Challenger energy brand Octopus has today continued its international expansion with its first foray into the massive US market.
The firm, which has grown rapidly since launching four years ago and now boasts 1.7m accounts in the UK, has bought American supplier Evolve Energy in a $5m (£3.9m) deal.
The acquisition is the first step in a program that will see Octopus invest $100m into the US, with the goal of acquiring 25m US customers on its technology platform by 2027.
By 2030, the firm has set itself the challenge of achieving 100m customers around the world.
Octopus’s chief executive Greg Jackson told City A.M. that in partnering with Silicon Valley-based Evolve, the group would become a “tech knowledge powerhouse”.
He said that the acquisition would be a “great launchpad” for the firm, adding that the UK had a real chance to be a “pioneer” in the development of such tech around the world.
“The energy transition is probably the biggest single economic shift since the invention of the internet”, he said. “We have the chance to be a pioneer and to drive change on that scale”.
In April 2020, Octopus became the country’s latest tech ‘unicorn’, valued at close to $2bn after Australia’s leading energy company Origin Energy acquired a 20 percent stake for nearly $400m.
Aside from the 1.7m UK households, it looks after directly, Octopus has leased its technology to a number of other suppliers, supporting around 17m customers in total.
Npower, E.On and Good Energy all use the “Kraken” software, equally roughly 25 percent of the whole UK market. The firm has also expanded into Australia.
“Octopus Energy is inspirational in growing a customer base of over 1 million households in just four years. It matches our aspiration for innovation and we’re thrilled to be part of the Octopus family,” said Evolve founder Michael Lee.
“The US energy market is rapidly moving towards ultra-low-cost renewable energy and is prime for a true digital transformation.”