We received a lot of good questions over the last week and we wanted to address two that were popular and are interconnected, 1.) What is the stage of technology development & commercialization and 2.) What is the basis of the valuation?
1).What is the development stage of the Company?
PI Energy is in pre-commercial technology development-stage, for our next-generation solar cell technology. As we progress in our development process, we estimate a lowered risk for meeting our technical and manufacturing goals. The steps to commercialization are: 1.) to complete the development of our P4 solar cell, 2.) initial pilot deployments, and 3.) commercial production and distribution.
We have met with and spoken with over one hundred potential customers and distributors, as well as some large companies for a collaborative for global-scale fabrication and distribution. The interest has been extensive especially in the new enabling markets and globally to expand solar in underserved and unaddressed markets. Our goal is to advance our technology to a point where we can start some initial pilot and/or test installations.
The addressable market includes the current solar PV module market, which comprises the +$46 billion/year in solar module sales, with the potential to expand into the +$2 trillion/year electricity market. In addition, the potential market includes the new markets where current solar PV modules are not a significant part of the market. This includes the electric vehicle market which we estimate to be about $8.3 billion and growing, along with other areas of transportation, including trains, ships and aircraft.
To determine the valuation, PI Energy’s board of directors included in the internal analysis: progress of the proprietary technology development, projected competitive advantages, technical assessments, addressable market size and comparable market valuations are also considered. For valuation comparables, we found pre-commercial energy technology companies over the past year that were raising funds or trading at valuations, which on a risk-adjusted basis, were significantly higher. Ultimately, the board decided to take a conservative position on the valuation, based more closely on our current technology development stage, which is how we arrived at the current valuation.
In 2010 our initial valuation of $24 Million was set after a hedge fund investment, and then the Company raised over $11 million more from sophisticated investors with sector experience. After building and testing hundreds of prototypes, evolving our processes and proprietary know-how, filing patents, developing PI Energy’s potentially market-disruptive technology, we arrived at our current valuation.