Now that Opower’s long awaited IPO has occurred, the inevitable “what next” questions have arisen. Being public brings pressure from Wall Street to show revenue growth, bring down expenses, and access new markets. Not that satisfying VCs was easy. Just that the market is very unforgiving when a company misses earning expectations or revises guidance.
So with that in mind, smartgridnews.com decided to ask an Opower competitor in Canada, Pulse Energy, what it thought the challenges were for Opower going forward.
The company’s response boiled down into three strategic quesitons:
1) The utility revenue cycle is a challenge. Utility deals often take 6-24 months to finalize and Wall Street thinks in terms of the next quarter. I personally believe that Opower is going to have to cross sell additional services to existing customers to bring in revenue and become less reliant on just securing new customers.
2) It’s going to need new products. Whether the thermostat partnership with Honeywell comes to anything fruitful or the demand response product finds traction, something new will be needed for the company to remain exciting.
3) Competition is heating up for the core product—residential energy efficiency engagement. Tendril and Pure Energy have their own products and deals and Opower will be under pressure to sign the next 100 utilities.
It’s never easy being a public company. But at least things are getting very clear for Opower in terms of the steps it needs to take to fuel growth and take the company to the next level.