Sunday, March 24, 2024

BritTech: "Octopus Energy spreads its tentacles in acquisitions spree"

Good grief they've been busy.

From, March 21:

Octopus has acquired at least 15 companies — and says there are more to come

Octopus Energy has quickly risen to become the UK’s second-largest energy supplier — no small feat given the largest, British Gas, is more than two hundred years its senior. 

The company, which is still privately owned, also has retail operations in Germany, the USA, Japan, Spain, Italy, France and New Zealand. Its investors include Canadian pension fund CPP Investment, Al Gore-founded climate fund Generation Investment Management, Australian energy company Origin Energy and Japanese energy company Tokyo Gas. 

Acquisitions have been a central part of the company’s expansion strategy, and although Octopus started its acquisitions spree before the energy crisis, it pounced when some of its less fortunate peers went into administration after that: most notably Bulb, a fellow energy scaleup which collapsed at the end of 2021. 

Although it doesn’t have a dedicated M&A team, Octopus says three people in its strategy team work on acquisitions — which are focused on energy suppliers and tech for its tech arm, Kraken. Octopus confirmed all of the acquisitions below with Sifted.

Energy supplier acquisitions
Over the last few years, Octopus has acquired nine retail energy companies across the UK, America, France, Italy, Spain and Germany, using them as a way to enter new markets — and to expand its customer base in its home market.
  • Affect Energy: A British energy provider, which was acquired by Octopus in 2018.
  • Avro Energy: Another British energy provider, acquired by Octopus in 2021 after the company entered administration.
  • Bulb: Octopus acquired UK energy supplier Bulb in 2022. Bulb was the largest casualty of the energy crisis, supplying 1.5m customers at the time it went into administration.
  • Evolve Energy: Silicon Valley startup Evolve Energy was acquired by Octopus in 2020 as its first foray into the American market. 
  • Plum Energie: France-based energy supplier Plum Energie was acquired by Octopus in 2022 and marked its entry into the French market. 
  • SATO Luce e Gas: Based in Italy, energy supplier SATO was acquired by Octopus in 2021. 
  • Shell Energy Retail: Octopus acquired Shell’s retail arm, a subsidiary of Shell Petroleum, at the end of 2023, taking on 1.3m customers in the UK and Germany
  • Umeme: Spanish energy supplier Umeme was acquired by Octopus in 2021, to serve as its launchpad “across the Mediterranean”.
  • 4hundred: Munich-based energy supplier 4hundred was acquired by Octopus in 2019 as its first step into the German market.

Tech acquisitions...