Founded by Arowana in August 2014, VivoPower International PLC is a certified B Corporation that has offices in Australia, the Netherlands, the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. In January 2021, VivoPower was recognised as one of the top 50 impact companies in the world by the Real Leaders Impact Awards, debuting at #47.
Having started its life focused on developing small solar power systems in Australia, VivoPower today is a London headquartered group that provides ruggedised electric vehicles, battery technology, solar energy systems and critical power solutions to a global customer base. Its core purpose is to deliver sustainable energy solutions (SES) to its customers and help them in their journey to decarbonisation.
VivoPower scaled rapidly after inception and overcame many challenges to successfully IPO on the NASDAQ stock exchange in December 2016. Arowana maintains a majority shareholding in VivoPower and a number of its key executives serve on the board and operate as part of the management team.
The entrepreneurs among us will appreciate that no business is without its challenges, and VivoPower has been no different, experiencing a number of seemingly insurmountable problems before its IPO and after its IPO. Pre IPO, these included the demise of the largest solar company in the world, SunEdison (which turned solar from a hot sector on the NASDAQ into an unpopular sector making capital raising difficult), Brexit (which created significant foreign currency market volatility), the last-minute withdrawal of a solar contractor (which threatened the build of the NC-31 solar plant), Hurricane Matthew (which impacted the programme for financial close and build of the NC-47 solar plant), and the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States in November 2016 (which made various stakeholders nervous about renewable energy policy and future opportunities). Post IPO, VivoPower had to contend with Trump’s renewable energy tariffs making solar development less profitable in the US, a badly underperforming stock price as well internal management culture and execution issues and consequential legal cases. By the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in February 2020, these issues had left VivoPower with virtually no cash, a long list of overdue creditors and a market capitalisation of less than US$10m.
In March 2020, led by Arowana’s founder, a core team of VivoPower and on secondment Arowana executives embarked on a no fail hyper-turnaround mission codenamed Operation Sunfish. Through a combination of sheer grit, crisis inspired creativity and some luck, the mission thankfully succeeded, ending with an oversubscribed capital raising of US$29m in October 2020. By this point, VivoPower’s market capitalisation had achieved a high in excess of US$300m with the capital raising enabling VivoPower to complete a transformational strategic pivot and acquire an electric vehicle company called Tembo.