Aussie glazier ClearVue launches $6m IPO to make windows that convert sunlight to energy
ClearVue's high tech glass panels convert sunlight into energy. Pic: ClearVue
Solar-powered glass maker ClearVue Technologies has launched a $6 million public offer ahead of a planned ASX listing in April.
Perth-based ClearVue — led by founder Victor Rosenberg — has been working for six years on glass panels with built-in photovoltaic cells that can produce up to 30 watts of electricity per square metre.
The high-tech glass features a layer of micro and nano-particles that reflect the sun’s rays towards solar cells embedded near the edge of the glass in a window frame.
The rays are converted to energy while allowing 70 per cent of light to pass through, Mr Rosenberg — a pharmacist by trade — says in the company’s newly released prospectus.
ClearVue’s photo voltaic windows — developed with experts from Edith Cowan University — are better than competing products because they are more transparent and do not obstruct views through windows, Mr Rosenberg says in the prospectus.
“ClearVue aims to preserve glass transparency to maintain building aesthetics while operating at relatively high generation efficiency.”
The company has no revenue at the moment but hopes to make money in the future by selling the glass through distributors, licensing the technology to glass makers and potentially wholesale deals.
The company is “finalising steps towards the commercial release of its initial core product” – initially via a contracted manufacturer in China.
Initially ClearVue is targeting agriculture (particularly glasshouses), commercial and residential construction as well as public amenities (such as bus stops).
But down the track, the patented technology could be used to power consumer electronics such as mobile phones, tablets and laptops.
It can also be hooked up to “Internet Of Things” technology to monitor performance.
The tech play has been awarded $1.6 million in government grants to build a 300 sq m greenhouse using its technology. ClearVue is contributing about $3 million to the $5 million project and expects to get construction underway in coming months.
It has also experimented with glass bus shelters where the technology was used to power lighting and signage.
IPO cash will fund research
ClearVue is issuing up to 30 million new shares at 20c apiece to raise $5 million to $6 million – enough to keep it going for two years.
About 100 million shares will be on issue if the full $6 million is raised.
Mr Rosenberg and family members would emerge with about a third of the company — worth about $6.2 million at the 20c offer price.
Mr Rosenberg would be paid a salary of $200,000 per year.
ClearVue will spend the biggest slice of the IPO proceeds (up to $2.6 million) on research aimed at improving electricity generation and reducing the weight and cost of the solar glass.
The rest is earmarked for staff, marketing, offer expenses, trademark protection and working capital.
ClearVue’s to-do list includes safety testing, completing the glasshouse, building a factory in China, securing new business and licensing distributors around the world.
Testing of the glass – which would take about a year – was required before commercial release.
ClearVue has about $600,000 in the bank (before the offer) and has accrued losses of about $2 million over the past three years.
The offer is open until April 6 and the shares are expected to list on the ASX from April 25.
The lead manager is Perth-based Ventnor Securities.