is a withholding tax on dividends payable by Chinese companies to non-PRC-resident enterprises, which could potentially reduce the amount of dividends SolarMax may receive from its PRC subsidiaries.
There are also certain risks associated with foreign currency exchange regulation in the PRC.
The conversion of RMB for most capital account items, such as direct investment, security investment and repatriation of investment, is subject to registration with the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE).
Another risk factor stems from the Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act (HFCA Act) in the United States, which creates uncertainty about the ability of SolarMax’s auditor to fully cooperate with the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board’s (PCAOB) request for audit workpapers without the approval of Chinese authorities.
This could result in limitations or restrictions to SolarMax’s access to U.S. capital markets.
According to a 2018 market research report by Goldstein Research, the Chinese solar farm market is expected to reach $60 billion by 2024, growing at a CAGR of 9.1% between 2017 and 2025.
The driving factors behind this growth include environmental benefits and the Chinese government’s inclination to shift from fossil-based to renewable energies.
The inorganic cells segment held the largest market share of 61% and is projected to grow at the fastest CAGR of 9.8% during the forecast period.
In China, SolarMax Technology faces competition from solar farm project developers and EPC service providers.
In the U.S., the solar market is also projected to grow in the upcoming years, with California leading the way.
The state accounted for 40% of the overall U.S. market in 2017 and is projected to grow rapidly in the upcoming years due to a new rooftop solar mandate, which requires all new homes in the state to install solar panels.
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